Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Shoe Game

This past weekend Bestie and I took a long overdue trip to the City to visit Jenna. We had an absolutely fab time! A good friend invited us to a white party on Saturday night, and even though I think white parties are lame (nobody has any business throwing a white party unless you’re name is Diddy and your venue is the Hamptons), I made a good effort to find a cute white dress and I recruited Bestie and Jenna to come along with.

Before I left Jenna’s apartment, I threw on a pair of gold flip flops and wrapped my heels in a plastic bag, which I tucked neatly in Bestie’s oversized handbag. I adore fashion just as much as the next chick, but I’m well aware that my feet have an expiration date and I can only rock out in heels for so long before I have to make the switch to a more comfortable pair of shoes.

We pre-gamed at this Moroccan restaurant that Jenna’s current boy-toy owns, and he kept our glasses filled (and didn’t charge us!). So, needless to say, by the time we made it downtown to the white party, we were a bit tipsy. It honestly never even occurred to me to change my shoes, and once I saw the early-birds at the party, I wasn’t impressed by anyone enough to be concerned about my footwear. I didn’t get any cell service in the venue, so I walked away from where Jenna, Bestie, and I had posted up near the bar and towards the hallway. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted two men checking me out, but I didn’t see anything particularly interesting about them so I continued on in my attempt to find a signal for my Crackberry. Just as I pass the duo, one of them leans down and says, “I hope your heels are in your bag, baby. I don’t know what’s wrong with all these women wearing flats. Y’all don’t believe in heels these days?”

This stopped me in my tracks. I turned and looked him up and down. He was wearing a white and turquoise Western style (think Cowboy) shirt, and a matching hat.

“You’re wearing a cowboy costume and you’re worried about me wearing FLATS?!,” I snapped. “You’re kidding me, right?”

He chuckled and I kept walking, but he got in my head. When I returned from checking my messages, I asked Bestie to hand over my heels and I slipped them on. By the end of the night, my feet were numb, but I endured the pain because I figured if that fool from earlier had a problem with women in flats, a lot of men probably did. And not that I was at the party to attract or pick up men, but... let’s face it - everybody wants to be attractive to someone and apparently this heel thing is a big deal!

When my book club read the Steve Harvey “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” book, I got to the chapter of frequently asked questions and someone asked Steve whether men prefer women in flats or heels. His very enthusiastic answer basically said that men will choose heels every time and, in fact, he’d never even MET a man who would say that he preferred to see a woman in flats. He said that if men had their way, they’d even put heels on gym shoes. That’s how much it matters. My heart sank... I was really hoping that he’d say that it doesn’t matter. I’d like to think that Steve Harvey doesn’t speak for all men, but my gut says that he does.

I had a friend in law school who told me that she didn’t feel like she was dressed unless she had on a pair of heels, which I thought was ridiculous at the time, but she actually meant what she said. By the time we graduated from law school, I’d never seen her in anything less than a 2-inch heel. She took her shoe game very seriously, and I couldn’t be mad. In her heels, she looked like a grown-up, and I looked like her kid sister in my flats and sneakers.

I’m definitely the shortest chick in my crew and also the one most likely to wear flats. I have what some would call “bad feet”. They’re cute... I keep a pedicure (even in the winter... I hear some women slack in the winter time...) and my shoes are always cute, they just might not be HIGH. That’s because, for me, comfort is the top priority. When I go out, I like to be social, carefree, and I party hard. How can I do that when my feet hurt?! Impossible!

So, I’ll tell you my secret: I tend to carry large bags because I always have a change of shoes handy, and I have a cute pair of flats that are appropriate for every occasion! I love putting them on after I’ve been suffering in heels at some event and walking comfortably to my car while I watch other women hobbling along with pinched feet after a long night in stilettos. Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for those women, but I’m proud of my foresight.

For instance, about a week ago, I’d been wearing a cute pair of heels at work, but when it was time to head out for lunch, I knew I wanted to try a new place that was a couple blocks away. I reached into the box of shoes I keep under my desk and slipped on a pair of flats to match my outfit. I walked past Starbucks and there was a young lady standing outside in a chic outfit and a haute pair of stilettos. She was propped against the wall in a pigeon-toed stance... you know that position you take when the balls of your feet hurt so bad, you’re trying to keep from toppling over?! Yeah... that stance. I looked at her and threw her a sympathetic smile as I skipped past in my ballet flats. Sure, she looked great in her heels, but I felt a whole lot better than she looked!

And then there was the time a few weeks ago when one of my girls ended our night early because her feet hurt too badly to carry on. We started at one end of the city and then got the invite to go downtown to check out the rooftop of the new W Hotel. My girl Pam was wearing a pair of streetwalking stilettos, which looked fierce, but also looked a bit masochistic. You could take one look and know that she wasn’t going to last long in them. Now, the W’s rooftop is arguably the sexiest spot in the city and we’d even been told that without a reservation we could NOT get in. Well, we didn’t have a reservation, but thanks to a friend of a friend we got in with no problems. When we got upstairs to the roof, we took in the beautiful view of the city, got a few overpriced drinks and commenced to people watching. There was a lot going on, the vibe was cool, the drinks were good (although overpriced) and everyone was having a great time. All of a sudden in the middle of things, Pam announces that her feet are hurting and she’d like to leave. Ordinarily, we’d blow air-kisses and send her on her way. Tonight, we’d all driven over to the W together, so we had to leave with Pam in order to get to our cars. Thanks, hooker heels, for ending our night before we’d even begun!

So, is this what it comes down to? Women must suffer in an attempt to try to attract the opposite sex? I rebuke that! But, sadly, I think it’s the truth. Men like women in heels. And they particularly like women in the most complicated, highest of high, most uncomfortable heels they can find. I’d like to tell you that if a man really likes you, he’ll like you regardless of the shoes on your feet, and I think that’s partially true. I know that even me - Miss Anti-Heels herself - will put on a pair of heels if I’m going out with a man because I feel like it formalizes the outing if I wear heels, like maybe he’ll notice that I put some effort into my appearance just because of what I’m wearing on my feet.

And one of the things that I hate to see more than anything is a woman hobbling along in heels, obviously uncomfortable, walking alongside her significant other who’s rocking sneakers. You like heels so much, but yet you’re wearing comfort footwear while I’m suffering next to you all to in an effort to appeal to you? Fck you, dude. Seriously. YOU put on some stilettos and traipse around in them all night and see how you feel. It’s just not fair! It just seems so shallow. But, then again, LIFE is not fair. *sigh*

An acquaintance of mine used to always say that stilettos were certainly created by a man. And not just ANY man, but a man who doesn’t like women. I’m going to have to agree. But I also have to admit that, despite the fact that I fight wearing heels tooth and nail, I recently bought my first pair of stilettos. I’m 30 now... it’s about time. They’re fantastic and REALLY high. But, hey, I hear “stripper-chic” is the new trend. And with these heels, I’ll fit right in. They’ll for sure make Cowboy (and other guys like him) proud.


Anonymous said...

Ditto to everything. You're in a book club?! Can I join?

heel deal said...

If a dude is turned off by your lack of heels, should we want to date him anyway? If he likes you for you, he shouldn't care if you're wearing heels, flats, sandals or are barefoot. Right? And shouldn't he appreciate it more when you slip on your heels on occasion? Who knows, maybe I'm still single because I don't care enough about attracting this type of guy who wants to see women in heels all the time without care that it's uncomfortable. But oh well. So will he feel jipped later after we're in a relationship and I break out the flats?