Monday, October 6, 2008

Wittle Lemon

Remember those rants I said were brewing about two weeks ago? Well, they've lost a bit of their bite, their zing, their slice, their cut in the last 10 days. To tell the truth, I can't even remember what I was so upset about. (<-- Don't end your sentences in prepositions, people.) I remember being angry with the world of shoes. I went shoe shopping two weeks ago in a local store, but I didn't find what I was looking for. Pardon, I didn't find the shoe for which I was looking. After that, I decided to try my hand at this "online" shopping thing everyone's abuzz about, so I browsed the "world wide web" for some gold pumps with a serious heel. Dismayed that my "Google" "search" availed nothing, I browsed the "Web sites" of several favorite shoe stores. Finding nothing yet again, I decided that the "internet" (that's the last one, I swear) was a piece of intercrap, and I was done with it forever.

Then I emailed my friends to see if they would go shopping with me and looked up the store hours online.

Here's the thing. This post is really a confession, and it's about how girly, how truly, deep-down girly I can be when no one is watching. I chose to search for my golden beauties at a shoe warehouse, a big old shop, in the nearby city. None of my friends could make it, so it was just me, little old me, in the big old shop. I walked through the doors, stopped, gazed at the walls, more walls, and shelves of shoes and then grinned uncontrollably for one minute straight. I had to hide my face from other shoppers because I couldn't stop beaming at all the shoes. Why, why is that? Why are women so entranced by footwear? I don't know the answer, but I've made my peace with the question.

You see, shoes are fun. There was a time in my life when I NEVER NOT IN A MILLION YEARS NO WAY NO HOW would've confessed to grinning like an idiot at a row of Mary Janes (no, not that Mary Jane). For a long time I associated femininity with weakness, so I eschewed all things overtly "woman." I was never a Tom Boy. I wore dresses and painted my nails and (Heaven help me) read fashion magazines, but I didn't take pride in those things. Instead, I took pride in being the first girl picked for football at recess in elementary school, in nonchalantly squashing bugs for my screaming friends, in driving a stick.

Then one day I attended a women's conference in college. I wasn't expecting anything life-changing from that day, and when I found out how early I had to get up for it on a Saturday I almost didn't go. Thankfully, I went. I attended a seminar presented by a man, the only man at the conference, a pastor and the father of a hallmate. He said some very simple things, but they went straight to my heart. One of those very simple things was this: "It's ok to be feminine. That's what you were born to be." That seems so common sense, doesn't it? That shouldn't be a life-changing phrase. It ought to be a, "Yes. And?" But for me on that day, it was permission. It was a long-awaited exhale, a sigh of relief. I was allowed to be soft.

Something happened to me then, and I connected with a part of myself that I'd closed off for a long time. People who knew me well probably could've detected a few outward changes, but most of the difference was internal. My attitude about my activities changed. I'd worn makeup for nearly ten years, but after the conference I quit feeling stupid about putting it on. I shopped with glee and I bought a few things with frills. I cried in front of people with a bit less shame. (But c'mon, crying will never lose all its shame. Your lip quivers, your face turns red, your nostrils flare, you're covered in snot. All in all, you're just a soggy mess.)

So now Boyfriend squashes my bugs for me while I stand on the couch. I've lost any and all ability to throw or catch a football, or any other ball for that matter. I'm girly, deep-down girly, and that's ok. In fact, it's great. Cause now I've got a fantastic pair of snakeskin peep-toes with a 4" heel.

4 comments:

Elizabeth Glass-Turner said...

4" peep toes which I will shortly view, admire, tilt, analyze, and praise.

MARK and LORI said...

Well said, Em! Also, I appreciate a gal who strives for grammatical correctness! Now, where the picture of those pumps?

Anonymous said...

I can attest that those really are some sleek, sassy slenderizing shoes, and I am fully supportive of women donning such footwear.

guess who... said...

Remember that time you were under a my jeep with a couple of mechanic/friends getting your hands scraped, bruised and oily while I, on the other hand, was no where to be found? At least at the time I was throwing the football and then playing video games (violent ones,) both of which are pretty manly activities.