This I Believe

Anu - Belmont, Massachusetts
Entered on January 29, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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My Shoes And I

As I walk though the financial district in Boston, holding my head high and at level with the average person walking through the streets, I smile confidently at others like me who are balancing their coffee cups while speaking into their blackberrys. I watch my reflection in the glass of the fiduciary building – I especially like my legs in expensive stockings and height boosting, pointy toed shoes.

If only my wide width feet had a voice they would scream bloody murder every time I thrust them unceremoniously into high heeled shoes. Like potatoes stuffed into an extra small bag, my toes are constantly searching for space within the shoes but unfortunately professional looking shoes don’t offer that luxury. And I cannot help my feet because in order to be seen and heard and not trampled over, I have to wear extra high heels. They gave me immense pain but they also give me tremendous confidence. In those heels I am able to speak my mind in front of the Ivy League schooled male investment bankers. Being able to speak to them as opposed to speak up to them makes a huge difference – people listen to you, respect you and nod approvingly at your hypotheses. But when you present the same ideas from down below, your voice is low, you have a crick in your neck and they have a back ache trying to bend low so they can hear you.

When I first started wearing heels, I would take them off periodically and give my feet a chance to uncoil under my desk but when my boss walked in unannounced one day, the brief periods of relief had to be eliminated.

After a long day at work I walk towards the T-Station, almost limping but keeping my eyes focused on the horizon. I promise my feet it is only a few more steps. By the evening the back of my ankles look like a war zone – all red and angry but I know it is nothing that a little walk in sneakers won’t heal. I take my seat in the T, happy with the knowledge that I had a good day at work, and made some good comments in the conference room. “Thank you”, I say silently to my shoes. At $90 a pair and another $85/week for the massage I need to fix the damage to my back, they are well worth it. This I believe.