I dropped the girls off at the volleyball open gym period today, and instead of rushing right home to clean the house (which looks so bad, I am thinking about putting smallpox quarantine posters out front to discourage random visitors), I went shopping. My favorite way to go shopping is completely and totally alone, so that I can spend as much time as I want to in front of the Boots display in Target, picking up each individual cosmetic item and then putting it back down again, satisfied, and going away without buying anything.
Today, though, I had a mission. I put in about twenty minutes in the health and beauty section and then made my way to the shoe department. I was hoping to find a pair of nice sandals to take me through the rest of the summer, because the sandals I bought at the beginning of the summer are already shot. Which makes me kind of mad, but that's what you get when you buy your shoes at Shoe Carnival.
It's the end of the season, of course, even though the Fourth of July was two short days ago, so I was prepared to find vast piles of fake sherpa-lined boots and woolly slippers. I wasn't disappointed in that, but I was saddened and annoyed by the fact that the clearance shoes, which took up two entire aisles, were the sort of shoes that would be totally inappropriate for a middle aged lady's daily wearing.
I saw a lot of canvas wedge-heeled espadrilles in about four different colors and five different patterns (gingham check in red and blue, animal print, polka dots and retro geometric) that were very cute, but the wedges were about three inches high. With ankle ties. They were the sort of shoes that call out quite clearly, "I'm not really the right shoe, but maybe just a right now shoe and I'll look really adorable if you wear me with a little denim mini skirt or some capri jeans."
Then I saw a nice pair of brown thong-style (oh, grow up) sandals on a two inch heel and those seemed more like what I wanted, but when I got closer, they were patent leather. A bit too dressy for my everyday wear.
There didn't seem to be anything that fell in the range between the three inch platform and the flat ballet slippers that looked like the comfy orthopedic-style shoes my grandma compulsively orders from Harriet Carter.
The only pair of shoes I found that looked like what I was hoping to buy were a pair of really attractive leather sandals that had enough coverage to keep them on my foot without constantly flipping and flopping (which I find undignified), but not so much that they looked like something a Roman centurion would have worn. They were a nice dark brown, had a slightly sexy but still mom-friendly look about them, and then I turned them over and the stupid things had kitten heels.
Kitten heeled shoes are so sassy-looking for a reason: they'll turn on you
in a minute. Your ankle, specifically.
If there was ever a heel designed to make you violently turn or possibly even break your ankle, it is the kitten heel. Now don't get me wrong: I am not anti-heel. In fact, the podiatrist told me that it would help my painful Achilles tendon if I wore heels that were at least an inch and a half in height, with two inches being even better (three inch heels don't really fit my lifestyle anymore, but I had a fantastic collection of high heeled shoes when I was teaching.) The very day that I was sitting in a Ball State summer session class listening to a girl rant about high heels were designed by men to keep us in a state of helpless subjugation because we were less mobile and able to defend ourselves if we were shod in high heels, I was next to her in a pair of Candies pale pink suede mules, smirking. So don't think I am not all about the shoes.
But honestly, I can't see the good sense in a little tiny heel that isn't logically beneath my own heel, but instead is fetched up just behind my arch. There wasn't much surface area to this particular kitten heeled shoe, either; it was probably less than an inch in width.
How, I ask you, is any normal woman going to fare in silly shoes like that. How can a woman negotiate life (home, work, post office, bank, grocery store, gym, etc.) in a pair of ridiculously designed shoes that seem to be meant to throw her off balance?
I know from personal experience that it is easier for me, with a handicap, to walk in my dressy black sandals with the three inch heels than it is to walk in the frisky tassel loafers with the one and a half inch kitten heel I bought last fall.
It's probably easier to walk in these three inch open toe pumps from Christian Louboutin (see
his trademark red sole going up the back of the heel?) than it is to walk in a pair of low
shoes with a kitten heel. And if someone would be willing to give me $800, I'd be happy to
go to Neiman Marcus and put this theory to the test, because these shoes? Cu-u-u-ute.
I checked Christian Louboutin's website for a look at his fall collection and also swung by couture shoemaker Jimmy Choo's online shop to see if there was a hint of a kitten heel in either of their designs and fortunately, I found nothing but elegant high heels and cheeky "day shoes," so maybe by the time the knockoff designers get busy, my local Shoe Carnival will be able to stock its shelves with something sensible for me to put on my feet.
I remain yours, fighting against the injustice of the kitten heel. Be warned. Be well.