Thursday, February 27, 2014

SHOES



My mom had small feet. She wore pretty shoes. Her feet hurt a lot. She talked about "corns." She talked about high heels being bad for one's feet. She started going to a podiatrist every two weeks or so.

One day, there she was, wearing black shoes -- ugly black shoes with black shoe laces, and black low heels. They changed the way she looked. They were "old lady" shoes.

"How do I look?" Mom asked.

"Oh you look fine, Mom," I lied.

I have lots of high-heeled shoes that I used to wear, don't wear anymore.  I never wear high- heels unless we've got a limousine waiting downstairs. I wear flats, or sandals, or sneakers.

John Cullum, my husband, did a performance of "THE VISIT," a John Kander-Fred Ebb musical based on Fredrich Durrenmatt's play. The musical was performed, one night only, in a large Broadway theater as a benefit for the Vineyard theater. It was a full cast, orchestra and John, co-starring with Chita Rivera.

The plot -- a wealthy woman, (Chita), returns to her hometown and offers its residents a new lease on life in exchange for the murder of Anton, (John), the man who scorned her years ago.

 I sat with John Kander in the back of the theater during rehearsal, chatting with him as the climax was rehearsed. On the stage, a young person entered in a pair of yellow shoes. Gradually, more townspeople appeared in yellow shoes. This "Yellow Shoes" number, becomes a powerful idea -- a symbol of young people wanting to overthrow the old-fashioned ways of the older townspeople.

"Pure genius," I thought, when finally everyone in the town -- everyone in the cast was wearing yellow shoes, except Anton, (John). Surrounding him, the yellow-shoed people kill him. It was a riveting, horrifying scene on the stage.

I was wearing my black sneakers. I wear them nowadays even when I go to the theater -- they look okay t with my black pants and lovely black silk blouse.  (Sure, they're black shoes, but they're not "health" shoes like Mom wore. I remember hers cost $80. Back then, it was a huge amount to pay for corrective shoes.) 


Here's a picture of my sneakers.  Hell, forget the price! My Rebok sneakers cost as much as health shoes used to cost, and nowadays health shoes cost hundreds of dollars.

Oh my God ...
I AM WEARING OLD LADY SHOES EVERY DAY.  

Oh my God, in a world where women of every age-size-shape-type are wearing high and higher heels -- spikes, 8 inches, 10, even more -- I couldn't walk in them, couldn't shop, can't even sit if I wear them -- I can't wear them, won't wear them -- I refuse to let what's in style kill what's left of my youthful spirit.

Hey Mom, your shoes kept you going! Hey Kander, to hell with the yellow shoe-younger generation taking over the world! I love my black sneakers.

I'm comfy-happy-wearing 'em right now as I write this.
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