You know you’re old when you look at a season-defining shoe on the catwalk — a beautiful pearlescent peep-toe shoe-boot-hybrid, say, cut as low on the ankle as is possible to still classify it as a boot, or at least a bootlet, and iced with a double strap just above, all this suspended elegantly above a skinny stiletto heels that elongates the leg and makes women look like a stick insect-y alien from Planet Chic, a shoe comme ça created by Louboutin for the Mary Katrantzou S/S’13 runway — and you think: “Well that’s very nice but it looks like it hurts.”
And then you schlumpf off in your Havaianas to make another cup of tea.
Only old people past their fashion prime look at a heel and think how the downward pressure on their toes might make for bunions. Young people think, “So I can’t walk in them, so they’re taxi shoes, so what? Lemme at ‘em.”
Being old is rubbish. I want to be runway shoe woman again. I want to have acne and no wrinkles instead of acne with wrinkles. I want to blow a month’s rent on a pair of impractical yellow mink Celine pumps that make me look like a duck and get people on Facebook all sweaty and indignant about animal rights. I want to… but I don’t. Because I don’t rent, I have a mortgage and it’s more important to keep the roof over our heads than to have the duck shoes these days and anyway, I couldn’t walk in the blighters, not since my toe joints have rebelled.
I suppose there must be a medical name for toe joints, but I don’t care. I only care that mine, after two 15 years of dancing till dawn in 50 buck PVC stripper shoes as well the Alaia gladiator sandals and the Miu Miu glittery boots and all that, have decided ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. As of depressingly recently, my toes joints will only tolerate a Marnie wedge for 36 minutes before they lock, and make it necessary to either de-shoe or call an ambulance. (Is de-shoe a recognised verb? It should be. Defenestrate bloody well is and that’s not half so useful. Someone call Macquarie.)
The last time I stepped out in my Georgina Goodman platforms, I had to take the sods off when I left to get my poor bruised feet down the stairs. Well, eff this, frankly. We – my poor tortured toes and I - are not amused. We do not wish to be frumpy footwear woman. We will not go gently into the Hush Puppies night.
So I have a plan: I will be barefoot eccentric woman who DOES NOT WALK BECAUSE SHE IS TOO FABULOUS.
I will only loll on sofas with a killer pedicure and a little gold table next to my tootsies on which I will perch the Louboutins like sculptures, to be enjoyed, ogled, swooned over, even if they are never to be worn. I will be like Diana Vreeland, who in her later years received people only from bed, and mostly didn’t even do that, just called up the next room on the phone and said “Look, darlings, thanks so much for coming but I don’t really feel like receiving today after all, not if I can’t get my Dior pumps on, so bugger off won’t you darlings, I am not seeing you, I am saying here. Adieu. Maybe next time.”