Friday, February 21, 2014

The Red Boot Incident

I may not have ruby red ice skates anymore (see my prior post about those beloved gems), but I do have a new pair of red boots to play with.  I haven't worn mid-calf height boots much, and I'm still figuring out how I'll style them.  Any ideas?!

This particular pair wasn't my first choice, but I like the button detail, and the price was right for a fun addition to my boot brigade (under $30!).  My first choice was a pair of crimson calf-leather Nicole Miller beauties with a stacked heel in candy stripes of red and white.  Believe me when I tell you they were phenomenal.  I'd have taken a picture, but what transpired when I tried them on had me slinking out of the shoe department in a hurry and with with a face redder than the boots.

I spotted them in Chicago during this year's Black Friday retail marathon (read about the annual madness here). They called to me from across the aisles, outlined in a soft halo of light much like Cybil Shepard's hair in old episodes of Moonlighting.  They were the perfect mix of high style and Hoosier Pride (the candy stripe heels).  Alas, they only had two pair, a size 7 and a size 10.  I'm typically a 7.5 or 8 and I had a feeling the 7 would be too snug.  But they were so perfect - everything I wanted in a red boot and didn't know I was looking for.  Maybe, just maybe, they would work. 

In contrast to the vast majority of modern boots on the market these days, these particular stiff leather mid-calf beauties were without zippers, laces, elastic gores  or stretch fabric to make it easier to put them on and, more importantly (MUCH more importantly), get them off.  I should have known...I should have stopped when my feet did not slide right in.  But, they were just so pretty that my subconscious mind convinced me it must just be the stiffness of brand new leather - they'd stretch on wearing, of course.  A swift tug (with both hands) on each shaft did the trick, and there I sat in these fabulous boots, thinking how great they'd look with my red Michael Kors trench coat.

...and then I stood up.  Oh, the pain.  I knew immediately the boots would not be coming home with me because no amount of stretch was going to make them bearable.  So, after a short walk to the full-length mirror to admire their tortuous beauty, I sat down to take them off.  It took a minute for the panic to set in.  But, as I curled my toes and twisted and pulled to no avail, little beads of sweat formed on my brow.  Holy crap, I could not get them off, and pulling on them hurt!

Sheepishly, I looked around for Kevin, but he doesn't share my love of shoe shopping and was nowhere to be seen (If I had to bet, I'd say he was sitting on a bench at the front of the store checking football scores on his iPhone).  I sent him the following text:  "Need you. Now. Shoes!! Help."  And I waited, and I tugged some more, and I waited.  I tried to call him.  No answer.  

About 5 minutes after my initial SOS, he sauntered over to the shoe department.  He'd assumed I just wanted his opinion ("I like the ones on the right," he usually says, without looking).  Apparently, my text did not convey the anxiety I felt as I sat helpless on a bench in the middle of the shoe department amid 25 strangers looking for Black Friday boot bargains.  He laughed, and then he pulled.  It took some serious leverage on his part to pry them off, which made me start to giggle hysterically from embarrassment. People were staring. 

And then, freedom.  My toes wiggled in relief.  But that relief was quickly replaced with incredulity when Kevin straightened himself up and declared, LOUDLY, "Geez Lady, it's kind of creepy to ask a stranger to help you take your shoes off."  And then he walked away like he'd never met me before.    

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!