I just don't like wearing them.
My boss at the day job routinely alerts me when we have VIPs visiting the office. This isn't his way of asking me to shake hands or prepare a memo. It's his polite way of telling me, "put on your damn shoes."
Going shoeless in the winter months is a challenge in a city where snow and ice blanket the ground more than half the year, which is why I make extra efforts to be shoeless in the summer. The result is frequent mud-caked toes and the occasional pointed look from my gentleman friend asking, "you're not really getting into bed like that, are you?"
My relationship with shoes took an interesting turn around the time he and I began dating. As longtime blog readers know, I went through an unexpected divorce several years ago. Not long after that, my evil plan to seduce my chosen "divorce mentor" for a friends-with-benefits arrangement morphed into a delightfully surprising long-term relationship with my gentleman friend.
But we were talking about shoes.
Suffice it to say, I was a little glum at the start of this relationship-that-wasn't-supposed-to-be-a-relationship. Luckily, my chosen "divorce mentor" (now my gentleman friend) is exceptionally kindhearted. And intelligent. And empathetic. And a great listener.
He's also tall. Really tall.
And because I'm – well, not-so-tall – his hugs felt like the biggest, warmest, safest, most engulfing hugs imaginable. Instead of feeling fragile, I felt safe. Instead of feeling beaten-down, I felt supported.
And yeah, I also felt turned-on. But I digress.
As my fondness for those hugs grew, so did my sudden obsession with flats. When I do have to wear shoes (an unfortunate necessity when I want to leave the house) my short stature has always given me a fondness for shoes with heels. But when I began dating my gentleman friend, I also began acquiring flats at an alarming rate. Every thrift store trip ended with me toting a cute pair of ballet flats or low-heeled sandals to the register. We're not talking epic shopping sprees here, since my thrift store habits mean I pay an average of $1 to $5 a pair for shoes. Still, the act was significant.
Since I'm a writer prone to overanalyzing everything, I stopped to think about what prompted my sudden change in footwear preference. Many women dating tall men seize the excuse to wear skyscraper heels, but I did the opposite. It didn't take much introspection to realize I craved the feeling of being engulfed in the arms of someone bigger and stronger than me. It was a new and unexpected joy to yield to the pleasure of having someone else taking care of me.
Is that a sexist thing to suggest? Perhaps, but I won't feel bad about that. I see myself less as a damsel in distress and more as a woman who figured out what she needed at a low point in her life and found a way to get those needs met.
|After hoeing the garden with my gentleman friend's 7yo |
daughter. She's not the one with the tattoo.
What's your relationship like when it comes to footwear? Have you ever selected something based on how it will make you look or feel around someone else? Please share!
I'll be out hoeing the garden with my bare feet.
I just wanted to say hoeing in this blog post.