Those shoes

In answer to another of Josie’s excellent blog prompts at her Writing Workshop at Sleep is for the Weak, here is my answer to “Find a picture of a shoe that best sums up your personality” (of course, I’m late and the workshop is over – maybe I should have put up a running shoe since all I seem to do is run from one thing to another?!).

So here is my wedding shoe. Look at this shoe – shiny, glittery, impractical and glamorous. Just like me. Then. Look at that ankle – slim and waxed. Look at those toes – trimmed, manicured, and painted. Look at that heel – soft.

And even though I no longer have those ankles, those toes, those heels, I do have those shoes. And that makes up for a lot. The ankles may have thickened and be less poised due to permanent flat-shoe-pram-pushing action; the toes may be chipped, unclipped and hairy; the heels may be hardened from carrying two toddlers, 14 bags, an assortment of nappies, half eaten apples, 11 mini boxes of raisons, spare pants (Daisy’s not mine I hasten to add) and a small bottle of bubbles for what seems like 12 hours a day, I still have the shoes, which still gleam and shine and glitz. They are still impractical but I love them. Occasionally when I carry another load of washing up the stairs I stop, pick up the dusty box, lift the lid and gentle pull apart the tissue paper, the sparkle lighting up my face like a treasure trove of gold. They are my Gina shoes. I’m allowed to be proud, since they are the only pair of shoes I am ever likely to own that have their unique brand name….. unlike all my others from M&S and Next that share their name with a shop that also sells, pants, socks, thermal underwear and those fuzzy nightdresses that very very old ladies wear.

They nearly cost more than my dress but I threw caution (and Euro) to the wind as if I knew they would be my last act of irresponsible, decadent frivolity. And although now I can barely walk the length of the kitchen in them, they danced for me for five hours on my wedding day.

And although now it is my girls that bring me my daily dose of sparkle, every so often I run upstairs to slip into something more uncomfortable and wear them to dinner with my husband… they raise me up, and not just with their 6 inch heel. And so to use that old wedding wisdom, when I wear these shoes…. From the past I borrow, and cannot feel blue, because when I feel old, they make me feel new.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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4 Responses to Those shoes

  1. Kelly says:

    I love this post, Alana. Well said.


  2. Beautiful! Your wedding shoes are gorgeous – as are you, hairy toes or not 😉 xx


  3. Those shoes are fabulous, and worth every penny by the sound of things! What a lovely post.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I just saw you being interviewed on TV3. It was very good and I thought it was very brave of you to say that you are now 95% looking after other people's needs (none too politically correct)


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