|My Favorite Moccasins|
I've never quite understood this footwear fetish some women have. It's a relatively new phenomenon, I think. Oh, styles of women's shoes have come and gone forever, but I don't ever remember hearing about footwear obsessions before 1986, when Imelda Marcos, on fleeing the Philippino Presidential Palace during their revolution, was found to have left behind something like 2700 pairs of shoes. Sort of like Marie Antoinette, except the message here was "They can't afford platforms? Let 'em wear pumps."
After that, all of a sudden, you couldn't have a female character on TV or in movies and novels, who didn't salivate at the thought of a new pair of shoes. The characters eventually seemed to morph into a stereotype with the message: If a women doesn't crave shoe shopping, or wear outlandishly high heels (even when chasing down criminals or lounging around her house), she isn't a real woman. Or at least, not a sexy, desirable one. I'm not dissing my friends who like shoes, but I'm kind of fed up with the stereotype. We've all admitted that Barbie's body measurements are a dangerously unattainable goal for our daughters to strive for, but we've never really let go of those oddly misshapen plastic feet of hers.
Okay, maybe this is no more than the grouse of an old fogey. My formative years were spent back when barefootedness was the summer norm for every young person, and when "in" foot coverings included earth shoes, desert boots and flat leather sandals that molded perfectly to your sole. My favorite shoes now are
slippers. Maybe I'm not sexy and desirable, but my feet totally love me and I'll stay faithful to them.
Not romantic, you say? I disagree. Here's the first draft of a poem by none other than Lord Byron. (He changed it slightly before publication, to read "She walks in beauty like the night....")
She walks in booties late at night,
In soleless shoes that have no ties;
All comfy warm and not too tight
Due to the slightly larger size;
Thus mellow'd more than in daylight
When dressy heels do agonize.
Upon those feet, and under go,
So soft, so warm, so excellent;
She smiles as she sips her cocoa,
Forgetting hours of groaning spent,
Her toes all crushed in stiletto--
In booties now, she's so content.