Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Feeling the power (because I can't feel my feet anyway...)

Shoes are important for Nationals. The Playfriends are not the only shoe whores in Romancelandia. RWA as a whole seems to have a shoe fetish. One year, I took 8 pairs of shoes for a 5-day event.

This year, though, I’m looking at half that. Why? Because it just so happens that I have one pair of shoes that goes with about half of my conference wardrobe. This is good. The practical travel people of the world would approve.

These are the answer to my shoe-packing problem.
Well, not exactly. My shoes are solid black patent leather and there’s no bow, but structurally, that’s the shoe I’ll be wearing almost every day at conference because it goes with everything.

Now, one of the first pieces of advice you’ll hear about the national conference is “wear comfortable shoes.” Yes, you will do a lot walking simply because the venue is large. Most people assume comfortable = flats, but walking in flats all day will kill me.

These won’t. They have good structure to keep my foot solid in the shoe and enough arch support.

Yes, I know that’s a five inch heel and a one inch platform.

I *like* high heels. Some folks have power suits; I have power shoes. An awesome pair of stilettos does wonders for my attitude. I feel tall. I feel competent. I feel powerful. These shoes give me confidence.

Now, I’m not stupid. I do carry a pair of flip flops in my conference bag just in case I need to cover a long distance in a hurry. Stilettos and running would lead to a broken ankle in no time. But I don’t run unless I absolutely must, so I’m free to strut my stuff in heels. You also never know when you’ll find yourself on very slick or uneven terrain because some designer thought it would be cool to use real cobblestones on a pathway.

(And after the Great Knee Fiasco of 2007, I bring a pair of flats, too. But those are for only if I blow a knee out again.)

I’ve heard all the lectures. But since I work at home, most days I don’t even put on shoes, so my Achilles’ tendon is not going to shorten abnormally. With or without stilettos, my feet and knees are going to be a mess when I’m 70 anyway, so I might as well enjoy the pretty shoes while I can. I have good balance and years of practice, so I’m not worried I’ll fall over or off my shoes.

And honestly, I don’t care what people think about my choice of footwear.

I don’t go up to people at conference and say, “Birkenstocks? Seriously? Why would you wear *those* to conference?” I wouldn’t be caught dead in Birks at conference, but I don’t feel the need to tell others what they should or shouldn’t wear on their feet. Yet many people feel the need to question what’s on my feet. I *know* how high the heels are. I *know* some without Feet of Steel would be crippled by the end of the day. But, hey, it’s America; wear the shoes that make you happy and make you feel good.

And I’ll wear mine. Because those shoes are awesome and they make me feel like a million bucks. At a business conference, isn't that exactly what you need?

So, what do you wear when you need to feel awesome? What's your Instant Power outfit?


And a very Happy Birthday to our Instigator! We love you!


Linda Winstead Jones said...

I couldn't take a single step in those (admittedly gorgeous) shoes without falling on my face.

I usually take a bag full of shoes to conference, but sadly, this year I'm having trouble with one foot, and I might end up spending much of the time in granny shoes. {{sigh}} And not only are my feet not tough, they're unusually tender. I've gotten a horrible raw spot on my foot walking down the HALL in a new pair of shoes.

So, I can't rely on shoes to make me feel powerful. Bummer.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful shoes! I used to wear them... Sigh. I still do on occasion when I know I won't be walking. To feel powerful now, I wear expensive outfits (something I couldn't have done in my younger days). I know, petty of me, but it makes me feel better. You can't read the tags, but I know they are they .

Playground Monitor said...

Can't wear those shoes (foot problems too) but I do have this animal print cami that when worn under something dark gives me a definite "I am woman, hear me roar" feeling. Like Cheryl's tags, no one else can see it, but I know it's there.

LA said...

I had too many years of teaching on carpet covered concrete, so you'll usually see me in Birks now! I have branched out to KEEN and Merrell, but the name of the game is still comfort and support! (That goes for my bra, too!!!)

Cheryl said...

Ooops...typo - I know they are there. PM got it. Sorry!

Smarty Pants said...

For some reason, similar to Cheryl's tags, wearing pretty matching underwear makes me feel like hot stuff. No one will see it, but after a bland adolescence of white jockey, wearing a lacy boyshort with a matching bra gives me an extra boost. Pair that with fab shoes and a good hair day and I'm unstoppable.

gigi said...

Happy Birthday Kira!!

Wow! those are some great shoes.

I like your logic at 70 body parts will start going so better to enjoy while you still can.

Angel said...

Spanx. The outfit doesn't matter, but supportive undergarments do. And it isn't even that they make me look better (I have yet to find an undergarment that shaves off inches, but at least they keep me from jiggling!). :) It is something about the tightness of a good girdle like garment that keeps me standing up straighter. Don't know what.

But I'm always careful to choose clothes that make me feel pretty for conference. That goes a long way in boosting my confidence in a room full of strangers. I may not be the prettiest, or the skinniest, but I'm putting my best "me" out there. :)


Problem Child said...

Great shoes don't have to have killer heels -- just ask Maven Linda. :-)

And LA -- like I said, I don't wear shoes at all most days, so comfort is still in the offing. What can I say... I'm just a TN hillbilly and very comfortable barefoot.

Pretty undies also gives me a perk -- putting the "grr" in "girl power" -- but proper support at the foundation level is very important for making me feel pulled together.

And just for the record, when I broke out my Super Panty Girdle five years ago, the Playfriends gave me endless hell. Now they are converts. Just sayin'.

Angel said...

Yes, but we still look at you and wonder why you need it...


Kathy said...

Happy Birthday, Instigator! :)

Power, in my opinion, comes from within. If I'm feeling good about myself, it won't matter what I'm wearing or who I'm talking to. Of course, pretty shoes and a comfortable, yet beautiful outfit, go a long way into helping me achieve that inner power. ;)

Just sayin...

robertsonreads said...

Happy Birthday Kira and many more.

Awesome shoe but not for me. Wayyyyy to high a heel. I have a coworker, God Bless her shortness, who can wear those and run in them too.
What makes me feel powerful is wonderful perfume and having my finger and toe nails painted.

word verification: sprendre, makes me want to go spend some money...

Maven Linda said...

A power outfit? Um. Won't a 9 mm Glock do????

Playground Monitor said...

Yeah, but the shoes are easier to get through airport security. ;-)

Pat L. said...

A Pair of sexy shoes and those shoes are gorgeous, a little too high for me but I love the peekaboo toes.

Instigator said...

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! I managed to play hookey for most of the day yesterday so I'm just now getting caught up.

And we all know that I adhere to PC's idea of good shoes. :-) The prettier the better...feeling in my toes is absolutely optional.