Hello from Arizona,
Itâ€™s sad but true: men just donâ€™t get it. Women need shoes. When we take a two day trip, we need at least three pair of shoes to make sure weâ€™re coveredâ€”â€œthese boots are made for walking,â€ and all that jazz.
Most women have a sizzling love affair with shoes. We love them for how they look, how they make us look and for how they make us feel. To illustrate my point, hereâ€™s my best shoe story, taken from my book Rock Solid Confidence: Presenting Yourself with Assurance, Poise and Power:
Iâ€™d been looking for that trendy shoe; a cross between sandal and boot. I found a wonderful pair, but the heels were stilettosâ€”much taller than my usual. The sales person, Tom, persuaded me to try them on anyway. So I did. Despite the fact that I felt like I was standing on my tippy toes, this new height gave me the ability to look straight into Tomâ€™s eyes. I realized I was instantly, lushly tall. He saw the gleam in my eyes and suggested that I â€œwalk in them for a while.â€ So I did, and I fell in love with my new height, despite the fact that my right foot was beginning to hurt.
After much self-debate, I decided to get them. After all, they were on sale and (compelling reason #2), if I didnâ€™t like them, I could give them to my niece Monica, who wears the same size. Never mind sheâ€™s already 5â€™11â€ and why would she want my leftover shoes? I made my decision and when I took them off I barely noticed that my left ankle was sore, and I had to take twelve steps or so before the kinks in each step disappeared. So I got the magic shoes and kept them until the spell was brokenâ€”thirty minutes later. My better judgment told me to take them back before I hurt myself. What was I thinking?
Iâ€™ll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking that it would be nice to have long legs to match my long feet. I was thinking that I could instantly seem thinner and maybe even younger. There was a lot of thinking going on.
Mrs. Eugene McCarthy, politicianâ€™s wife, once said, â€œI am who I am, I look the way I look and I am my age.â€ To that, I must add, â€œAnd I am just as tall as I am, so get over it!â€ This is an example where the wish to be more, the fear of not being enough, and the hope of being perfect overshadowed the mastery of self-acceptance.
Since that time, I look at shoes differently. I care less about what others think and more about how they partner with me to get me where I want to goâ€”a tool of sortsâ€”to ground and protect me. Iâ€™m no longer a slave to all the latest trendsâ€”if they donâ€™t fit my lifestyle, budget and taste, Iâ€™m not interested.
We like resilient shoes that protect me from harm when we climb on rocks. Burnt-orange slides bring a pop of color to basic black outfits, reminding us that weâ€™re unique individuals; and then, there are the normal collection of sandals, pumps and bootsâ€”made for walking.
Weâ€™ll always love our shoes, and men will never get it. Itâ€™s not the end of the world as long as weâ€™re clear about our relationship our shoes and thank them for their foundational support. Where will your shoes take you today?