Share this article

print logo

My View: My personal shoe story hinges on heels

By Marge McMillen

I loved playing grown-up when I was little, walking around the house in my mother’s high heels. And like any other little girl, I anxiously awaited the time when I could wear these symbols of maturity with no danger of hearing the flip-flopping noise emanating from a pair much too big for my feet.

As the old saying goes, all good things come to those who wait, so it wasn’t that many years later when, as a teenager, I could actually fit into a pair of high heels.

Being the typical teen, I emulated my peers, and when put into a situation where high heels could be worn, of course I chose the highest possible ones. At that time, that resulted in my wearing 6-inch heels, affectionately known as spikes. One more inch, and I could have applied for a membership card to the New York City Ballet.

These shoes also had the distinction of tapering into very pointed toes. Look at your feet, my friend … is that the way your foot is formed? No? Neither was mine. The 6-inch heels pushed my feet into these instruments of torture, but the boys ogled my legs, and so, of course, it was worth it.

You might know it was men who designed these shoes, men who would never dream of wearing these types of heels. However, I’m guessing they liked the way we girls looked in them, and conversely, we liked the way the boys looked at us. It was a win-win situation, and worth it because as a teen, we had entered that stage of life where we were looking for a mate. What better way to attract one than elongating our legs with spiked heels?

I’d like to say this worked, but I really can’t since I met my husband on a blind date in which I wore blue jeans, ankle socks and saddle shoes. It must be that my sparkling personality won him over in spite of the flat heels.

Marge McMillen

Time passes, and now I am a wife and mother, whose duties include those of cooking and cleaning – no 6-inch spikes needed. I loved my every-day flat heels, but would still dress up for those Saturday nights out when I did my favorite thing: dance. My husband was a great dancer and we often shone in the proverbial spotlight as others would watch us do a lively double-time. I might mention here that I came to these dances wearing 4-inch heels, but confession: You could usually find them resting under my chair while I enjoyed this favorite pastime.

Oh, my, how time does fly. My children are now grown and gone, and I am a grandmother, though I might mention here, a fairly young one. There were still evenings when I was called upon to dress up, and those 3-inch heels worked nicely, especially if all I had to do was look good and not be on my feet too much.

Playing bridge was emerging as a new form of fun, whereby I could kick my shoes off under the bridge table, and no one would know. Ahh …

For such an old man, Father Time surely moves fast, and I am now a great-grandmother. I recently tried on a pair of 2-inch heels (2!) and knew immediately they were much too high.

And so my friends, this is a history of shoes throughout my life. And it’s been a good life, all the way from flip-flopping heels as a little girl and a teen’s 6-inch spikes, to the slow descent to forever flat ones.

Marge McMillen, of East Amherst, has grown accustomed to wearing flat shoes.

There are no comments - be the first to comment