Espadrilles, The Silent Killer
SILENT KILLER #1
One fine morning last spring, I decided to take a shopping trip to my local DSW (Discount Shoe Warehouse) to see what was in line for the season. I found a very snappy and contagiously alluring shoe calling my name. There she was just winking at me, "Come on, Stimp, " she said, "I'll give you an experience you will never forget". I bit my lip, "I really shouldn't, but......seems innocent enough." I reasoned. I tried to ignore her taunts and calls. I couldn't do it. I sauntered over to her. She made me feel like there was no one else she'd rather be with. I looked up and down the aisles. Aisles filled with pretty colors and textures that seemed to dance in the sunlight. The sunlight which peaked through the shaded display window of the store. I didn't want to appear to anxious. I needed to stay calm.
"Fine," I uttered, "you win. You nasty little red vixen." Yes, she was. She was such a tease. I was so nervous. Would I take a size 8, 8.5 or even a 9? I didn't know. All I could do was experiment with her. I was frightened of the idea that someone might snatch her up before I had the chance to dance with her. So, I moved in quickly. Oh ya, she was cheap. But she was gorgeous. Simply stunning. Her name was "Espadrille". Red Espadrille.
I fumbled through the boxes looking for just the right size. Almost in a panic, I finally found the size 8.5. I grasped and ripped through the tissue surrounding the virgin shoe as though it were my first time in a shoe store. I clawed at the plastic shoe form she held and tossed it off to the side. "Such a fool." She must have thought. Her long red straps flowed as I pulled her from the box. The silken man-made toe seemed snug, but I knew it could be stretched by my enormously wide foot. I spread the flowing straps apart and inserted my foot into the silken toe.
I stood upon the 2 inch canvas wedge heal. The heal creaked and rocked back and forth, back and forth as I tried to steady myself on one foot, the one foot in which she occupied. "Oooooohhhhh GAAAAWWWDDD." I bit my lip. This was incredible. The most incredible feeling I'd had since my last visit to this wonderland called DSW. She was right! She did make me feel like I'd never felt before. I must possess her. But Wait!!! If she is this good, I rationalized, her BLUE sister may even be better. I'll take them both. I swiftly and quietly dismounted the shoe. Slipped her back into her box so she might rest until next time. I grabbed a box of the size 8.5 blue espadrilles, her willing sister, stuffed the boxes of the red and blue sisters into my shopping bag and headed toward the counter to be made accountable for my indiscretions.
But there was one last thing!! The thing for which I came to this wonderland called DSW in the first place. A pair of black patent leather pumps with a 3" wood-look heal. I needed this one so badly, but somehow, now I felt dirty. She was so much more sophisticated, so much more timeless. I chose not to share my experience about the Espadrilles with anyone and found my beautiful pumps on a dimly lit shelf called "Clearance". She stood all alone, not another pair like her. Tired from the fitting earlier, I wasn't so hasty this time. I examined her closely. Was she good enough for the wedding I was attending that weekend? I didn't want any awkward glances or horrified looks from other guests. She seemed to fit the bill. She was quiet and sophisticated yet seemed so much more wise. Yes, she was a timeless classic. She would escort my feet to the wedding that weekend.
I headed toward the counter. I must leave. Too many sins. Too many sins here in this place called DSW. The cashier gave me a glance, a smile, and a friendly "Hello, do you have your DSW Rewards Card?" I stuttered for a moment, "Um, ah....I don't think I have it with me." "Oh, no problem, what's your phone number? I'll just look it up in the system". The system?? They had a system for people like us. A system in which dictates that if you purchase enough in this wonderland, you are sent $25.00 DSW Reward Bucks I knew from experience that when one does receive these bucks, unexpectedly, in the mail it can make the strongest of the strong scream with glee. It was a crazy system, but I liked it. I liked it alot. I made my purchase, got my reward points, and headed toward the car.
I got home and placed all three boxes in their appropriate place in my closet, shut the light off and closed the door. No one need know about the Espadrilles and the Pumps....NO ONE!!! The next day, excited to experience Red Espadrille once again, I carefully chose an outfit that would compliment her red straps and silken man-made toe. I pulled her box from the shelf in which she laid much more confidently this time as I was in the privacy of my own home. I again slipped her onto my foot, slid the red silken ties up my calf and tied them. This was a magical moment. A moment in which we were both complete. She with her silken ties around my calf and me with an unassuming, yet matching skirt. As I twirled around the closet (it's a large closet), I mused and caught a glance in the mirror. What a beautiful pair I'd chosen....simply stunning. But I was caught! I was caught enjoying the pleasure of my beautiful Red Espadrille. It was my fiancé as he turned the corner and caught us in mid-twirl. His snide smirk and wincing eyes told me all I need to know. I stopped the twirling, snatched up my sweater and rushed past him. We bumped shoulders in the doorway. I didn't care. I had places to go.
We, Red Espadrille and I, drove to my work laughing, singing and just enjoying each others' company. When coming to a stop sign or signal light, she gently pressed and depressed the brake and gas pedals as if she knew exactly what to do. We pulled into the parking lot of my work. We were running a bit late, high from the excitement of the new day. The parking lot is quite long, about a block long actually. But I didn't care. Red Espadrille was with me all the way. As I walked through the door, people stared in disbelief at the wonderful attraction adorning my feet that day. That's right, I'd finally made it.
As I walked with my head held high toward my desk, I realized that Red Espadrille was starting to turn on me. The red silken strings that once hugged my calves were now around my ankles. She was very difficult to deal with in these instances. I was never warned what it would take to get along with her or that I needed to cinch those silken ROPES like a tourniquet or they will slouch down, leaving me with nothing more than a toe covered 2" wedged flip-flop. I will work with this issue, I reasoned.
She became more and more bitter throughout the day. Regardless of how tight the "ropes" were on my calf, the back of Red Espadrille rubbed against the grotesque knob on the back of my foot called a heal bone. My Momma always warned, "Stimp, when they get out of control, you take care of 'em". I never knew what that meant until today. But, I was not about to give up on Red Espadrille yet. We've had such a fiery relationship, I was too emotionally involved at this point. By the time I realized Red Espadrille wasn't putting 110% into the relationship, it was too late. Red Espadrille had clawed and ripped through my skin until I had a 3rd degree blister. I could almost see my Achilles tendon as her silken man-made wedge glared at me.
My fiancé, who I'd hastily brushed past earlier in the morning, sent an email asking what I was up to. Choking back the tears, I had to come clean about Red Espadrille and myself. He knew. He knew all along she'd be trouble. He tried to warn me. But No, Stimp just couldn't get past the lustful glances of her silken red man-made material. I confessed "They are killing me. I can't even make it to the cafeteria for lunch. I'm starving, I have blisters the size of Mars on my heals and I can't find anyone to go to the vending machine to fetch me some Cheez-Itz and a Diet Coke. No one!!" I desperately hoped I didn't have to rush anywhere (like the bathroom, for instance) any time soon. I kept my food and liquid consumption to a minimum.
As with any co-dependent relationship, you make excuses. You make excuses for why you are smiling when you really want to cry. Or, why you have no shoes adorning your feet as Red Espadrille sits chuckling in the corner. All I could do is sit and wonder. Wonder where I'd gone wrong. Everything was so good at first. How could it have gone this horribly wrong in such a short time. I held my head in my hands and held back the tears "How, oh how am I going to get to my car.....that parking lot is a giant. Maybe someone will give me a ride." NO! That would admit failure. I must see this through with dignity to the bitter end.
The time had come. It was time to leave this place I call work. I found the strength to fit Red Espadrille back onto my feet, and deal with her maliciousness one last time. I got up from my desk, stretching and leaning as far as I could to grab my coat. I no longer wanted to disturb her as she sat there gnashing her teeth on my skin. I "walked" from my desk, across the concrete floor of the lobby, through the first set of revolving doors, through the second set of revolving doors, and into the brightness of the sunny day. I tried not to cringe or limp. Essentially she'd brought me to my knees. I navigated from my desk to my car, which seemed now as if it were in the next county, basically sliding my feet along the black top pavement. This in an effort not to antagonize Red Espadrille into another biting attack.
I got into my car, ripped my feet from her clutches faster than she had grasped onto them earlier in the day. I endured the 45 minute rid home. There was no laughing, there was no singing. Only remorse. Remorse for our broken relationship and remorse for the other relationship I longed so much for....Blue Espadrille. This relationship which also held that certain demise. Certainly they, Red and Blue Espadrille, would share their wicked little secrets and destroy me. I packed Red Espadrille back into her box and we said our ado's. Farewell my red, cheap little vixen. Farewell to you and your Blue sister too.
After dinner, as I massaged balm onto my wounds, was like salt on a broken heart. My fiancé walked into the room, looked at me and said "Well, I guess the shoes you got for the wedding aren't going to work, now are they?" I thought about it for a moment. "Why? They've done nothing wrong. They've not hurt me." To which he responded, "Yes, but the blisters and pain you've endured today wearing the Red Espadrilles will render you helpless if you try to wear anything with a closed heal or even a strap on the back." OMG!!! He was right. She had caused me so much pain, I was destined to wear some sort of dressy flip flop for the wedding.
Today, I have learned my lessons. The Espadrille Sisters went to a high end consignment shop. The Black Pump stayed in her box never to be worn to this day. I ended up wearing a pair of dressy flip flops with a 1" heal to the wedding. Dressy flip flops who had proven loyalty time and time and time again. Dressy flip flops that waited patiently at the bottom of my shoe bin like a long lost pal . All this, for an afternoon of foolish splendor in the aisles at DSW. ©