Shoes and the City

I like to think of myself as Carrie Bradshaw … Without the big hair. Or the syndicated column or the shoes or the social life or the sex.

Actually scratch that. I do buy ridiculous shoes. They may not be $400 Manolo Blahniks but they’re still highly stupid. The other day I sought a sensible pair of black pumps, but being me I bought a pair of black pumps with heels as high as the Empire State Building. (I swear the heels grew in the shoebox.)

I pulled them out for a reportorial outing and wore them with a black suit. As I teetered down Madison Avenue, terror took hold of me. I had several concerns.

First, death. As I looked down to make sure that my stilts didn’t snag, I saw the sidewalk disappear in the distance. I realized if I were to fall from the height of my high heels (and I probably would — walking isn’t one of my strong points), I might not survive.

Second, rape. A lovely man whose name now escapes me once said when he saw women walk in high heels they always looked vulnerable to him — like they were just about to tip sideways and needed a strong arm to lean on. But I am savvy enough to know that there are men who want to lend a strong arm, and there are men who would like to see you fall over. I suddenly recalled all the email fwds I’d ever received about How To Avoid Getting Raped By Having Short Hair and Wearing Sensible Shoes. I was plainly a goner.

Third, permanent crippling. As I towered over an ex-inmate whose life had been changed by a prison program with an innovative and uniquely holistic rehabilitative approach, pain started to shoot up my calves. I realized my body was contorting in mysterious ways.

And so I was grateful when we sat down to dinner, where I faked my way through a conversation about presidential politics until talk turned to work. I told the woman next to me I wrote stories from my apartment. (Being professional, I didn’t mention one of the plusses of working from home — conducting telephone interviews in a towel.)

“Oh, just like Carrie Bradshaw!” she said.

Yes, just like Carrie. But minus the sex and the social life and from now on (I swear, I swear) … minus the shoes.

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~ by stultiloquence on November 8, 2007.

4 Responses to “Shoes and the City”

  1. You can always tell when the Pi Phi’s watch their “don’t get raped” video because for a month they all walk around in frightened herds at night examining every shrubbery, parked car, and male with the utmost suspicion and hostility.

  2. Mark, are you sure it’s not that you are really scary?

  3. Are you implying that I am the “generic creepy guy” that the girls worriedly chat about? — “____ is so creepy and weird” — and about whom their guy friends are equally worried — “Yeah, you probably should not ever look at ____ or acknowledge his presence… he’ll turn any social encouragement into an invitation to make out. As a matter of fact you should probably mace him the next time you see him just so he doesn’t get any ideas.”

    That’s a shame. I always pegged James as that guy in our group.

    Just kidding of course. We all know it’s Sean, with his 1950’s stalker glasses.

  4. No, you’re right. That would definitely be Sean.

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