I'm Just Saying…

November 26, 2013

The Heart and Sole of the Matter

Filed under: Daily Life — jillamyrosenblatt @ 5:19 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is how it begins…

I’m at work when I decide a lunch hour of retail therapy is just the ticket to turn my frown upside down. I go to a shoe store because, since when does a woman NOT need another pair of shoes? I reconnoiter and after a few moments…

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I had to try them on. Then I had to have them. Standing in the store, gazing at “my” shoes (I had already appropriated them as my own), an entire alternate future unfolds in my mind. I am wearing the shoes, out on my lunch break, or at Starbucks, and I get “the call” from an agent about my screenplay. I go to the city for a meeting.  I’m in the city and it happens: I meet Him, “The One.” He is tall, trim, and handsome (men only come in one size in fantasies, in case you were wondering).  He sweeps me off my feet, gives me a passionate kiss that shakes me to the core of my solar plexus and whispers in my ear...love the shoes.

The meeting goes well with the agent, in case you were wondering. I sell the screenplay, of course. Shoes are equally applicable for romance and career fantasies.

For the uninitiated (read: men), shoes have a direct correlation, a cause and effect in the life of a woman. No man ever put on a pair of Ferragamo loafers and said “My whole life is going to change!” However, for a woman, a trip to the shoe department is like following the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, Ruby Slippers and all, literally. Every pump, slingback, chunky heel, and peek-a-boo toe holds infinite possibilities for a brighter tomorrow. Personally, I’m convinced if I ever get the chance to put on a pair of Louboutin’s I will be born again right then and there. “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…”

The female shoe is a shining symbol, a talisman of magical thinking born out of mysticism and folklore. The shoe holds the promise of all that could be, might be. Forget the carriage and the coachman. I’ll take the subway or hail a cab. All I need is the right pair of shoes.

I suppose we can blame Cinderella for this mess. The story didn’t begin with Walt Disney; variations of the tale have been around since the ninth century AD. It has been re-told and re-imagined over the centuries but the theme remains the same: nice girl finishes first, gets the handsome prince, and lives…. happily ever after. And all because of a bitchin’ pair of shoes.

Perhaps the Charles Perrault version “The Little Glass Slipper” explains it best:

“Her godmother then touched her with her wand, and, at the same instant, her clothes turned into cloth of gold and silver, all beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the whole world.”

You can give us Gucci, lavish us with Ralph Lauren, and bedeck us in the divine Dior, but an outfit is just a shell if you don’t have the shoes. As the glass slipper fits only the foot of Cinderella, so each shoe provides a unique fantasy to each woman that can belong to no one else.

I am a “shoe whisperer.” I can enter a shoe department, scan the area, and immediately zero in on “the one.” I know before I try on the chosen shoe it’s going to fit and it’s for me. It is “my” shoe. The shoe that will make me feel special, beautiful;  it holds the promise, the possibility, and the mystery that I could be wearing it at just such a place and time that something wonderful will happen.

Men don’t understand why women can continuously shop for shoes, why too much is never enough. What’s so special about the female shoe? Gentlemen,  I refer you to Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon when he’s asked about the bird “What is it?” Spade answers “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.” Exactly.

By the way, I was at the mall last weekend. I wandered into a shoe department…

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And I begin again….

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