If you're just catching up with me now and thinking "um...Shoe Stories? Like...stories about shoes?" Let me explain. I love shoes. Like, REALLY love shoes. Flats, boots, ballerinas, loafers, strappy sandles, sneakers, "f*ck me" pumps. I love 'em all.
And I know I'm not alone in my obsession - mostly because of the evidence I've found behind the closet doors of many of my friends. Even if you don't care much about shoes, you have to respect them. There's a reason they say "you need to walk a mile in another man's shoes" in order to truly understand them. They are the foundation upon which we stand as we move through life. Shoes support us, present us to the world, and help propel us forward. And even after you take them off, your "sole" leaves an imprint behind.
I believe there's something about a pair of shoes that changes your whole mood. Your whole outlook. Let's face it, Cinderella's story would never have worked if she had a glass hat, or a glass handbag. She needed a pair of beautiful shoes in order for her transformation to be complete.
Well, last week, in honor of my new job at E!'s Fashion Police (btw...my latest piece is "Bitch Stole My Look! Marisa Tomei vs. Miranda Kerr), I reminisced about a pair of fabulous Gucci cap toe stacked heels I bought when I was first promoted to full agent at William Morris in NYC.
This week I give you, "Ruby Slippers Come in Hot Pink Too":
"Ruby Slippers Come in Hot Pink Too"
Admit it...you want to try these on. You're compelled to try them on. They're so open, so inviting...it would almost be a sin NOT to slip them on...just for a moment...to experience their shiny pink fabulousness and imagine what kind of an evening you would be having if you were wearing them.
How do I know this? Because I felt the exact same way about them...when I was 13.
When my my older, more sophisticated, well-dressed sister was 16 she went to summer school at Exeter Academy and met some other well-dressed sophisticated girls. But in particular she made friends with one Southern girl named Pamela. Pamela was everything I wasn't. Tiny, demure, beautiful, blonde and Southern. I was fascinated by her.
One weekend she came up to New Jersey (where we lived at the time) to go to some disco themed Sweet Sixteen with my sister. (It was the late 70's) She brought some gorgeous disco wear with her.
She had a pair of skin tight shiny pink satin pants and a matching long-sleeved lycra top with sequins on it. But it was her brand new pair of hot pink slides (probably Candies...) I will never forget.
I couldn't take my eyes off these shoes. Or my hands...and over the weekend when my sister and her friend left the house to check out Spencer Gifts at the mall or something, I went into her room and dug her friend's shoes out of her suitcase. I held them in my hands and stared at them. I thought twice about what I was doing, but couldn't help myself. I slipped them on.
I felt so grown up, so tasteful, so pretty. I strutted around my sister's room in them like a drunk southern sailor and imagined they transformed my young, gawky, dark, ethnic awkwardness into "mature" southern belle beauty. I looked in the mirror and imagined I was just like Pamela.
Then I heard the door slam and teenage girls giggling.
I jumped out of the shoes, shoved them back in Pamela's suitcase and tried to look nonchalant - pretending to read something by Judy Blume.
I put them on the second I got home. It was weird (and a little pathological) to buy a pair just like Pamela's after all these years. But they still spoke to me. Telling me I would be pretty. Sexy. Grown-up.
But this time, when I looked in the mirror, I saw me. Tall, dark, 40-something (cough, cough) grown-up and I looked gooooooood!
Unfortunately, after about 20 minutes of wearing them around the house imagining the fabulous things I would in these shoes when I wore them out, I had to take them off. They were killing me. Such is the life of a grown-up.
I never wore them again. But I still love them.
This past weekend, I put these shoes out on my carpet to take a picture of them for "Shoe Stories." Livi came in and saw them. She shreiked "OH MY GOD! THOSE ARE SO PRETTY!" and made a bee-line for them. She put them on her tiny feet and teetered around in them pretending to be grown-up and beautiful she admired herself in the mirror.
I hope she saw what I saw. A beautiful little girl.