Sometimes I wear heels. I do this to feel more like a lady. I really don’t need to prove that I am a lady because I have the essential physical features to prove myself worthy of this sex status; however, I often don’t feel excessively feminine. It is a rare occasion on which I decide to coat my eyelashes, dab color on the lids, and smear red across my lips. I just can’t commit to that kind of routine every morning. I think I’m lazy more than anything because I wonder if make up application wouldn’t be so terrible if I wasn’t required to take it off later. I already maintain a rigid brushing and flossing routine before bed which takes about ten minutes, and I really can’t afford to waste anymore time before crawling under my covers and shutting my eyes. My bare and unpowdered eyes.
That’s why I choose heels to enhance my femininity on special occasions or occasions that aren’t special but I have deemed special because I feel like it. No extra effort need be exerted because either way I will be wearing shoes, heels or no heels, to walk outside. And either way I will collapse onto the floor after shoving my front door open and tear off my shoes, heels or no heels.
Intrinsically, it all seems simple. Yet, there is a definite reason why I often don’t wear heels. They hurt. I can conquer a couple blocks with victorious and feminine strides before I wonder why the hell am I wearing these death traps. My feet are wondering, why the heel am I wearing these death traps? Caught in the act and pressed for answers.
It’s all silly really. I’m pretending to be taller. I believe that everyone who ever wore extra inches really has no other reason or excuse. They can’t be more comfortable than a pair of flat shoes. You can’t run faster, jump higher, sing louder, or love harder in high heels. So we walk in back tightening strides to prove that we are taller and thus beautiful. Right?
Yet, I wonder if the street crossing women I see wearing extra inches and linking arms with flat shoed men while pinching their toes enjoy the sensation of it all. During brisk seasons it looks ten times as painful as their toes are both pinched and freezing to the point of numbness. It almost mimicks a daring act of bravery as they smile and laugh alongside other women with extra inches and men with flat feet.
I wonder, why me? What is this deep longing inside of me associated with heels? My mother never wore heels. Yet, she smiled and laughed as she strolled past the cars waiting for her to cross the street. There are a lot of things a lady does that I never saw her do. She didn’t paint her face with make up. She, for most of the years I knew her, did not have hair to curl and primp. She didn’t buy expensive clothes and fancy perfumes. Yet, still I have reached for these things as a means to understand what it is to be a woman. I wonder, did she have time to teach me? I had time to notice, but was that enough? I notice the birds but I do not know how to fly. I notice the trees but I still have not always succeeded in branching out. I notice the flames yet often still feel cold. Perhaps if I was taught, I would know how to embody all of these things.
Perhaps I was not taught how to be a woman, and thus, I am scrambling and reaching for all the things that are readily slipping through my fingers. Left with the small ache inside my chest, reminding me that I am missing something. I am missing someone.