In less than six months from now First Born will be walking down the aisle toward the love of her life. I tell you this not only because I am at the point of frequently waking up at 3 a.m. thinking about what has to get done before then (not to mention the shower a month earlier) and I want to share my angst. I am also sharing a little known secret, exposing the fact that this is a serious deadline for me.
I have to learn to walk in heels.
You should know that at one time I was fairly proficient at the heel thing. That’s not to say I sauntered around in stilettos at any time in my life, but at least I could say my feet were somewhat off the ground. These days I am an aficionado of flats like sneakers and LL Bean moccasins. Even my boots are low to the ground, which is to say that they are of the practical variety and not the cool styles I envy on the feet of others who trip by. Not literally – that would be my specialty. It is a simple fact that when it comes to stuffing my feet into anything that might threaten my balance, gravity is not my friend.
Many, many years ago I sang in a band and had to wear all sorts of fancy garb, including dressy heels. Even at the age of 19 I had a fear of falling. Not just falling down where I stood or tripping as I attempted to walk. I mean falling, as in, out of a car or off the stage. If I had ever been one of those dainty fallers I may have been fine with the occasional tilt and topple. But no, unfortunately I am completely void of all gracefulness at times like this.
Throughout parenthood I switched to comfort over fashion, and I have definitely gotten used to it. As long as my kids had cute shoes (and I wasn’t the best at noticing they even needed new footgear until at least one toe was protruding) I let them represent the well shod in our home.
Fast forward to today. Pretty soon I’m going to have to break down and go dress shopping for The Event. I’m excited about that and I plan to bring at least one cheerleader with me so I don’t talk myself out of everything I try on. But the shoes are a different story.
Considering my height (or lack of) never topped 5 foot 2 inches and is now in a slow and steady decline with age, it is almost a guarantee that whatever dress I chose will have to be hemmed. That means by the time I have an actual fitting I will need to know what my feet will agree to wear. This is where I admit to the fear that causes my heart (and bunions) to tremble.
Will the pictures or videos from our daughter’s special day be an indication that Mom should have stuck with sandals or sneakers under her ensemble? Should I warn the ushers ahead of time that two of them are required to walk me to my seat and keep me balanced so the bridesmaids don't have to step over me? Will the family photos have me stumbling into a perfectly manicured floral display or disappearing over a slight incline?
I expect nobody will notice since all eyes will be on the beautiful bride. In the meantime I will work my way up to a slight heel between now and May, temporarily giving up my flats for a slight, nonthreatening incline.
But just in case, I think I’ll slip a pair of sneakers under the reception table.