The Los Angeles Shoe Diaries: High on Heels
Sometimes all it takes is the right pair of shoes to stomp out your insecurities.
(Photo by Francesca Ayala)
After a flu-induced, four-day quarantine to the small confines of my Los Feliz apartment, the much-anticipated weekend had landed. I was fed up with dragging my feet around my studio in a ratty pair of flip-flops. I decided that nighttiming in a pair of my tallest dancing shoes was in order and on that Friday evening, I dusted off my Aldo heels.
I encountered the five-inch, electric indigo patent Mary Janes during a trip to San Francisco in 2007. I purchased the pair immediately after trying them on.
At the risk of sounding corny, I am a firm believer in the fact that the right pair of heels can make magic happen - more so than any little black dress or the right concealer. Transitioning from flats and sneakers to high heels is a right of passage for every girl. Once we stumble through the awkward stages of learning to walk at such great heights, there is a sense of accomplishment that shows in our strut from that point onwards. We feel empowered and ready to stomp our stilettos on all our insecurities.
Many girls call me silly, frivolous, or flat out stupid to say such things about high heels. I assure them that they just haven't found the right pair.
I knew my Aldos were special from the moment I slipped them on my feet. Wearing them made me transition from girl to glamazon, wallflower to Wonder Woman. I felt totally unstoppable when I wore them. And like any great pair of super high heels, they only hurt the first time.
It was my friend Jenn's 24th birthday that was the occasion that prompted me to dust off my beloved dancing shoes. I could not remember the last time I wore them and decided that Jenn's party demanded a comeback. So with The Sounds blaring in the background, I got ready and threw on some leggings and a tiered jersey top recently purchased from Urban Outfitters.
I had originally decided on a pair of flats to complement the ensemble until I realized that I looked like the fat kid who got picked on in ballet class. Mortified, I resolved to salvage the outfit with my Aldos. The results? A way better look and a much-needed boost in confidence.
Our first stop that night was at the Falcon in Hollywood. It was still early in the evening when I realized we were a group of all girls in a bar that hadn't filled up yet. The potential trouble that such a situation could evoke manifested when a group of three guys cornered me and my friend, Neila, at the bar. They were dressed in oversized collared shirts and baggy jeans and sported slicked-back hair. I felt incredibly uncomfortable, surrounded by a bunch of burly dudes who didn't understand the concept of personal space and wore way too much cologne. Neila shot me a look, pleading "Help me!" with her eyes as bachelor number one made a pass at her with an overplayed pick up line.
"So," he asked her, "Do you live around here?"
Normally, I would have twiddled my thumbs and fumbled for an excuse to pull my friend away, or I would have enlisted a male friend to perform the obligatory c**k block for me. However, none of our guy friends had arrived yet. Refusing to play damsel in distress, I decided it was time to man up in my Aldo heels. Why wait for someone else to rescue us? I was five inches taller and that was enough to make me feel fifty times braver.
"I live in South L.A.," Neila replied, but before she could continue I cut her off.
"Yeah, she lives with her boyfriend," I added, raising my voice over the booming ambient music.
Bachelor number one took the hint and ceased fire. Bachelor number two then took his shot, this time, at me.
"I'm a club promoter, you know," he told me.
"I'm very happy for you," I replied.
In my defense, he did seem pretty pleased with himself until I shot him down.
I pulled Neila away and we rejoined our girl friends. At this point, we all decided that we had reached our quota of sleazy guy encounters for the evening and it was best to relocate. We moved to another bar, met up with more friends, commandeered the jukebox and danced the night away.
I came home the next morning in my magical Aldos.
Even after I took them off, I still felt much taller.