I used to have a pair of shoes affectionately known as my Pulling Shoes. I loved those shoes. They were platformed, open toed, multi-coloured sequin heels. There was a helluva lot going on with them. Obviously. I loved them, and with them on the end of my legs I felt a million dollars.
I’ve not worn them for a long time. In fact I chucked them out a few years ago. No more pulling to be done here, thank you. They were scuffed and, after many a night out (somehow always returning home with me unlike my other favourite, entirely unsuitable for anything involving standing up, suede shoe boots that were lost at a work’s Christmas do in Halifax when I was just having one then leaving [RIP]) in no fit state to go to the charity shop. In the bin they went.
Recently, I remembered those glorious shoes (that, in hindsight, were never particularly fashionable or went that well with any outfit) and wondered aloud what had changed now I could no longer manage a pair of heels. Or rather, I can’t manage to stay upright in them. My wife promptly reminded me that I never really could walk in them, or not very well. They hurt my feet, I often fell over and usually took them off. Sometimes before we even arrived where we were heading.
I’m a little more sensible these days. I usually favour shoes I can wear for the duration (and a Saturday night involves a lot more Netflix and a lot less dancing). My work shoes (flat, lace up) are unrecognisable from the pointed stilettos that I favoured once upon a time. And even on a weekend I enjoy my Doc Martens with as many outfits as I can possibly get away with pairing them with. The alternative is usually Converse.
Thing is, though, my legs are short and chubby and meet at the middle. Thigh gap? No chance of a slither of light when these knees are knocked together. So when I’m dolled up I quite like elongating them with some heels. It’s what society tells me makes a lady look good.
So I recently wore some not-even-that-high heels to a wedding. Shortly after the ceremony I was heading, drink in hand, to admire the view. It all happened so quickly that I can’t exactly say what happened but I toppled. Now, I don’t mean a ladylike oh-I-stumbled-a-little-there-now-I’m-styling-it-out trip up. I’m talking fully I’ve-thrown-my-drink-over-my-wife-and-am-now-sprawled-legs-akimbo-on-the-floor-with-my-knee-bloody-and-my-tights-ripped decked it.
That was it. Or rather, the moment immediately after that was it, once I’d realised I wasn’t badly hurt. Not physically anyway. My pride suffered a serious contusion. I’m giving up heels. Society can try to tell me whatever it likes about what makes a lady look good, personally I reckon that staying the right way up and uninjured is slightly sexier. Maybe if there’s some comfortable, sensible, square heels available I’ll branch out but for now I’m searching for something flat, possibly with an oval point to elongate my chubby, stubby limbs. It’s the only way to salvage a crumb of dignity. And my knees.