Hunter has been hanging out with me for 4 days while his parents have been in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (a place I lived and attended school for 8th and 9th grade and about 2 months of 10th grade, Hi Sherri and Lorri!). Dave and Tara were doing ministry there and having a great time, like they always do when they travel.
The Hunter conversation yesterday.
Me: Be careful on that ledge, Little Prince. I don’t want you to get hurt.
Hunter: If I’m the Little Prince, what’s your name, Nonna?
Me: Well, I guess that makes me the Queen Mother.
Hunter: You’re not my mother.
O, don’t I know it.
Me: I know, but I think I am the Queen Mother, nonetheless.
Me: Be careful, Little Prince, tumbling head first over the back of that chair. I don’t want you to crack your noggin.
Hunter (to Stormie): Nonna calls me the Little Prince.
Me: Tell Stormie what you call me.
Hunter: She’s The Queen Nonna!
I find this title quite fitting.
Today, Hunter had gone upstairs and I could hear him rooting around in my closet. I have yet to find out how he scaled the heights to make his find, but he came downstairs with these:
Then this conversation.
The Little Prince: Nonna, when did you have these?
Me (laughing and somewhat embarrassed): Oh, for about 10 years.
The Little Prince: Ten years??!
The Little Prince: What are these?
Well, you know…Queen Nonna shoes.
That was supposed to be THE END of this blog post. Seriously. But then…
The little Kelley kids were on their way over and I just put the shoes on the stairs in case Guini wanted to klop about in them. Stormie was playing the piano when Guini spied the shoes, picked them up and asked, “What are these?” To which Stormie loudly and flippantly replied, “Those are Nonna’s naughty shoes.” Guini very carefully and quietly put them back down and backed away. Hahhhahahha!
What on earth? A woman cannot have slippers for her bedchamber anymore?
My friend and protege, Mary, is a shoe freak, sort of. And she is acquiring a collection. In fact, just today when we met for lunch, she was sporting a pair of hot pink satin, rounded-toe pumps. All the little girls within a 50-foot radius noticed them right away. Mary got me on the shoe topic.
I had to “give up” shoes for awhile following first, a terrible right foot break by which I can now measure the barometric pressure in the atmosphere, and then a bad left knee injury, which, after 4 torturous months of recovery, got re-injured in Maui and has been the bain of my stair-climbing existance ever since.
I recently realized I am mourning the fact that I got rid of the high-healed flip-flop-style, stone-beaded shoes I wore to Dave and Tara’s wedding in ’03, (but which were still just so stinking cute) in the garage sale in June. And I mourn all the Candie’s slides I have ever owned and lost. And I weep that, unlike the days of my youth, the shoe heel just can’t be sky-high anymore. And while some people seemingly wished I would fall and break my neck back in the day when they could, I had, after all, been practicing since my toddler days, often walking around for hours on tip-toe to “pretend” high-heels, so, I mean, I rather excelled in that area.
Ah, shoes. I once had a collection!
At my age, comfort must come in to play.
Sad, really. But there are shoes that are both comfortable and cute, I was forced to find.
Case in point: the hippie flip-flops my friend Amy Jo made for me last summer. They are orange, for crying out loud. How wonderful is that? And really? The flip-flop is truly the first shoe I remember (I wrote an ode to them last summer), though when I had my first pair at the age of four, sort of a faded brick-red color (is that true or just because everything in early 1960s memory is sort of muted and washed out in photos?), they were called “thongs.” How times (and words) have changed and how I loved those shoes. I think my knees were perpetually scraped up because I couldn’t help looking at them admiringly as I’d run around the neighborhood. And I thank Amy Jo for these soft, fuzzy ones.
And there are the beloved, very cute, super-comfy-but-you-can’t-tell-that-by-looking-necessarily black and white shoes I got from Kohl’s last summer for Heaven Fest for only $12! They are made on a base of that dense foam like a baby’s Bumbo chair (btw, amazingingly wonderful seats for babies!). It is like wearing shock absorbers (which I apparenty need because Dave says I walk everywhere like I am going to a house on fire), but ever-so-stylishly.
However, I can’t get the stripes of the foam clean and pristine after 2 summers’ use. So, they may have to be retired. And this is a sad thought to ponder. I may not be able to let them go.
And I cannot show favor to other cute and comfy shoes without giving at least an honorable mention to these low-heeled slides and thanking the Candies people for considering middle-aged women who fondly remember their youth and Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Thank-you, Candies shoe people, from the bottom of my heart!
I can dream again, can’t I?
Stormie got these Forever 21 shoes in the most retro-70s color and naturally I am in love with them, but can only wear them around the house, and not very gracefully, I am sad to say. I mean, how fabulous are these??!
So I cheer on my younger counterparts: my daughters and Mary and Stefanie and my little sister, Tami, and other shoe-stars. My advice: The flat-shoe craze will never fill your heart with joy as you look back over your shoe life, so go ahead and wear the shoe with pizzazz because shoe-beauty can cover a multitude of pain. Be careful running through the woods in platforms and up and down ladders with heavy boxes. Save your feet for the perfect shoe! For, while I thank the earth-loving Boulder-types for telling me I look “cool” in my Danskos, and I do love how much further and more energetically I can get around in them, I can also admit, they are truly hideous looking. And not my inner-shoe style. They are just… necessary some days. *sigh…
what an ugly, ugly shoe…
Have platforms will travel (happily)…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Rebuild the ruins of the once-glorious shoe collection.
Thank-you Stormie and Jovan for helping me share shoe love. And thank-you, Mary, for getting me thinking about it.