emma: day 1 \ shoeaday
i am in charleston, west virginia’s town center mall. it is hours before the annual bailey brother’s christmas party, read: the see and be seen holiday affair. i am home from college and needing a pair of “nice” shoes (meaning, not from gabriel brothers). i decide the most viable route is the overpriced and understocked jc penney.
i’m trying to see the possibilities in a picked-over selection of michael kors’ tacky horrors (why does he make such terrible shoes?) and a host of glitter specked stilettos that look more like the cast offs from a dethroned dancing with the stars alum than polished party attire. i have to think outside of the box. why did i decide to wear a 1940’s brown chiffon party dress the day of the party? for the first 20 years of my life, i will not be caught dead in brown. nobody puts baby in a corner. but now i’m all growns up, and i need a shoe to match.
my mother selects the brown suede nine west shoes with delicate ribbon bows. i’m appalled, the toe box is too narrow, the bows are too dainty – but what are my options? i buy the shoes. i throw on the dress, shoes and my grandmother fisher’s little fur* capelet and head out the door. rebecca and i spend the evening hugging the hors d’oeuvres and chatting with little old ladies about the best fur* sales in town. then we meet morgan spurlock; end scene.
the shoes sat in a box labeled EGGS for five years in my parent’s basement. i guess i wasn’t ready to grow up yet, just interested in playing dress up.
now when i look at these shoes, all i can see is amazing. out of a cobbled, tinsel-inspired massacre, my mom selected the shoe with the timeless toe and heel, suede – the perfect complement to a chiffon dress, with a classy ribbon detail to top it off. there used to even be a second ribbon set that you could swap out – the perfect nod to my depression-era party dress. the optimal mix of whimsical and understated. and in brown. thanks mom.
*disclaimer: before you throw red paint at the monitor, i want it to be known that, on the rare occasion that i wear fur, i only wear second hand. and i feel guilty about it. i promise i will not, today, tomorrow, or the next day, sell my soul to rachel zoe.