Saturday, March 16, 2013

Easter Shoes

Easter Shoes
Although The Songwriter is currently in the market for a new car, this does not mean the purchase of one is in anyway imminent.  At present, there is not one rolling the roads here in the states that he actually cares for.  We sit at traffic lights watching the current crop fly past, utterly disenchanted.  He says that they all look the same.  He’s right, it’s quite a homogenized bunch.  For me, the woefully uninspired choices in colour  are the most frustrating.  Silver, silver, champagne, white.  Occasionally a red one floats by, but then we’re back to silver, silver, champagne, white.  One might as well be colour blind, my pistachio green Fiat notwithstanding.  

Colour works a particular sort of magic in my soul,  perhaps because I’ve always been one who thinks in pictures.  There’s a wonderful quirk of brain chemistry called synesthesia in which humans tend to involuntarily assign colour to numbers and, while I don’t consider myself one who is afflicted/blessed with this condition, I must admit the number five has always been as yellow as an egg yolk to me.  More than scent, more than sound, colour illuminates my memory as effectively as a time machine.  A special shade of brown conveys me back to the creaky wooden floors of my elementary school as I stand looking down at them in the lunchroom line.  There is also a certain shade of pink and honey that, even if I encounter it in an autumn sunset, forever speaks of Easter.

These evocative Easter colours are shyly emerging all around me at present and were obviously in my mind last week when one of my favourite bloggers, Vicki Archer, did a delightful post on white pumps which are, apparently, the shoe du jour.  Gazing at that charming white footwear, I was immediately transported back, back to a little shoe shop in my childhood.  It is the Saturday before Easter and as my mother pulls back the wooden door, a little bell signals our entrance.  We are on our annual foray to buy Easter Shoes, a tradition as aeonian as chocolate bunnies and church.  My dress is white this year and we are here to purchase white shoes to match.  The salesman is young, even to my eight year old eyes.  I stand in a little metal contraption that measures my foot, then sit as he places said foot inside a white, pointed-toe, kitten-heeled shoe.  Now let me admit right off.... I have always had long and slender (alright, skinny) feet.  Even so, I do not appreciate the laughter that ensues when this upstart of a shoe salesman sees my foot in that long white creation.
 “Wow!  Looks like she’s wearing skis!”, he roars.
  To this day, I’m slightly peeved at my mother for joining in the giggles
 and I remain a lady who steers well clear of white pumps.

Whatever our education or exalted station in life, are we all still shadowed by words spoken in childhood, words that retain their power to unconsciously provoke pavlovian responses and alter our behaviour without our concert or consent?  I fear this happens more often than we realize.  When I see a reed thin lady choosing clothes to cover non-existent thighs, I know she was a chubby child.  Whenever I’m around someone whose reticence to share their ideas borders on the fearful, I know those ideas were not cherished, were perhaps even denigrated, when they were small.  Those of us who arrive at the station of adulthood without this type of baggage should kiss the ground upon disembarking, for I believe it’s a rare thing indeed.

To be honest, I quite like my feet these days. High arched and bunion free,
 they work exceptionally well with rarely a complaint and look quite nice 
when freshly pedicured and painted. 
 My height has finally reached a point where their length makes sense.
  But still... I cannot shake my aversion to white pumps. 
 Especially at Easter.


  1. I knew white is in again, I loved white patent leather shoes once LOl
    as a child
    however now I have black patent leather dansko shoes

    I remember getting new shoes and dresses for Easter, how I wish I had a granddaughter to buy for

  2. I go for comfort in shoes, first and foremost, and our two cars are blue ice in color and metallic charcoal, so they are outside of the colors you note. Our cars are Fords. I hope your dh finds a great car.

  3. My feet are high-arched, bunion-free hobbit feet so pumps of any color are out of the question. Alas. Just can't manage to squeeze those square toes into anything pretty anymore. I smile a lot, hoping a glittering personality at one end will make up for a woeful lack of glass or ruby slippers at the other.

  4. I wonder, Pamela, whether however careful we are we have all said something during our life time which has had an effect on the way someone else feels about themselves. My teacher saying I was not pretty but had an intelligent forehead certainly coloured my life for years.
    And yet she was probably being kind in her own way. I always had a complete new outfit at Easter - it seems to have been a tradition here in the UK, particularly out in the country.

  5. You are too funny brought me right back to the pain of getting ready for Easter Sunday morning, all six of us, meant to be looking are very best. White patent leather, black patent leather...easher bonnet with ribbons curling off the back and me looking miserable. I just wanted to be me.

    My a little girl my mother explained to me that I should be happy with my nose. It was a sign of French aristocracy..the fact that it was long and crooked. WIth a name like O'Neil, I wondered where the French bit came in...turns out long ago..a very distant relation was French or so she told me. Ever since then...I hate having my photo stares right back at me like a neon light, French or not!

    Lovely to reminisce with you again.. xx

  6. Hello Pamela,

    They say childhood is what we spent the rest of our lives trying to overcome and I think "they" were right. It's so sad really, we all have something to overcome, I think.

    About the shoes, I tend to go for comfort most days, but there is the occaisional need for pretty ones, which I must admit, I have a closet full.

    Janien Marie

  7. I do so love how you turn a phrase Pamela. Nicely done.

    A great many corporate work years included the necessity of wearing beautiful high heels. However, my now middle-aged feet have been retired and are predominantly encased in sensible shoes. Rather dull, but ever so much more comfortable.

  8. Beautiful post

    I think of my pair of white patent leather flats purchased in Boston in 1960 as if they are still in my closet.

  9. I'm skipping over the feet subject to the other mode of transportation you mentioned. I am not a car buff...usually if it runs and keeps me dry, warm or cool, I'm happy.
    But I have a big crush on the Ford Flex. Somehow it takes me back to Woodies.

  10. "are we all still shadowed by words spoken in childhood" Yes, we are in so many ways!

    Easter was sunrise service, a new Easter outfit and new shoes, singing in the choir, egg hunts and a wonderful feast. It all seems so long ago!

  11. White patent shoes never happened to me...but my mother once sewed me and my two sisters light spring coats, one lavender, one pink, and one yellow. We happily tripped around town that Easter Sunday.

  12. Love these reminiscences Pamela... and your wonderful Easter tale... white shoes... seem to bring back a memory for us all... :)
    Thank you for the sweet mention... Have a wonderful weekend... xv

  13. I just don't recall ever wearing white shoes even when a child - in England it was always Clarks t-bar sandals in brown or navy - but my Mum, being a dressmaker, always sewed me beautiful Easter clothes!

    Since adult shoes became one of my biggest loves in life, I was always steered away from white or cream because of, yes, my ski sized feet! I wear a 10N - often impossible to find - most shoes stop their narrow fitting at a 9. I always tried to find shoes which made my feet look smaller - why I don't really know because I'm quite tall, 5-8, but for some reason I always felt I was stomping about in the boxes rather than the shoes themselves!!!!

    These days, at this age, and because I can, I'll wear anything I love which feels relatively comfy, but it has to be beautiful, or very different looking, to really make me feel happy!

    My favorite shoes are several years old - a bronze Italian leather Joan & David lace up Oxford with a 2" chunky heel - I hope to wear them forever! Don't get me chattering about boots - my other big love!

    Lovely story Pamela - thanks for sharing.
    Hugs - Mary

  14. I measure the passing of time in how quickly a school week flies by--and a fresh post at The House of Edward! If the saying "Time flies when you're having fun!" is true, then apparently I'm having way too much fun!

    Thanks for a delightful trip down memory lane with you and your wonderful readers. Don't think I ever had white shoes of any kind… The closest I've come is a pair of bone-colored Naturalizer "mules" with an elegant heel and slim strap around the ankle to hold them more securely to my feet. If a shoe can look like spring, they do! A 4A-width foot and a very small closet keep me from buying too many shoes. Just as well…

    We are looking for a "new" (used) car for my husband, as well. Another Subaru for our mountain lifestyle… Color? Not very important, I'm afraid. The realities of mountain living tend to dictate our choices in both shoes and cars!

  15. That made me laugh Pamela, my own feet having been compared to Olive Oyle's on more than one ocassion.

  16. I agree about the cars all looking the same and the boring colours around. We bought a second hand car recently and it is a kind of turquoise/aqua/sea greeny colour. I love it and others do too, colour matters so much to me. Some call it green and some blue even I am wavering now from blue to green. Perhaps I will post a pic on my blog and see what other folk think.
    I also had very narrow feet as a child and still do I suppose (and high arches). Just one more similarity between us. ....

  17. Pamela,

    Your post sent me right back to selecting an Easter bonnet, dress and shoes, oh those were happy days with my sisters.

    As for the white shoes, I am not a fan, never have been never will be. I have pale skin and they just do not look good. But your experience and further reflections brought me back to a place in childhood that I always think of.

    My sister was "dating" a guy and he said as I walked away, your sister has a big butt and as she walks she looks like she waddles like a duck! Can you imagine the horror at 13?

    I am now 46, and there is NEVER a time that I try something on that I do not first look in the mirror at my "big butt" and hear that voice. Sad really but the truth.

    It is amazing the power of words, and we must all be careful so that we are not the ones that inflict some pain on a person that 46 years later still hears them in their head.

    Take care and have a wonderful weekend, Elizabeth

  18. On the car issue..we usually go for the white car now (hot South temps) but my heart will always belong to our first car as a couple...124 Fiat convertible spider in French Blue!!! It put a twinkle in both our eyes.
    As for shoes, I agree with red...just click your heels...;)

  19. thank you for this! I'm the madwoman you pass in parking lots at twilight who's unable to identify her car, even thigh the lane number or other identifier is carefully noted on the back of her hand.

  20. I wore "corrective shoes' growing up, which actually means "torture devices".
    Occasionally, I was treated to a new pair of patent leather Mary Jane's for Easter, but really why so much expense for just one day? I'd agian have to be Herman Muster the next day after, and the day after that.
    BUT,each year, there was one glorious week of summer, when holiday vacation was announced, and I was fitted for a red or a blue pair of lace up Ked's to wear during!
    And Maybe sometimes after, as summer lingered long in the South and Mother grew lax in her podiatry dictum!
    New Shoes!!

  21. I agree. Many car colors (and designs) tend to be a little boring these days. It’s likely why a lot of people often dream of getting fancy sports cars in cherry red. It makes me miss those days of candy-colored muscle cars with the full bench seats. But at the same time, I’m grateful for the more fuel-efficient cars of today (even if there are too many silver ones).

  22. Great column. You sound exactly like someone I'd love to know. Keep celebrating you. The world needs a lot more people just like you. Thanks for your honesty.
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