Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shoeless in Manhattan



I just looked at myself in the mirror, and it wasn't pretty. I look worn out. Of course it's 6:30 in the morning, and the mirror was in a public restroom at Newark airport, and that's probably not the best circumstances for anyone. Also, between pony club festival, getting knocked out, and this whirlwind trip to Manhattan, I've got reason to be tired. But mostly I blame my shoes.

I wanted to look spiffy on this New York trip. I told my daughter that I did not want to look like a hillbilly who drooled tobacco juice down her t shirt. Rather, I wanted to look professional.

My daughter pointed out that, technically, hookers were professionals. But I digress.

Anyway, for my important New York City meetings I packed a little black dress and a nice pair of heels. For my meetings on the second day I packed some nice black wool dress pants, hemmed to be worn with heels, and a chic crisp blouse. Then at the last minute I threw in another dress, a lightweight summer thing that doesn't wrinkle no matter what you do to it. I didn't bring much else, determined as I was to travel light.

And then-here's where things got stupid- because I was worried about flight delays, I wore my little black dress and heels onto the plane. This didn't seem stupid until I had to travel the length of Atlanta's airport-gates D42 to A5--in 20 minutes in order to catch my connecting flight. That's when I realized, with increasing horror, that my black heels were the only pair of shoes I had with me. High heels or nothing.

I am a walking kind of girl, and New York is a walking kind of town, but I pretty much reserve high heels for weddings, funerals, and Easter and Christmas Mass. I wear them 1.6 days out of the year, and then only for the shortest possible part of the day.

Nonetheless, I soldiered on. I checked into my hipster funky hotel, washed my face, and saw I had an hour until my first (lunch) meeting. I hit the streets. SoHo is a people-watching paradise. Unfortunately I get so busy watching people that I forget to watch pavement. You've never seen a person trip as many times as I can. In my high heels.

By lunchtime I was already miserable. I thought ruefully of the last time I'd been in Manhattan on business-a long time ago, maybe 10 years-I'd worn heels all the first day and woken up on the second to find skinny long blisters on the tops of every one of my toes. Apparently I'm a slow learner.

Jess, my editor, is not. After lunch we'd gotten only halfway to the Dial offices when she said, "Kim, you can't keep going in those shoes." She stopped at a Duane Reade pharmacy, and we rifled through a shopping cart of soon-to-be-discarded flip flops. I bought a nifty beaded pair for $9.

By the end of the second day, the flip flops had gotten pretty uncomfortable too. Which is one of the reasons I look so haggard here in the airport. At least on the plane I can take off my shoes.