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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In These Shoes

I recently rediscovered my love of shoes. It’s no big surprise that most girls, or women as the case may be, love shoes. The types of shoes we love, of course, varies as much as we do. But nevertheless, we love shoes. There’s no getting around it. Do I have to say it again?

If you’re an outdoorsy or sporty type, you probably love shoes that comfort your feet, preferring function over form. But, I bet that each and every woman out there loves at least one pair of completely frivolous, ridiculous, useless, over-the-top shoes. In fact, I have a friend who is wildly practical, and even she has a pair of sparkly pink sequined tennis shoes. Yep. I know, right? She is my irrefutable evidence.

As most of you know, I’ve been in the process of rediscovering myself. I’ve been losing some weight, learning to love myself (and let me tell you, this is like an epic battle of good and evil that I like to call Mothra and Godzilla need an intervention by Stuart Smalley) and living again after being hit squarely in the face with an early onset mid-life crisis.

Little by little, I’ve been taking better care of myself, treating myself to some nurturing and basically, doing whatever the hell I want. This is wreaking havoc in some parts of my life, but overall, it’s been fun and fascinating. Over the last year, I’ve been completely and utterly surprised by almost every choice I’ve made. And with all the ups and downs, the woohoos and uh-ohs, I’ve come to one truth. Life is a pretty amazing journey.

During my fantastical ride, I’ve re-discovered how much I love shoes... and other girly things. The fact is that most of the time, I prefer the comfort of elastic waist (or “waste” depending on your fashion dictionary) pants and threadbare t-shirts. I prefer them because they’re comfortable and I can get covered in clay and not worry about ruining anything expensive. Even though I’m an artist, I do have a professional job and I’ve used that as an excuse to buy some completely ridiculous and impractical shoes. In fact, each new pair gets a little higher in the platform and the heel. Eventually, I’ll make my way to stilts, but I’d call the latest pair: Dorothy Does Mary Jane: an over-the-top pair of red faux suede platform Mary Janes that officially make me six feet one inch tall. And yes, every time I wear them, I click my heels and make a wish. Did you really have to ask?

You also know that I started dating again a little over a year ago, and currently my life seems to be soap operatic in that area. See earlier blog posts if you need to get caught up. But, I have to say that my first actual, physical, in-person, old-fashioned date was a complete success. It was a little over a year ago. No, we didn’t run starry-eyed to the little white chapel, pledging undying love right off the bat. He didn’t have a white horse and I wasn’t wearing glass slippers. I was wearing a great pair of taupe faux suede four-inch open toed scrunchy shooties which made me nearly six feet tall. But alas, we are not a we at all. We never became a we even though I still hear from him from time to time.  How does this relate to shoes? Be patient, you’ll see.

The never-to-be we met for coffee at a local coffee shop. Something low-key that I thought would allow him to run for the hills should he be so inclined. It never dawned on me that I might want to run for the hills. Actually, it still doesn’t. But that’s for another post as well.

Anyway, we talked for quite a while and decided to go for dinner. At dinner, we talked some more. He had a couple of years on me, but is oh-so-handsome. Around six feet. Nice build. Dark short hair and goatee with a quick smile and twinkly eyes. Honestly we didn’t have a lot to talk about, but it didn’t matter. I was just enjoying the view. I had to restrain myself from leaning over to smell him several times because he smelled delicious, but of course, that added to my enjoyment of the whole experience. I saw him on his motorcycle a few weeks ago and I actually swooned... Swooning while your driving has an odd effect on your motor functions, by the way. I’m sure I’ll always be attracted to him, not just for his cutie-patootie good looks, but because he helped me find a little thing I lost. Courage.

After dinner, he walked me to my car and he took charge, kissing me goodnight. I am absolutely terrible at these things and although the people I work with would tell you I’m no shrinking violet, I am very unsure of myself when faced with a personal display of affection opportunity. You see, I’m very outspoken at work--probably too much so, but when it comes to dating, I can’t help but to be old-fashioned. This doesn’t mean men have to pay for everything, but they do have to make the moves. And no one had made a move on me in a very long time... In fact, I had kissed a total of four boys in my lifetime. Yep, you got it. And one was a kiss in the sixth grade.

So, needless to say, when he made the move... I could hardly contain myself. And let me give you some more perspective. I hadn’t kissed anyone in about 15 years. Again, more fodder for other posts. Anyhoooooo, my first kiss in 15 years turned into a full blown make-out session right there in the parking lot of the local Red Robin. TMI? Live with it.

Here’s the thing. When you go that long without a kiss, a lot of things happen to you all at once. The gaggle of butterflies that lives in your stomach waiting for occasions like this turn into hyper-active, ping-pong bowling balls on speed without any navigational control, knees launch their official shut-down sequence and uncontrollable giddy laughter holds your brain hostage and tickles it until the rest of you can’t breathe. Every physiological system in this organism I call me went “AWWW-OOOO-GAAAAA!” I was Riverdancing to my own drummer on the inside completely on the verge spontaneous combustion while doing everything I could to on the outside to contain it.

Eventually, we both got ahold of ourselves and stopped before we got arrested and had to register with the state. But, I was over the moon. It wasn’t the he’s-the-one-we’ll-live-happily-ever-after moon. It was the WOW-my-life-isn’t-over-I-can-do-this-I’m-not-completely-disgusting-somebody-kissed-me-I-can’t-believe-I-forgot-how-great-that-was kinda moon.

After putting ourselves back together, messing ourselves up again, and putting ourselves back together again, times two... we finally said goodnight. I smiled so long and so hard that my entire face ached. I don’t really remember driving to a see a good friend of mine, but I must have felt the need to tell someone for fear the whole experience wasn’t real. She knew that I had a date and as soon as she saw me she said, “How’d it go?”

It took me a few moments. I opened my mouth a couple times, but nothing came out. I jumped up and down in my fabulous suede opened toed shooties a few times and then, out of the blue I yelled,  “I got felt up!! These shoes REALLY work!”

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