A year ago I was a woman who enjoyed a high heel. I had heels so high they put me up over six feet tall. Black pumps, yellow pumps, white pumps, peep-toes, and so on. I wore them to work, I wore them to dance, I wore them to intimidate others and please myself.
Along came figure skating.
Yesterday I seriously considered purchasing shoes that carried that famous moniker, known world round for his connection to shoes. No, not Manolo Blahnik. Dr. Scholl's. (They were like walking in clouds. Ugly, puffy clouds.)
Eventually I was lucky to find a pair of black flats. They're... serviceable. Sensible. They've got a nice enough detail on the toe, and enough room that I don't feel anything was being pinched, squeezed or rubbed. Because I have a pair of shoes that do that. My stupid skates. After my coach showed me just how tight I should be lacing my skates, I complained, "My toes go numb."
"Welcome to figure skating," he shot back.
Indeed. There is nothing that skating hasn't done to make my feet more sensitive and more unwilling to wear heels. Callouses, worse. Ankles, unwilling to deal with any kind of shenanigans. Toes, rebelling at the first sign of any squeezing. (I will not bore and horrify you, dear Internet, with the details of the state of my big toes. But rest assured, I could.)
While at the shoe store I picked up a beautiful pair of blue platform heels. They were a beautiful, cool, blue retro dream.
I put them on. Looked at myself in the mirror. And then I moaned pitifully. They were already starting to hurt. I put them back.
Equally distressing is that I will probably never pay as much on shoes as I will in December when I get new skates. In my fevered dreams I somehow magically manage to find $800 dollars to drop on Graf Edmontons and sleek new blades. Graf Edmonton skates are sexy in their own, skaterly way (particularly Stephane Lambiel's polished to a high patent sheen). I mean, come on, the description includes the words "stiff" and "leather." That's gotta be good, right?
Something inside me sighed and shook its head at what we have become.
I wonder if they come in blue, patent leather t-strap? No? Okay.