Over the Moon… but will they like it at the Office?

Is it just me, or does everyone go through a transition period where they “bond” with their shoes? Maybe this is further evidence that my austere childhood of hand-me-downs and practicality hasn’t (despite major contributions to the 401k of my therapist) quite loosened its grip on my psyche, but whenever I try a new-to-me style of footwear, I spend several days in an “Is it me?” limbo.

Example: Elongated, pointy-toes were in and since my closet contained only round-toe pumps, I ran out and purchased a pair of Liz Claiborne kitten heels with the witchiest of toes. “Pizza slices,” I’ve heard them called, but I loved how they looked poking out from below the hem of my dark-wash jeans. Walking around my house in the new shoes made me feel like something of a diva, so I decided why not get my money’s worth and wear them to the office?

The thing is, I work in a place where most people shows up in jeans and flannel. Horn-rimmed glasses are favored, fashion is generally scoffed at (unless said fashion came from a thrift store or clothing swap) and heels of any sort are relegated to Halloween costumes — worn with a sense of irony, of course.

Needless to say, my pizza slices were viewed with incomprehension.

There were comments of “What’s up with those shoes?” and I found myself trying to hide my feet under my desk.

The bonding never happened.

The next season I went in the opposite direction, purchasing a pair of square-toe Kenneth Cole “Over the Moon” pumps. Reddish brown with white piping, the shoes warranted descriptives of “adorable” and “sweet” and straddled the line between tennis-shoe roaring twenties. Still, I felt the familiar anxiety as I tried them on at home.

Matched with wide-leg cords and a turtleneck, I felt good, but buyer’s remorse loomed large. Were they me? Could I pull off a style at once sporty, retro and cute?

Riddled with doubt, I wore the shoes to my office, hoping to get through the day blister- and ridicule-free. And, mostly, no one noticed my feet at all.

It was only just before closing, when I’d long forgotten to hide my shoes under my desk, when the computer tech wandered in to ask me a question.

He stopped mid-sentence, taking in my footwear, before gushing enthusiastically, “Honey, if they made those in my size, I’d buy them.”

With that, my shoes passed not only the office test, but the stylish gay coworker test.

We bonded — the shoes and I — and they’ve never again looked out of place in my wardrobe.


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