Election Day Shoes


Last night I was thinking about shoes.  I know what you’re thinking:  you should have been thinking about the election.  Well, I was doing that, too.  But as you can see from the sketch above, while on the train I was attempting in words to come up with a blog post…the words got scribbled out and I reverted to drawing to try to figure out what I was going to say today.

It’s true–if you can read the crossed out words above–I was at a gathering of women last night. I don’t usually do things like that, but was invited and the event sounded interesting. It was in Manhattan on 15th Street and Fifth avenue.  When I am invited to such things, I try to discern what the crowd will be like so to know what to wear.  Yes, I dress according to how I think I should in order to fit in. I thought, 15th Street is not real fancy, although it could be, a penthouse apartment, and the woman’s name sounded wealthy (whatever that means). It was stated as a “casual” event.  A very confusing cluster of information.  So I opted for black pants, black top (for those of you who know me, this is not a departure from the usual) and a earth tone jacket. Earings (this is a departure for me).  And, as a nod to the potential fashion level I sensed knowing what little I did about who the crowd was going to be : high heels.

It is not an easy decision for me to wear heels. I brought them with me, because I knew I do not want to spend the day in them, walking around the city. At various times during the day, I watch women’s feet to see who is wearing heels as they navigate the city.  I wonder who they are, how they do it. I scold myself for even thinking about such things, and also scold myself for thinking I should wear heels. Back in my early days in the city, I wore only flats, and I even wore Earth Shoes (remember those?) to fancy events….my little rebellion. So you see, I have a history of thinking all heels are a symbol of something.

When the hour of the party arrived, I scoped out where the building was, and found a corner of the street to slip off my flats and put on the heels. While doing so, I wonder to myself if others are watching me knowingly, or whether they are watching me laughing. Or if anyone is watching me and I am being extremely self-absorbed.

I can walk in heels, I’ve gotten fairly good at it. These are not spiked heels, mind you, those would be a challenge for me. At the party, over time, I scanned the shoes in the room and found–surprise, surprise–a mixture of types of shoes.  Some very fashionable high heeled boots, traditional heels, very high heels, spiked pumps, flats, converse. Shoes have gotten wild these days. I find it fun to see the variety.

So it turned out I could have worn any type of footwear and felt like I fit in.  I wonder how many people were looking at feet like I was. And I wonder if Nancy Pelosi is thinking about shoes today.

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About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men, http://www.narrativemagazine.com/store/book/women-men
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