Ok, ok, I will admit it. Rather than having a traditional mid-life (I am being generous here, but I do have a living grandmother who is pushing 99 years of age) crisis, I have a mid-life shoe obsession. I have always loved beautiful shoes. And I have a fetish for those that are red.
Our family recently took a wonderful trip to Europe. We spent a number of days in Italy. Italians know how to do shoes. Just before we left, my husband told me, "I read that when an Italian person meets someone, the first thing they do is look at their shoes." Uh oh fluttered across my mind. They certainly are not going to be impressed with my footwear choices. I took exactly two pair of shoes on this trip, and I had to be relentlessly practical about my choices due to the many days of walking that were ahead.
Here is choice #1:
They are bright and colorful, but I understand that is not necessarily a positive trait. Apparently, Italians can spot an American a mile away due to the brighter hues that we so often wear. I wasn't going to fool anyone. I wasn't really trying to, but you know what they say. "When in Rome..."
And when Italian people pound the pavement and walk all around town, they are not doing so on smooth sidewalks or asphalt roads. but on cobblestone streets that look like this:
Women well into the later decades of life join in the fashion show. Moms of young children dress as if they are about to spend a night on the town.
If I was going to spend a night on the town, this was the second pair of shoes that I brought along for "dress up."
At two different points during this vacation, we joined one of our sons and his wife. My daughters-in-law were better able to join in the culture and rock the stylish shoe look. I felt proud when I went out with them...and a little bit frumpy.
I wanted to buy each of these new to our family daughters a gift to remind them of this trip. They each chose a pair of shoes. Though one tried on a number of stylish heels, they both selected more practical, though fashionable, footwear. One picked a pair of green leather high tops and the other a pair of athletic shoes that had extra bling and pizazz. Europeans are light years ahead of us in making a comfortable shoe look stylish.
Maybe next time I go, I will buy myself a pair...