Mary Janes

first gradeWe were still living in California, so I couldn’t have been older than 7.  It was Easter and my mother had sewn me the most beautiful dress.  It was peach and satin and roses.  It begged for twirling and preening.  I had brand new, unscuffed patent leather mary janes to wear with it.

Oh my.  I was beautiful that Easter Sunday in my new dress and new shoes and curled hair.

Then Monday morning arrived.  I’d been given permission to wear that glorious dress to school.  I dressed.  Petticoat, dress, shoes.  I left the gloves off.  Mom said, “No.”  No mary janes.  I had to wear the ugly, the soooooooooooo ugly corrective shoes with that beauteous dress.

I was shocked.  Incredulous.  Abashed.  Pale and wan.

And, yet.  The dress was better than nothing.

I spent the whole day at school staring at the juxtaposition of the ugly shoes with the beautiful dress.  I couldn’t make the two mesh.  Complete discord.

To this day, I have to have the right shoe for the outfit.  I blame my mother.

If the only thing you can blame your mother for is your shoe fetish, you’ve had a good life.

It’s good to be me.

4 Comments

Filed under January 2009

4 responses to “Mary Janes

  1. I had a knock down drag out fight with my mother over black and white saddle shoes..I said they were ugly and would not wear them..she said they were the style…and everyone was wearing them..I said then everyone was wearing butt ugly shoes…I ended up getting white flats.

    • Lord, I hated those damn shoes. They were “corrective” and butt ugly. Big and white and black and certainly not the proper shoe for a peach, silky dress. I still get heated thinking about the injustice of it all.

  2. Mom mom was so happy the day she bought me a pair of white Keds. I was happy too. I put them on noticed how overly white they were and immediately proceeded to add dirt to the them. Now they look better I proclaimed. My mom never understood that. Years later she talked about it and still had that perplexed look on her face. At this point I can’t really explain it either. My shoe fetish consists of black or brown. Can a fetish be practical?

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