Blue shoes didn’t top list of things I wanted. I certainly did not need them, but when they came into my life almost accidentally, I fell in love with them. These shoes may look quite ordinary, but to me they are very special. They beg me to dance.
English author Caitlin Moran recently inspired my interest in coloured shoes. This feminist comedian and columnist with The Times in London lists four things a woman should have. In her book, How to be a Woman, she says,
all women should have a pair of yellow shoes because, surprisingly, they go with everything.
Whenever I see yellow shoes, I wonder if their wearer has been inspired by Caitlin Moran. I’ve been looking but there are very few pairs of yellow shoes in the shops in Perth at the moment.
Soon after I returned to the workforce when I became a supporting mother of six kids in my late thirties. I bought a pair of very bold purple lace-up shoes, similar to my new blue ones. I bought a purple top to match the purple shoes and felt amazing.
Earlier this year, my friend, companion-writer and editor, Christina Houen, was similarly joyful when she bought some purple shoes.
Most women probably take coloured shoes for granted. At least one woman I know has several pairs of blue shoes, as well as other coloured footwear. But shoes of any kind have been quite a trial to me, until very recently. The nuns instilled in us the wisdom that patent leather shoes allowed the boys to see the reflection of our knickers. They were out. Coloured shoes, also, have always seemed a step too far.
Personal disclosure about blue shoes
I was born with a congenital defect which ensures that my left little toe is permanently twisted over its neighbour. Crawling babies and toddlers amuse themselves endlessly trying to straighten the toe, but it pops back up as soon as they take their hands away from it.
My mother had a similar hammer toe, and also one of my children. Hammer toes can be caused by wearing too-tight shoes, as well as genetically. They can be treated by splinting or minor surgery to stretch the tendon which causes the toe to twist.
But in the olden days, my parents took for granted that I would have to live with my minor deformity, and so I did. Like my mother, I have always settled for dull boring shoes that accommodated my toe. Sandals, so the family myth went, were out of the question.
Quite late in my life, I realised that there are sandals and sandals. Of course I can wear sandals, if I choose carefully. And I can wear whatever coloured shoes I like. I have to make up for lost time.
Emboldened by my purchase of these blue shoes, I plan also to invest in some yellow ones just as soon as I find some that I like.
I’d love to hear about family myths that have kept you from doing things you like. Please share in the comments.