I wanted high heels at a very young age. No matter how much I begged and pleaded, I wasn't ever allowed to have any high heels. Most of the time, the story was that they didn't make high heel shoes small enough to fit my feet. For a long time, that was actually true. Then my mother made a friend who had large knots on the sides of her feet. When my mother asked where they came from, she explained that it was from wearing high heels all the time. Apparently the human body wasn't made to walk on 4 and 5 inch stilts, balancing all weight on the toes.
Mom refused to get me any high heels, even once my feet were finally big enough to find my size. I had never even had any on my feet. Oh, how I longed to be like the other girls in school, wearing high heels with dresses, looking pretty and girly, feeling feminine and dainty. Instead, my dress shoes were what mom called Saddle Oxfords. They were horrible. I'd been wearing the same type and style of shoe with all of my dresses for years. For once, I wanted a pair of dress shoes I didn't have to tie.
Jodie's Mom had a closet FULL of beautiful high heeled shoes. She had every color, shape and size you could imagine. She had tall ones, short ones, ones of solid colors I hadn't ever seen, ones with pictures and paterns on them. She had shoes that looked like they were 200 years old and some that were still in boxes with tissue paper. I loved her shoes. I could stand for hours in her shoe closet and just look at all the colors and shapes and paterns on them. The only problem was that we weren't aloud into her room. If she had ever caught us in there, both of our hides would have been skinned and tanned.
Jodie's Mom finally gave her some of her older high heels. When that started to happen, it became an avalanche of shoes. Jodie had more shoes than she knew what to do with! It turned out that her mother and I (when I was 12 years old) had the same size feet! Jodie had one pair of black high heels that were just a little too small for her. When she had me try them on, they fit like a glove. It was a tight glove, but I could squeeze my feet into them.
They were a patent leather sleek black with only a few scuff marks on the toes. I tried to walk through Jodie's room wearing them and tromped about like an elephant. I stumbled and fell over, rubbing the sides of the shoes together and creating a dragging feeling from inside the shoes. Terrified I had damaged them somehow, I sat quickly on the bed and pulled them off of my feet. I looked closely at them to inspect the damage. Thankfully, there wasn't any.
At the end of the day, Jodie told me that she wanted me to have those shoes. I couldn't believe my ears! It was the best gift any friend had ever given to me! Jodie was practically a sister to me before that, but I certainly loved her all the more afterward. I had wanted high heel shoes for so long, and my 'sister' was the one to give them to me.
I hid them in my closet and only wore them when my parents weren't home. I wouldn't have been allowed to wear them to school in the 6th grade anyway. It wasn't appropriate. Besides, surely my parents would see them and then I'd be in big trouble. I wasn't supposed to have them, and I didn't want Jodie to get in any trouble for it either. So instead, I hid my secret treasure carefully and pulled them out every day, even if only for mere seconds.
One day I came home from school and found my mom in my room.
"Manda, where did these come from," she held up my treasure by the toes.
"I found them" I lied, not wanting to get Jodie in trouble.
"Tell me the truth," she said, obviously very angry at me. "Don't you lie to me."
"I'm not," I protested loudly. I knew I was in trouble, but I wasn't going to drag my 'sister' down with me! Jodie was supposed to come over to dinner that night. If I told on her, she wouldn't be able to come over!
"Manda, I'm going to count to ten." All kids know that threat. These days it often means a time out, but back when I was a kid it often meant a belt across the back side. Still I held my ground.
It wasn't until the second swing that I spilled my guts. I told everything - including how we used to go into Jodie's Mom's room together just to look at the shoes. We wouldn't touch anything, we just wanted to look - but we knew we weren't supposed to be in there anyway. Jodie was the one who had given me the shoes, I wailed.
Mom called Jodie's mom right away and she came over to the house. Pretty much everything I had told my mother had been forgotten except for where I said the shoes came from in the first place.
"Beth," she said to my mother, "those are a pair of shoes I gave to Jodie. She said they were too tight on her feet. If she gave them to Amanda, then they were hers to give. It's ok, she can have them."
My mother gaped. She thanked Jodie's mom and my savior left.
"Well," my mother said, "you still can't keep them. I'll put them in my closet for now and you can have them in a few years. You're too young for high heels." Devastated, I sulked for days. Now what was I going to practice walking in high heels with?
Years later, yes my feet had grown too big for those glorious shoes Jodie had given to me, and an event came up where I needed high heel shoes. Well, perhaps I didn't NEED them, but I certainly wanted them. It was a school dance.
My mother dug around in her closet and finally came out with a pair of high heels she had when I was just a baby she said. They had a respectable 3 inch heel on them, were solid black, and had stylish little brass studs on the toes. I thought they were the most beautiful things I'd ever seen.
"They're real leather, Manda. You have to take good care of them."
"I will, I promise!!"
I wore those shoes to the school dance and felt like a princess. I was 15 years old then and it was the first time I had ever worn heels outside of the house. Alive with confidence, I had a wonderful time at that dance. I kept those shoes for years, and for all the time I had them, they were my absolute most favorite shoes. They were my first high heels.