Monday, January 25, 2010

My Tall Tale

by Sophie


I'm kind of a tall type of gal. A little over five-nine, so not extraordinarily so, and not as tall as Junior will be when she gets done growing, but tall enough that when you slap a pair of 3 1/2" heels on me, I can see over pretty much everyone's head at church.

Or, ahem, in a bar.

Or, for that matter, at a ninth grade dance. Because that is where my relationship with high-heeled shoes began.

In ninth grade, I had a real catch of a boyfriend. Seriously out of my league, had to pinch myself to believe he'd really asked me out after the final performance of the play we were both in. (Okay, I wasn't in the play; I was in the orchestra.) Anyway, he was kind of...short. Like maybe almost as tall as I was if we were both barefoot.

And I had these new shoes I was desperate to wear. (I had the shoes before the boyfriend.) Shoe people, like Daisy, lean in close; the rest of you skip ahead: lace-up ankle-tie open-toed espadrilles, black crinkle nylon broadcloth with silver grommets, covered three-inch wedge heel and cork sole.

They made me taller than the boy. Not a little taller - a lot taller.

And so I didn't wear them. I wore ugly-ass flats.

When I got married, I thought it would be more ladylike if I was shorter than my husband in the pictures. He's six feet, so it wasn't that hard, except I ended up wearing something like this. Not an ugly-ass flat, but definitely a homely mid-heel.

Then came a long stretch when I was mostly shlepping kids around. I guess I'm still in that phase, come to think of it. Kids start out pretty short, but I didn't really mind being taller than them, but the demands of the job pretty much dictated flats. During this phase, I would buy the same pair of Nikes at the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale. Every year they had a new color. I remember whole years based on the color of the Nikes that year.

Finally, finally, though, I got this writing thing going and I was packing for a conference and I thought to myself that if I was going to be away, acting like an adult for an entire four-day weekend, I was damn sure going to wear whatever i wanted and what I wanted was heels. Big old towering hard-to-walk-in girly high heels.

And I was taller than everyone. (It was an RWA conference, 99% women.) And I didn't care.

And guess what, I haven't gotten around to caring again. I wear my Nikes (and my sweats and flannel snowflake pajama top) during the working day, but whenever I actually get to go OUT it's right into the heels for me. Taller than the boys? Don't care. Taller than the person I'm interviewing? Don't care. Taller than all the other panelists? Don't care.

And here's something truly lovely: Junior is only fourteen but she already has the "don't-care" nailed. She would kill me if I shared that she likes this one boy who is shorter than her...but I doubt she'd mind if I told you that she wears her own big heels whenever the heck she wants to.

Junior and I have the same size feet - yay shoe sharing!

So there's this fancy dress-up thingie I'm going to in April, and I'm already trying to decide how high I should go...


L.G.C. Smith said...

Congratulations again on being nominated for an Edgar!!

Oh, to be tall. Oh, to be able to wear heels without instant, 10-on-a-scale-of-10 pain from toes to hips. You've been touched by fairy dust, Sophie, and I am JEALOUS! Being a brilliant writer? You earned that. No green meanies there. But your height AND being able to wear heels? Pah. I can hardly bear it.

Sophie Littlefield said...

Oh, Lynnie. If you only knew how many adolescent nights I spent praying to be shorter :) And to have giant boobs...

Juliet Blackwell said...

About that "fancy dress-up thing" in April...just try not to outshine the sun, okay? You beauty, you...;-)

Gigi Pandian said...

As a fellow 5 foot 9-er, I gotta say that being 6 feet tall in heels is the coolest thing ever. As a teenager I was happy I could see at concerts, and now I realize how much it rocks overall.

Can't wait to see photos of you and your shoes at the "April thingy."

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Hmm. Last couple times I saw you, you were in low-heeled shoes. Did that have anything to do with the fact I come up to your navel? Next time I see you, you'd better be wearing fab shoes so high, I'd need stilts to talk to you!

Sophie Littlefield said...

Oh dear, PCN I feel that I have let you down!! Tell you what, it's gonna be high heels at the LATFOB :)

Gigi you make it look so durn elegant.

and JB...smooches.

Gary Corby said...

Good luck at that April do!

I confess I don't remember you being all that tall. But then, I'm 6'3". It's funny guys and girls worrying about the height thing. If we all followed the rule consistently then half the human race would be getting shorter each generation, and the other half taller.

Rachael said...

Gigi's your height, too? I don't think I knew that, but now I'll have to notice it. Maybe I'll grow, being in this group. Oh wait.... This is where I say I already have....

Mysti Lou said...

My niece is 6 foot something, and she just doesn't worry about the junk we used to worry about. I once dated a 5'3" guy and I thought we were both totally unbothered by the height difference, until the day I put my elbow on his head as a joke.

I read somewhere that while what most women fear most is being killed, what most men fear most is being laughed at. Wish I'd known that then :)


Daisy Bateman said...

(Seeing if I can actually manage to post from a different computer.)

I mentioned this on Facebook, but I just wanted to offer my condolences to the wedges and say that in my opinion, when it comes to your April event the sky's the limit.

Janet Reid said...

You should wear 6inch heels so you can look Lee Child, Andrew Grant and Harlan Coben in the eye.

Sophie Littlefield said...

holy freakin' cow, daisy - the fuchsia, right?

And then I can totally look those fellas in the eye, janet. actually, i might be able to look slightly down upon Harlan. (Someone take a picture quick.)

and mysti...i love that. love it! i think dale's a keeper though and just a nice bonus that he is tall