Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Not So Happy Feet

I am of the opinion that people with foot problems should not be friends with people who like cute shoes.

Well, not really, because I'd lose some of my very bestest friends. But right now I'm feeling mighty frustrated.

Some time back I blogged about the problems I’ve been having with my feet. With the RWA National Conference looming on the horizon, I’ve started sorting through my wardrobe to see what I want to take. I’ll need business casual clothing for workshops and my editor appointment and a dressy outfit for the awards event.

My big problem is shoes for those business casual clothes. Normally I wear some sort of flat, black shoe designed for comfort. I have terminal cold feet and combined with the meat-locker temperatures in hotel conference rooms, my toes would be a delightful shade of arctic blue if I wore sandals. However, I can’t wear closed shoes because they make my toes feel like someone’s holding a blowtorch to them. Well, I can wear tennis shoes because of the wide toe box but even I have enough fashion sense not to wear them to conference. On the plane to and from, yes. But at the conference, nope.

So I went online and searched for days and days to see if I could come up with some sort of flat, black comfortable shoe with a wide toe box that wasn’t a tennis shoe. I found some shoes with a buckle strap and also some oxfords. The pictures didn’t look too bad, and the company offers free shipping both ways, so I could put them on my credit card and return them if they didn’t work.

The shoes arrived last week. I tried on the buckle strap ones and it was apparent nothing was going to make them fit. Oh, they were wide in the toe box, but I have a narrow heel, and I could not buckle them tight enough to keep them from slipping on my heel. Even an sole insert wouldn’t work.

So it looked like I was going to have to wear the oxfords. They were comfy and didn’t slip on my heel. So, there. Shoe problem for conference solved.

My 4th of July weekend was a little sparse on plans, so I settled on my new sofa and watched about sixteen episodes of Sex and the City that had taped while I was at my mother’s house. I never saw the show in its original run because I didn't have HBO. Sixteen episodes of Carrie Bradshaw and company sporting cute shoes and stylish clothes while they flounce around the Big Apple and date handsome men. And did I mention cute shoes?

Suddenly, those damn oxfords began to resemble something worn by a prison matron. I want cute shoes too!

Why did I have to be the one with foot problems? And when did I get hung up on fashion?

In addition to TV, it’s the fault of my RWA chapter, which is also lovingly referred to as the “Cult of the Shoe.” When you’re surrounded by friends wearing Manolos and Louboutins, the oxfords are pretty much a couture cardinal sin. They’re like visible panty lines, mixing stripes and plaids or wearing a top that’s strapless and a bra that’s not.

And it's not just Carrie and company and my RWA friends. Watching What Not to Wear instills an urge to go to Ross and rifle through the racks of clothing. Get thee away, Stacy and Clinton!

Marilyn Monroe was considered one of the great beauties of her era. I’ve even heard that she wore a size 14. She was curvy and voluptuous, and men worshipped her. A dress size is just a number, isn't it? A number like my age, my shoe size, my bra size and my bank balance. Ugh.

I have curves now too, but I feel like they should have big, yellow warning signs. Intellectually I know all these body issues are just my mind playing tricks with me. They’re nothing a good pair of Spanx wouldn’t help.

Anyway, the prison matron shoes are on their way back to the online store. I’ve decided frozen toes are far better than ugly-a$$ shoes, thank you Carrie Bradshaw very much. I’ve also fantasized about Carrie needing Spanx when she’s my age along with orthopedic inserts for her Jimmy Choos. Ha!

I went to Ross and Shoe Carnival yesterday, hoping to take advantage of my old lady discount to buy a cute pair of dressy sandals for awards night because I've worn the same pair for the last five years and I think it's probably about time to retire them. I looked and looked and finally test drove a pair around the store. Here they are! Sparkly, huh? I'll definitely have to have a pedicure right before I go to Orlando.

Does watching What Not to Wear or Sex and the City or any other show have the same fashionista effect on you? Let’s talk about fashion and shoes. One lucky commenter will get a thong – not the underwear kind, silly, but a book thong you use to mark your place in your favorite romance novel.


PM's Mother said...

Your mother does not mean to be unkind, but have you lost your ever-loving mind? Those are the tackiest shoes I have ever seen--and the heels are too high! 'Nuf said -- and I love you even if you wear them anyway!

Cheryl said...

Sorry to disagree with your mom but I love the shoes! I too have reached the age where comfort overrides beauty. For years I wore high heels, real stilettos - the kind you can use for a weapon. Now I would fall off of them and break my neck. Plus, who wants to be tortured at conference, standing and walking, on ice-picks? I feel your pain.

As for Marilyn Monroe, I believe curves are better than bones. I am so tired of seeing young girls, Size 0 (is that really a size because I think that means you don't exist - kind of melted away like the Wicked Witch in Oz). It's really attractive to see sticks for arms and legs, but their tummies are flat (wow - where do I go to get to look like that?). And yes, I am aware that obesity is on the rise but seriously, the Auschwitz look is not very appealing either.

As for fashion shows - I don't watch them. And, I am probably the last female in America who has never watched Sex and the City. Go ahead, berate me.

PM - you look great! Keep your head high and know that we older ladies know how to dress too!

Maven Linda said...

Who in our chapter has Louboutins?????? I wanna know, and I wanna see.

I like the shoes. They're sparkly. Never met a sparkle I didn't like.

I have problems with shoes, too, because my foot is small. One frustrated salesman suggested I have my shoes custom-made. Yeah, right. I wear a 5 1/2 A with a double-A heel. No such animal exists, at least not in regular shoe stores at a price I'm willing to pay. I also have a high arch. So my shoe-decisions are based on three things: Is it comfortable, is it pretty, and will it stay on my foot? I don't care about size. I once tried on a pair and was raving about how comfortable it was, and the friend with me looked down and laughed, because the shoe was so big it wasn't touching my foot anywhere except on the sole. No wonder it was comfortable.

PM, a trick to help keep your feet warmer is to keep your elbows covered. My feet stay cool, but if I have 3/4 sleeves or a light jacket, my feet don't get as cold.

Maven Linda said...

PS: I've never seen Sex and the City, either. And I don't want to.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

Since I'm seeing a doctor about a misbehaving foot later today, I'm now properly terrified. I don't want him to tell me I have to wear my tennis shoes everywhere I go. I don't want to end up in granny shoes -- even if I am a granny. I have a couple of dresses in the conference section of my closet, and they will NOT look good with clunky shoes. :-/ As my fashion savvy granddaughter said, at the age of three, as she looked down at a pair of shoes that didn't match her outfit, "Oh, that just won't do."


Linda Winstead Jones said...

PS: Love the shoes! I've seen some Sex and the City episodes, and I think that show gives women a bad name.

Christine said...

I like your new shoes--they are tres fun. I still have to find a dress for Nationals. I had intended to get a pedicure while I was on vacation, but failed cause I was grabbing any time I had to write and revise. When I get home, my feet are heading to the salon.

I wish curves were in again. It would be so nice for me as I am definitely an hour glass with flab figure type.


Playground Monitor said...

They're only 2 1/2 inch heels. Any higher than that and my nose bleeds.

Smarty Pants said...

I think we've already established that your mother thinks we're nuts when it comes to shoes. My mom thinks so, too. She just shakes her head.

I always wanted to be a part of a shoe cult, but until the last few years when the internet boomed with online shoe stores, I was limited to my small little section at Payless because I have a size 11. Actually, one time, the man at Parisian measured me and said I actually wore a 10.5 AA. Did he have them? Of course not. Just for my info. I know its true, though because 10s (unless they're opened toed) are slightly too tight and 11s tend to slip off my foot, which can be catastrophic in 5 inch heels.

I got a new pair the other day, but they're silly - black sequined heels with pink skulls on them. :) Couldn't compare to the Louboutins, sadly.

I think curvier women are coming back into fashion. This year's #1 on the Maxim Hot 100 was a woman from Mad Men, who, although she looks fairly thin to me, was heralded for her lush curves. Well, its a start. She bumped off Megan Fox. I don't mind not being skinny, I just don't want to be lumpy, which is where the spanx come in.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh, the Cult of the Shoe. I adore it. And I think those shoes are fab! (There are times we shouldn't listen to our mothers.) *g*

Yeah, I'm wondering who has the Louboutins too. I want a pair, but forking over nearly $800 minimum for a pair has kind of kept it the pipe dream it was meant to be. ;) I keep telling myself "someday."

What Not to Wear sends me into frenzies of wanting to throw out everything in my closet and go shopping. I even bought the book where they dress people of all different shapes. Eye opening!

Sex in the City isn't something I watch anymore, but yeah, those clothes and shoes make me feel so inadequate. And SJP's perfectly sized body that can wear any damn thing and look good? So, so jealous. Hubby says she's too skinny, but the girl looks good in everything. EVERY thing.

I was in Ross yesterday too! I thought I might run into you, knowing it was Tuesday, but we obviously didn't go at the same time. :)

Playground Monitor said...

I was in the Jones Valley store. Had to take some stuff to my attorney and decided to hit the shops on the other side of town. Personally, I think the University Drive Ross is superior.

Donna said...

Don't talk to me about shoes! After a lifetime of wearing ugly shoes because of my short (5 1/2 or 6, if I stretch it), wide (D or even E nowadays) feet, it's a truly sore subject. I can't even attempt heels unless they're short and chunky and that kinda blows the whole point. If I ever manage to find a pair that fit and are comfortable, I wear them to death because I can never find another pair like them. It just depresses me no end. Thongs too. Can't wear 'em.

Libby Adams said...

Those are so cute! And if you got them at Shoe Carnival they were probably not more than $20. I didn't know they had a senior discount day. Must check that out!!!

Problem Child said...

I won't spoil the Louboutin surprise...but wow!

I think your shoe choice is fab, PM. And I can't really dredge up pity for Maven Linda's shoe woes, because when she decides she doesn't like a pair, they become mine!

Since I haven't felt my feet since I was 15, the comfort factor doesn't rate real high for me. Sure, it's great if I can find pretty shoes that are also comfy, but I have plenty of adorable, uncomfortable shoes. After the first few minutes, I don't really feel it. Except blisters. I draw the line at anything that rubs blisters.

And I think it's funny that so many people say they can't walk in high heels. I can't walk in low heels. I'll hoof it around in my 5 inch stilettos, no problem, but will fall off a kitten heel and sprain an ankle. And flats? Those things make my legs hurt after a while.

Strange, I know.

Instigator said...

I have the Louboutins :-) I bought them at Unclaimed baggage last weekend and they are FAB! Some woman is very upset at losing her luggage though because they had several pairs. They had these amazing ones (in a fairly small size) that were slingback peep-toed with a blue upper and covered in different colored crystals. If I could have squeezed my fat foot into them they so would have been mine. Pretty happy with the booties I came home with though.


Instigator said...

P.S. I love the shoes, Marilyn. They're going to look great on awards night!

catslady said...

I've always hated shoe shopping - I feel your pain. As a child I had a 5A heel and eventually a size 7. Whereas my sister had a size 5 and B width. She had a million shoes because they all fit her and they were always on sale. Me, I had to find something with straps and they were all ugly and never really did fit well. Luckily my feet have widened somewhat and I've just learned to curl my toes when I need to were strapless shoes lol. I love sandles the most because there's room for my big toe hahahaha. My oldest daughter has feet like my sister and a million shoes. My youngest has my size but a wide foot. Wish I could just go barefoot all the time (which I do at home a lot) lol.

Sherry Werth said...

I love the shoes PM! I have a foot issue also, but it's on the top of my foot. Drives me crazy! I took a spur of the moment mini-shopping trip after work yesterday and came home with a new carry on bag, 2 pairs of shoes, a dress and a cammy. If I had planned the trip I wouldn't have found a darn thing!
Speaking of next purchase needs to be a Spanx. :-(

Kathy said...

I LOVE Spanx! God bless the woman who designed them. ;)

PM, those shoes are beautiful. Your feet will be exceptionally pretty on Award's night. :)

robertsonreads said...

Sorry, I disagree with your mom too. I love those shoes, very pretty!!! I picked up some sandals myself this weekend from Payless ( who carries wide width), regular $24 for $13, I am a very happy woman. I do listen to Stacy and Clinton as they do give some good pointers.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Geez, I should have checked back sooner! Dear, dear shoe buddy. :) Can I just try them on? I would never ask to borrow -- would be too afraid! But oh, a walk around a room for a little bit. *sigh*

Those are gorgeous! And I bet someone is pretty damn upset she lost her luggage!

Instigator said...

Absolutely, Lynn! :-)


robynl said...

totally cute shoes PM; but I so understand about feet/shoes. My feet are touchy, oh so touchy. My toes hurt and turn red for no reason, my heels hurt after awhile ...

I have a high arch, also. I used to be narrow in width and heel but now have widened out a lot. I can't stand any pressure on my feet. HELP.