I've never been good at suspending disbelief when I watch movies or sitcoms; seeing a coffee-house waitress with a fabulous luxuriously furnished apartment, or the 22-year-old heroine of a romantic comedy who happens to be a world-renowned forensic attorney, has always made me snort in disgust (much to the dismay of whoever is watching with me - "Oh come on, Lauren, it's just a TV show!") But what I'd always found most ridiculous was the characters on Sex In The City, running around Manhattan's hard pavement in thin-soled, spindly stilettos. I mean, come on - after ten minutes in those torture devices, any believable female character would be switching to Crocs and complaining about foot pain. (Not to mention the fact that on Carrie's columnist salary, a closetful of Manolo Blahniks wouldn't leave room for extras like fabulous brunches or rent.)
However, after all my sneering remarks about designer footwear and the ludicrousness of heels, I'm starting to change my tune a bit for purely selfish reasons - my kids are getting to be taller than I am. I don't have the budget or pain threshhold for stilettos, but I have found a couple of pairs of heels (with nicely padded soles, chunky heels, or other concessions to comfort), which I'll wear for a few hours when I want a bit of extra authority with a class I"m teaching, if I'm out in public with the son who passed 5'9" last week and is growing every day, or if I just feel like looking cute.
Yesterday, I had a combination of all 3, a long day of teaching an early morning class, a couple of meetings, and tons of running around with the kids, and so I spent the whole day in Naturalizer half-boots with a 3 inch heel (which fall somewhere between Carrie's prized strappy shoes and orthopedic oxfords). And it was amazing - I felt confident, I felt cute, and I loved how the additional height made people ask if I'd lost weight. (I also was finally able to wear the nice jeans that I got with my Nordstrom bonus points, but that I've been too lazy to hem. Those fashion magazines are right, longer pants legs do make you look thin!)
My feet held up till we were home for good around 6, at which point I changed into sweats and my old beat-up slippers (unlike the Sex In The City gals, whose leisure wear seems to be skimpy camisoles and their boyfriends' boxer shorts worn with designer flip flops, but my husband wears those boxer-briefs, which don't look remotely cute on me, and the sight of me in a tank top would horrify my sons, who think cleavage on an adult woman is gross, particularly if she happens to be their mother). Of course, as soon as I changed, my feet began to ache, and I remembered why I don't usually wear heels more than a few hours at a time. But I also felt like Cinderella after the ball - including having my lovely memories of being fashionable and glamorous for a day.
I don't think I'll give up on the heel idea, I'll just get some of those Dr. Scholl's pads so that the balls of my feet aren't so sore (and wonder how Carrie & her friends survive without them). And I'll make sure I stick to semi-sensible heels (there are great companies like Naturalizer and Aerosoles with affordable, cute, comfortable shoes). I'll leave the $700 strappy ones to the 18-ear-old former model playing a research scientist who does field work in a bikini, and other similarly believable characters.