© 2007, Wanda L. Harrell
For as long as I can remember, I’ve liked pretty shoes, particularly red. It may have been that my attraction to red shoes began when I watched Dorothy click the heels of her ruby-red slippers in The Wizard of Oz, but about that I’m not certain. No matter when it happened or how it happened, the passion never waned even though I never had a pair throughout my teens, twenties or thirties. However, my love for red shoes was handed down to my daughter. When she was in high school, I bought her a pair of cherry-red patent flats. I thought they were the prettiest shoes I’d ever seen to that point. My daughter agreed and wore them out, literally.
Years passed, and when out shopping, I couldn’t restrain myself from looking. Whenever I found myself in a department store or shoe store, I had to check to see if they had some red shoes, and if so, were they pretty? Never waning in my desire for a pair, but thinking them too impractical for a grown woman with children, they were on my list of wants, but not needs. After all, just how many things could a grown, married woman with three children wear with a pair of red heels?
Shortly after my 40th birthday, a not so happy occurrence transpired that prompted me to lay aside my worries and sensible viewpoint. At that time, after 15 years of marriage, my husband and I separated. For the first time in many, many years, I actually had time to think about Wanda, her needs and just plain old wants. One day while out shopping by myself, I discovered the most beautiful red leather pumps. They were exquisite. Lined in black leather, the shoes were just the right shade of red, not too orangey and not too dark. And the heels weren’t too high or too low: they were three inches of perfection. But best of all, these ruby-red jewels were on sale for 50% off. I couldn’t get my checkbook out fast enough, and soon as that was done, I rushed home with my long desired treasure in a cardboard shoebox.
I was so anxious to get inside the house. I fumbled with the keys, but finally got the front door unlocked. Then, I went into the living room, and sat down in my little Queen Anne chair to ceremoniously place them on my feet. I felt like a queen. I had deliriously happy feet that allowed me to walk with an air of confidence. Actually, it was more than that. Strange as it may seem, the shoes seemed to emit an assurance that coursed through my entire being.
Because I couldn’t take my eyes of my beautiful new shoes, it is nothing less than a miracle that I didn’t run into a wall or door. As I walked from room to room, with my head down and eyes fixed on my shoes, I reveled in their beauty. Then, I went to the closet to find something to wear with my beautiful new shoes. My smile turned to a frown, for just a moment, when I didn’t see anything appealing in my closet. But, my joy from my purchase was so great, the frown didn’t last.
Later that week, my daughter came over for a shopping trip to the mall. She was looking for something in particular, but whatever it was took a back seat to what I found. This time the item was a whopping 75% off, and the only one on the rack. It was a dressy jacket that, when worn with a black skirt, dress slacks or dress, would incorporate my red shoes into my limited wardrobe. The design had the perfect shade of red running through a small black and white plaid.
I wore my ruby red shoes for years, but had to give them up when I injured my Sciatic nerve. My heart was broken. However, I continued to wear the jacket, as did my daughter. From time to time, I still pull it out of the closet to wear with a black dress or slacks, and every single time, without fail, I recall the amazing red shoes that had delighted me and made my feet very happy.