Monday, May 19, 2008

Logging the Miles in the Clicky Shoes

I have never not worn high heels to work or to meetings. Hell, I wear high heels to the PTA. It is what it is. Some women can't imagine life not lived in comfy shoes, and I can't imagine life not lived in a pair of shoes that make me feel great - even if the rest of me is spat up upon, mussed, and otherwise "motherized."

I know that when I wear heels to school I get looks from some of the moms. I'm used to that. Some will even ask me where I'm going, My! You're awfully dressed up. Where are we off to? Sweet mother of God, comments like that can be so transparent. They really should just say, I do not like that you are wearing what you are wearing. Why don't you look/dress like me? I can only be nice to people who are EXACTLY LIKE ME.

So now there's work. I work with killer people - amazing professionals who have managed to train me in a field I never thought I would work. At least half of my day is spent around these good people. Then I get to run (very literally) around the hospital to just about every floor. It's dynamic, keeps me hopping, and it can be the favorite part of my day.

Except for some of the nurses. Nurses, people whom I adore and revere as having one of the coolest jobs around, have by and large proven themselves to be high heel haters. I can enter a floor that is frenetic with activity - medical staff running around, machines beeping, phones ringing, staff jostling and walk past a group of nurses in search for a patient's chart. In a way that is almost scripted, they whip their heads around in confusion and irritation - what IS that sound? Then they quickly see me, one of the few or only people not in scrubs and they nearly crack a vertebrae again as they snap their heads downward to investigate if the source of the clicking sound that has lodged itself nastily in their ears. Then, and this has happened every single time I have entered certain floors (there are areas of the hospital where my footwear goes blessedly unnoticed), they pause, give me the up-down appraisal, and either settle on my feet again or turn back to their work. Intimidating? Sadly, yes. I feel like the new girl in high school who has not pre-investigated the dress code. The new girl who even if she knew about the mandatory Croc/clunky clog rule would still have found a way to find Kate Spate clogs.

Even the men notice, which cements my theory nicely. Yesterday, while waiting to enter a patient's room as he chatted away on his cell phone (hello! Cell phone in the CVICU?!) a nice young man who was charting at his nurse's station gestured at the chair next to him. "He looks like he'll be a while. Why don't you have a seat?"

I gratefully sat next to him, mostly because when a nurse is kind like that I lap it up like the sweet honey that it is, and flipped through my papers on my clipboard. After a moment, I felt uncomfortable, because I could sense that this man was staring at me. I looked over to give him a smile, striving for something like, "What a day, huh? Old Man Leland is busting my hump" when he interrupted my thoughts. He pointed to my feet with his pen. "That's a lot of miles to log in the pointies," he said.

I looked down at my adorable Nordstrom slingbacks with the top stitching on the upper, all the way to the saucy little point where my toes should be. I sighed. "Yes, but these are actually very comfortable for me. I could play basketball in these things." (I was shooting for an oblique reference to the 80s commercials for Easy Spirit Pumps but my guess is that he wasn't born then).

He went back to his chart, but then stopped at looked at me again. "You know, you really need to get yourself a pair of these." He was pointing to his behemoth rubber Crocs. I swallowed back the nausea.

"Yeah, I just can't go there, okay?"

I am looking for the perfect pair of stilettos for next weekend. Sometimes you just have to man up and blaze your own trail.

35 comments:

Nancy said...

I concur, high heels make me feel better and I am lucky they aren't uncomfortable.

Girl, get yourself a pair of studded stilettos and watch those nurses necks do a Linda Blair as you walk by.

Sass E-mum said...

If you can wear them, that's great. Slingbacks are definitely the most comfortable way to wear heels.

Three inch heels make me 6 foot tall. Great for feeling glamorous, weird for how it freaks out little people and a certain kind of man.

If it all gets too much, consider entering the bloggy giveaway. Something to ease the pain of the working day.

Memarie Lane said...

I usually don't wear heels because (a) I have a short husband and (b) I rarely leave the house. But if I were to wear heels somewhere it would be to the most mommy-ish places, just to prove that I am not some shapeless t-shirt lank-haired blob lost in the ranks of mommy-ville. I have some cute little kitten heels I wear to the grocery store and church and non-park playgroups.

My MIL is a nurse and she is all about the Crocs. She has a pair in every style and color. I have a pair I wear sometimes, but I feel like I'm wearing Michelens or something when I do.

Amanda said...

As someone who believes it should be perfectly legal to go everywhere barefoot, I cannot relate.

However, when I'm in the grocery store pushing my cart full of baby food, diapers and juice boxes, I like to fantasize that I'm all dolled up Nicole Kidman style in Stepford Wives. Someday.

jakelliesmom said...

I was right with you on the looks like a pump/feels like a sneaker. When I worked at Disneyland in 1989, I chose Easy Spirit pumps because, needing a black shoe with a defined heel, I totally bought the advertising. (Do not tell my children this, because I'm still trying to convince them that they do not need to buy the rocket fishing rod they've seen on tv.)

And you know, I own both crocs and heels, and the ones that make me feel more awesome day in and day out are the heels. If not for the beach/pool, I'd ditch the crocs altogether (as I think I'd do a nasty slip & fall in the heels on a pool deck).

Audubon Ron said...

Didn't I remember you doing a shoe commercial some time ago?

Beth said...

Resist the urge to wear those Crocs! Don't conform!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

But why do those heels make us feel more awesome? That's the question. I wish I knew the answer...

I think the nurses' disapproval stems from different reasons than the other moms at school disapproval - the other moms think you are trying to show them up, but the medical professionals know all too well the damage those heels do to our bodies. At least, I'm hoping their disapproval is that professional...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm glad the heels work for you. I myself am a fan of the cute flat, except for special occasions. Generally, I refer to my high heels as my "sitting shoes." Never. Ever. Crocs.

Lela said...

I am of the ilk of comfy shoes. But I will let you in on a secret. I don't despise you heel weary types for wearing heels, I admire you for it. I am envious of my friend who wears heels with everything. They look so glamorous, but I just don't have enough nerve to click around (though the sound is so appeazing). You keep slapping around in those heels and do your thing!

sara said...

Enjoy those heels. Love your shoes. I love mine, but I am just the opposite. Even before becoming a mom, I loved my big, clunky, comfy shoes and never, ever, wore ones that required stockings. And now I love my Keens and Danskos and Wolky clogs. And yes, I unabashadly love my hunter green Crocs as well.

Anna said...

I'm with the envious ones. I love my heels, but can only wear them when I KNOW there is a lot of sitting or at least not walking in my future.
(We used to call them car to bar shoes, ya know!)

So, for me it is cute flats, occasional heels and god love wedgies!

B2G said...

Totally reminds me of Addison from Grey's. She always wore heels.

Mrs. G. said...

I am a total clunky clog wearer and when I see a woman in high heels I always fall a little in love. My daughter can truly run in heels-she takes them very seriously.

Just blaze that trail on clickety clack at a time.

Joanie said...

Should you decide to take a break from the heels for any reason, good lord almighty you don't have to do Crocs! What about Borns? Aren't you the woman who introduced me to the adorable, most comfortable shoes on the planet??

Bogart in P Towne said...

From a guy...thanks for wearing heals and not buying those butt ugly crocs...

Really, thank you.

Jennifer H said...

I don't often wear heels, but I would never, ever, ever wear Crocs. I think it's great that you wear shoes that make you feel good. Click on, girl.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I would be the woman who was lusting after your adorable shoes.
I have bad feet, bone spurs, arthritis, previously broken toes. I try to spend as much time as possible in my Birkenstock-Frankenstein clogs.
You GO, you girly girl!

marymurtz said...

I didn't used to like wearing heels til I got some good ones, and I LOVE to wear them, even with jeans. I have slaggy old Birks for at home, but there's something pulled together about heels that helps make me behave more professionally.

Rony said...

Finally. Someone else who refuses to wear the crocs. I don't get what all the huba is about. AND I haven't bought them for my girls either.

High heels?! Oh yeah baby. How else do you think I broke my leg in my Paris Hilton hooker boots last year on the snow and ice?! lol. Girls gotta look good. I'd wear them to the swimming pool but I think that may get a raised eye brow or two..clicko n momma.

bichonpawz said...

What I wouldn't give to be ABLE to wear my heels again! I used to pretty much do everything in heels...and I mean everything. Because I did everything in my heels, sadly I have had to have surgery to remove a broken bone in my foot that would not heal. Now I can only wear my heels to dinner and back home. I miss my heels! Wear them proudly!!

Kelley said...

What a divine post. I was just trying to explain why I insist on wearing heels to a guy... I should just point them to your blog instead.

Jen M. said...

Joanie - I introduced you to Borns then gave them to you. I thought they were too cute - and too flat. Which is why there is a pair of kelly green Born wedgie heels in my closet now ;)

Gretel said...

This post has drawn out my inaugural comment on your blog (after lurking for about a month)... Yeah, I confess - I'd likely be one of 'those' mothers that looks at you like you're crazy for wearing heels (though I'd have had the decency to not be as thoroughly transparent as those you've encountered thus far!) This is because I JUST DON'T GET IT. However - you have done a brilliant job of explaining your attachment to your beautiful shoes and eloquently enough that I have much more appreciation for the armies of stilettoed office workers I have always shaken my head at as I arrive to work in the downtown Toronto financial district (on my bike...wearing Blundstones). Thank you for opening up my mind and promoting shoe-tolerance everywhere. By the way...Blundstone is as rugged as I will get - Crocs are NOT in my closet, thanks very much! I do appreciate how lovely women (and men) look when they are carefully and smartly dressed with fine footwear...I just cannot imagine the pain and discomfort that would cause me!

Just Seeking said...

This is why I could never be a nurse. I am NOT going back to work if I can't dress up and wear heels! crocs? ugh---kill me first!

Allyssah said...

High heel gives me a better look but not a better comfort. That’s why I always wear flat shoes as a formal and casual wear.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I think it's just because it's so unusual for us that we can't help but stare. But I'd never try to recruit you into the crocs club. Honest.

Beck said...

I LOVE heels and yes, there are lots of weird comments from other women. Why the hate, my flat-soled sisters?

Circus Kelli said...

Baby, I say rock the high heels as long and as often as you possibly can. I love high heels. LOVE THEM.

painted maypole said...

i'm not a heal girl myself, but I think crocs are SO ugly. I finally allowed my daughter to get some, but she has strict limits on where she is allowed to wear them.

trinity67 said...

Oh screw them - wear what you want to wear!!!

ekbetsy said...

You should try these new high heeled crocs:

http://shop.crocs.com/pc-1174-4-cyprus.aspx?reqid=1174&reqProdTypeId=41p&subsectionname=footwear§ion=products

Sure, they're funny looking, but then you could stop the nasty looks and thing to yourself "Ha! I'm still wearing heels (sort of) so there, you croc wearing bitches!"

The Cube Monkey said...

I just gave in to the crocs after so many people told me how comfy they are. I wouldn't shuck out the cash for authentic crocs, but DID find thee most comfy knock offs at CVS drug stores. hahaha
Where I work, some gals run around in stilettos. We call them the corporate barbies. They wouldn't bother me so much, because I believe folks should be able to wear what they want, if they wouldn't judge what I'm wearing...
Funny thing is watching the corporate barbies on stilettos, cuz half of them can't walk in them. hahaha
On a side note...the channel on the doctors pagers/cell phones/pdas etc.. is the same as any other cell phone. So why are "our" cell phones dangerous and not theirs? Food for thought.

bipolarlawyercook said...

Ah, f'em. You do what makes you feel good. I never wear pantsuits if I can help it, and the women lawyers who do get offended. Screw 'em. I look better in skirts. Skirts are not instruments of MY oppression.

Ann said...

LOL - this reminds me of when I worked in the pacemaker/defib industry, worked out of my car, was on call for every ER, hospital, and surgeon within a 3 hr. radius - and clicked in my heels around all the hospitals - with the same reaction you received. How great to read of a kindred experience! Love it.