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.