I made the mistake of wearing profile pumps to a work event. My colleagues and I had been working on a project for a couple of months and as the date approached, I got discombobulated: missed Pilates for an entire week; dragged my three-year old around town, even fed him pizza for breakfast; didn’t get the trees threaded from my face or have my toe claws cut, buffed or polished. To add insult to injury, the morning of the event, my attempt at recreating Josephine Baker in my magic mirror failed. Already heavy with PMS, I put on a chocolate brown blouse, cream skirt and two toned braided leather and swede café colored Cole Haan pumps, figuring the shoes would make-up for the foolishness that was going on above my ankles.
Saturday’s event required me to remain on my feet for seven Pacific Standard hours. I walked that same hardwood path, including a steep staircase, some many times, I nearly crossed the state line.
Back to my lovely heels, I spied them on the sale rack on a cool December night about five years ago. I spent almost $200, which defied financial reasonableness but proved necessary for the interview that would change my life. A literary cable show was to be born and needed a host. I was overjoyed at the prospect and carefully put together a hip, sophisticated outfit that was unstudied yet conscientious. The pumps were a triad of success, literary erudition and elegance. The capstone. As the date for my interview loomed, I learned that the show was a sham.
For a couple of years, I kept those shoes warm and cozy in their Cole Haan bag and brown box. I only wore them once or twice. Those shoes represented entrée into a world of letters and salons beyond my literary fantasies. I’d been writing for about a decade, attended top notch writer’s conferences and thought that my years working jobs unrelated to my passion – writing fiction, were over. That gig would have shamed the naysayers and given credibility to my insistence on being a striving artist.
Well, I still work in fields where I have to take a day off to write or write when I should be updating or correcting a schedule or responding to emails from my oh-so-needy college students. I also regularly wear those pumps, having learned not to worship false idols.