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Kansas writer

Debra Guiou Stufflebean

High Heels should be Worn, not displayed like Trophies

My high heels stare down at me from a shelf like old high school trophies. They represent memories, nothing more. They certainly are no longer practical for me to wear, even if they would go great with the outfit. The last two times I made that mistake, I made a fool of myself. I was convinced that I could will myself to wear them for a few hours, only to find after one hour, I was in such pain I couldn't bear it any longer. One of those times I did not wear pantyhose, another absolutely horrific relic of fashion, and so had blisters to show for it. This last time, I squeezed myself into the sausage packing, put on those gorgeous shoes; later stripping in the ladies room, and shoving the pantyhose in my purse. Embarrassed, I spent a good deal of time that evening dressed to the nines, barefooted. As I've gotten older, I've told myself that if I lost some weight, I could wear those shoes again, but weight-loss doesn't help with coordination and balance. If you must stare at your feet in fear of tripping, you're no longer capable of carrying off "the look." You know what I'm talking about . . . the fantasy where you fling your long hair over your shoulder, head held high, skirt too short, and strut those sexy legs in your high heel shoes while the theme song "Pretty Woman" plays in the background.

High heels have always been, no pun intended, my Achilles heel. Loved department stores that had them prominently displayed in windows to lure you inside. Loved glass figurines and ornaments of pearl and gem-studded high heels. High heels made me feel, oh, so feminine. Like some older women, my weight gathers at the site of my former child-bearing womb, but my legs still look pretty darn good. Unfortunately, the very things I idolize, probably have had a great deal to do with the arthritic problems in my feet. As a professional woman, I was a hold-out when it came to pants suits. I could hold my own in the male-dominated world just fine, thank you, without having to dress like one. So, my business suits ended with a nice pair of heels.  In reality, though, vanity is what is really behind those high heels. I knew back in high school when I wore those gold- glitter high heels to prom, that wound up under my chair so that I could dance and have a good time, that heels weren't very practical. Just like I know today, that keeping high heels on shelves that could be used for other purposes isn't very practical. Boxing them up and donating them to good will isn't going to be easy. Maybe I can get my high heel-fix by creating a Pinterest board. I wonder if Grandma Moses had to make these difficult decisions?

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