Monday, February 26, 2007

Emergency Shoes

Those of you who live in DC know that we were deluged with snow Sunday morning. Big, beautiful, fluffy, white, cold, inconvenient flakes of it.

I'm one of the oblivious, unprepared people who never pay attention to the weather. So inclement weather always takes me by surprise. And when I get caught in it I walk around muttering profanity under my breath.

But it was Sunday and I had nowhere I had to be, so I made coffee and watched the snowflakes and set about digging through my closet for my most practical boots.

Those of you who know me know that I'm not super organized. And I have too many shoes.

As I was pawing through the astounding conglomeration on the floor of my closet, I came across my emergency shoes.

Last spring I bought the shoes above, my emergency shoes, for a date. I'm embarrassed about this, but it's true. The Dementor was in town for a couple days, and we were having trouble making our schedules match up, and he called me mid-day to ask if I could have drinks after work that day.

Now, I had on a mostly cute outfit. A fabulous skirt and a hip denim jacket. But frumpy, comfy office shoes. I mean, not terrible. But not remotely hot. They were shoes that said, "I'm practical. And I got them on sale, which makes me thrifty! Thrifty and practical! And comfortable!"

So as I was talking to him on the phone, I looked down at my feet and thought, "Fuck! I can't go on a date in these shoes!"

I have to have the right shoes. I don't mean Manolos or Jimmy Choos - I have none of those. But I have to feel good - and good means attractive - in my shoes. When I travel, I'm really good at packing lightly, except for shoes. If I don't have the appropriate shoes for an outfit, it really bothers me. I always have to bring a lot of superfluous, just-in-case shoes.

So I almost told him I was too busy. Because I was not going on a date in frumpy footwear.

And then I remembered Nine West was over on Connecticut, and I had time to get there and back at lunch.

And so I agreed to meet him after work. I told my friend T, who I was supposed to have lunch with, that I had to cancel. Because I had to buy shoes. It was a shoe emergency.

I tried on practically 85 shoes in 20 minutes and chose these. They were not on sale, and I did not need another pair of black platform shoes, except for that very day, on which I absolutely needed them. I felt like these shoes were a little S&M, particularly for the office, but they were shoes I actually liked that looked good with my outfit.

I practiced walking up and down the office hallway in them a few times, then put them on at the end of the day and minced out the door and down the street.

I know, I do know that it shouldn't matter what shoes you have on. I should not be that insecure or superficial. But this was back when he still made me nervous, and knowing and feeling are two different things.

And the way I walked down the block in these shoes was "Hell, yeah, I can kick ass! And I'm tall! And ha! These shoes are hot!"

Not, "I'm practical! And comfortable! And these practical, comfortable shoes, well, I wear them all the time at the office because really, at the office I'd rather be comfortable, and plus I spend a lot of time with my shoes tucked under my desk in my cube!"

When I wear these shoes I have to walk with an attitude - my head held high, and shoulders back. Truthfully part of that is in an effort to balance, because boy are they high!

My emergency shoes. Not for a snow emergency, though.


  1. Oh my goodness! Those are high shoes. But sometimes sensible shoes just aren't sensible.

  2. I meant to say cute, too. A must have for short girls.

  3. It may seem odd coming from a guy, but I know exactly what you mean. I avoided wearing dockers for twenty years even though I thought they looked good. Why? They didn't match any shoes I had. Finally Slim took me shopping for pants AND shoes in the SAME store! You ladies are amazing.

  4. DCup - thanks! I think they're cute. Not remotely sensible, although I can actually walk pretty quickly in them.

    Twobuyfour - Haha! Good for Slim for solving your problem in one store!

  5. Emergency shoes are essential. And they're never *really* for a weather emergency - sometimes you want to go to that Christmas party in your new sexy sandal heels. You can't always be practical - even when your toes turn blue from the snow. The shoes do indeed kick ass.

  6. Jurgen Nation - you are absolutely right - can't always be practical, even if it means your toes freeze!

  7. I've had clothing emergencies. There have been several moments when I spent my lunchtime shopping for a sexy outfit for a last-minute date. I used to work a block from Filene's basement so I would do the Filene's/Nine West/Victoria's Secret thing (that last one was only for the really good dates...) Also, the proximity to these stores was especially helpful on mornings after aforementioned good dates...

  8. They're cute, but so tall!! How tall are you with those on?

    I've done the emergency shoes before... And the emergency bra/undies!

  9. Alejandra - I love that Filene's! How funny you were hitting the same places for clothing emergencies.

    Girl and Dog - They're 4", I think, so they make me 5'7"! Which of course I love!

  10. I am so delighted to find that I am not the only one who has to pack extra shoes just in case. Because, you never feel really "right" unless you have on the right shoes.

  11. I think we might be soul-sisters. I was driving down to San Diego for a date with the Frenchman last week and realized I'd forgotten earings. Earings are to Megan as I believe Shoes are to Lisa - so I stopped and bought some. Even though it was prime traffic time - I simply couldn't imagine showing up without some earings. And I went all out and got some with some major bling - I totally credit them with the fantastic night that ensued :)

  12. Serac - Absolutely agree!

    Megan - I'm so glad you had a great time with the Frenchman in SD! And now you have new earrings as well!

  13. The shoes do matter and those, those are spectacular!


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