Monday, March 19, 2012


Two hours before the wedding, you are destroying, Godzilla-style, the shoe racks at Target.

How did you get here?

You are lazy.  Also, you are chronically short on time and you dislike footwear.  And stores.

And, OK, no, you didn't get around to shopping for bona fide grown-up shoes to wear with your bridesmaid's dress for your sister-in-law's wedding because, well, who wants to spend one's free afternoons cramming one's toes into money-sucking torture devices carved out of the tummies of baby cows?


You ransacked your closet six hours before leaving for Atlanta, at which time you discovered your shoes had once again failed to mate and reproduce when you weren't watching.   Lacking legitimate dress shoes, you lit upon your illegitimate shoes, the clompy Mary Janes with the comfort insoles you purchased six years ago to wear at the bedsides of hospitalized elderly people.  Your bastard shoes, leathery, strong.  Your Viking shoes, breasting the earth like boats.

At the hotel, your mother-in-law catches sight of these.  She hies you to Target where you stand, bewildered, before a pile of pumps.  She buys you three-inch heels, the only black shoes in your size.  You put them on and totter around like a carnie.  There is, it cannot be denied, a joy to failing to fall over.   Heels are a rebel yell, a barbaric, Whitmaesque yawp.

Suck it, gravity!

Two hours later your sister-in-law is getting married and your feet are threatening divorce.   You have been unfaithful to the smaller bones of your toes.  You have cuckolded your heels.  The balls of your feet broadcast their maltreatment in throbbing morse code.  The bride and groom are kissing and you are crying, probably because the ceremony is so moving, possibly because your feet are a towering inferno of pain.

It strikes you, not then but later, sometime between snuffling down the aisle and slipping those fuckers off under the table at the reception hall, that heels are not so different from weddings.   The same defiance; that brief suspension of doubt.

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