Sunday, July 31, 2011

Homecoming Wingtips

A new series.  It will bore some – *yawn* shoes, and they aren’t even sneakers *double yawn*.  But, there’s at least two people who will enjoy; thank you Pretty Little Munchkinhead and Renzephyr.  And I feel like writing about shoes.  This first post is also a bit of an obituary.

Growing up, Mommy did a very good job of keeping us practical, sensible, frugal.  (Little did I know she was even repressing her own desire for cute, fun shoes.  The things you learn when you grow up…)  We generally had about 4 pairs of shoes, give or take.  A pair of white dress shoes for summer, a pair of black dress shoes for winter, maybe a pair of brown dress shoes, too, and a pair of white canvas shoes for everyday wear.  Sometimes we had other types of tennis shoes; sometimes we had some dress sandals or some jelly shoes.  But, those were the basics.*

Then came high school, and everything changed.  Sophomore year homecoming, my first big dance.  I didn’t go freshman year.  A boy I didn’t like asked me to go with him.  Not wanting to go with him, but not wanting to hurt his feelings, I told him I wasn’t going.  A group of friends asked me to go with them, I told them I wasn’t going, too.  I wanted to go with them, but I had to stick to my story.  Mommy tried to convince me otherwise, but I was stubborn in Aurelia homecoming 1996my refusal to everyone.  Sophomore year, I just had to go.

My dress a beautiful silver, shiny here, dull there, an ever-changing pattern of texture as I moved.  Of course Mommy made my dress.  A pattern of hers from the 70s.  I should have listened to her when she said to just cut off the extra length and make a smaller hem.  Now, when I see the dress, the large hem looks like an odd seam on the thin fabric.  At the time, it didn’t bother me at all.   I loved my dress.

I had a beautiful dress; I just needed beautiful shoes to go with it.  Off Mommy and I headed to the mall, and there, at a store called Bakers, we found those beautiful shoes.  So, so many beautiful shoes at Bakers.  It would soon become a favorite store of mine.

The shoes we picked out were black wingtips, a retro style on a 3” stacked heel.  Big and clunky, but big and clunky was the thing.  (Thank you, Spice Girls.)  We pulled out the thick black laces and replaced them with silver laces made from dress scraps.  Platforms for a 1970s pattern; that worked pretty well.

Those shoes then became my everyday school shoes for the rest of the year.  We put the black laces back in.  I remember sitting in Kuj’s trig class coloring in the dots on the wingtip detail with my silver gel pen.  And after that wore off, with my copper gel pen. Both colors looked good on the black shoes in ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦

The shoes, in better days.

By the end of high school, the heels were so worn down that there was a 1.5” difference between the inside and outside of the heel on the back.  in college, I found a good cobbler who was able to completely rebuild the heels and I got several more years out of those shoes.  Many years in fact.  It wasn’t until just a few months ago, 15 years after Mommy bought them, that they finally left my closet.

The heels were starting to feel wobbly; the stitching was coming out the sides.  I had other black shoes with stacked 3” heels that served the same outfits and were in better shape.  They weren’t completely done, but they had gotten to dress-up-box-only state.  So off they went to Goodwill.

black wingtips (2)

I got a lot of good use out those shoes. :)


*Of course, this isn’t counting the heaps of twirling, parade, ballet and gymnastics shoes that could be found in strewn around the house in random places.  But those don’t count.


Anonymous said...

I can't beleive you still had those shoes! Plus, as an aside, I didn't think they particularly went with the dress style - but who was I to thwart my children's style sense!

goldenrail said...

Mommy, we need to get you some way to log-in here ;)

Eh, they went well enough. Now, there's some other pictures I've found lately where I've thought, "how did Mommy let me leave the house like that?!"