Dorothy Got it Right: It’s ALL About the Shoes

So it was one of those rough nights.

In a nutshell:  I had to go camp shopping for eight weeks’ worth of necessities, had a blog due, pick up from High School Final Exams (smack in the middle of the day – to and fro twice), a wax needed for one of my daughters, and 10 other Family Demand errands in between (yes, just another day at the office). Much later when I finally got home, my husband and I had a fight (started by me). It was one of those stupid arguments that blew too big and I somehow couldn’t get off that mountain. I was determined to be right (knowing he was — but I was not ready to cave in). So instead, I kept it going, pissing him off, until I finally coughed up the apology.

Okay we’re now hitting midnight when all was forgiven, and the next morning I had to wake up at 5 a.m. for my first TV appearance, live at 7:45 a.m., to discuss my blog and my book.

I knew I was going to look like hell because I kept waking up every hour to make sure I did not miss my alarm (yes, one of THOSE nights). At about 4 a.m. I was strategizing my eye de-puffing emergency plan — cold cucumbers, my anti-dark circle eye cream (which I pretend works), medical cover up (thick like clay), and then when all was said and done, loading up on a bright lipstick/gloss combo to detract from my eyes. The WCIU-TV gig was in the city (an hour drive) and given it was so early, I could not go and get my hair done. And given that I woke up a half hour late (after 14 clock checks), I could not/did not have time to blow-dry my hair. I had to make do with Morning Wake-Up Hair.

As I combed my closet in desperation, I knew I had only one card left in my Appearance-Survival-Deck: Le Shoes.

Like most women, I have lots of shoes (from years of collecting and not dumping), and probably two pairs that I always wear. Today, I knew, called for Drastic Feel-Good Measures.

THE SHOES are four-inch high chunky bone-colored kickers, with a black flowery-looking thing with something rhine-stony inside of it. At just shy of 5’2″, these shoes wear me. Think Sarah Jessica Parker when those clunkers get caught in the grates of New York City.

They look Manolo-ish but they’re not. They are some kind of Nordstrom special. Who cares — I love them. They are my version of Ruby Slippers.

So I put them on and my husband gave me the look: You’re wearing THOSE?

Instant Death Glare in return. Shrew with the Shoe emerging…

But he kept on going (payback for the previous night’s fight?): I don’t think they match, he adds. (This, from a guy who never matches but admittedly, he still looks great).

Don’t match? Keep it up, Buddy, my weary eyes roared, and we’ll be heading for Round Two.

Yeah, don’t match.

Oh, I am SO wearing THOSE shoes, I declared. And THEY TOTALLY match, I further argued. And in fact, I don’t want them to match. Do you want me to look matchy-matchy on my first TV appearance?

He looked at me, shook his head: YOU need coffee.

Yeah, I shrugged, totally. And, I said softly, I’m really sorry for being bitchy. And extra sorry for last night. The thing is…I’m scared. I whispered. What if I make a total fool of myself? What if I forget what my blog is about? What if I have a “Brady Bunch” moment–the TV light goes On and I go Out?

You’ll be great, I promise, he said with a hug.

But as we drove to the city to the TV station, the What Ifs kept bombarding my brain.

We grabbed coffee (immediate sedation), and then headed toward the WCIU building for the morning talk show called “You & Me This Morning ”  hosted by Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow. My husband is very tall — his one stride equals four of mine. Throw in THE SHOES, plus streets under construction, and I could barely walk. My husband kept turning around and saying, Why did you wear THOSE shoes?

Keep it up, Buddy, just keep it up.

And then came what I call Poetic Justice. The producer met us at the door, looked down, and said:

I. Love. THOSE. Shoes.

I had to control myself from a full-on spin. He. Loves. MY. Shoes.  I glance triumphantly at my husband.  I am right. You are wrong! And it was exhilarating.

After being led into a guest waiting area, we watched the show and I saw R & B Star Eric Benet (formerly married to Halle Berry) crooning right before my appearance.

Eric Benet. I looked at my husband with fear. Oh my God. I’m just a girl with a blog and a book. I’m a Mom of three teenage girls. I write. I get my To-Do lists Done. That’s it. The What ifs began to pour out out of every one of my pores.

Don’t worry. You’ll be great, I promise. My husband then laughed: Besides, Eric Benet does not have your shoes.

The clock ticked 7:45: My Turn. I follow the producer into the studio and he announces: “THOSE are the shoes I was talking about.”

Both co-hosts smiled at me, said, “Hi, great shoes.”

“Thanks.” I smiled back, the butterflies in my stomach literally having a convention. I looked down: Focus on THOSE shoes. 

And it got me thinking as I looked at Melissa Forman, who was about to begin our interview. This beautiful woman, who lives near where I live, has FOUR  kids, has T0-Do all the crazy stuff that I do — How does she manage getting to the studio every day at the crack of dawn, getting her kids organized and out the door in the morning, and make her life work so that she can do the work she seems to love?

What about THOSE shoes?

I then thought of Eric Benet the singer before me. Suave, handsome, with a voice that melts, and all that he had to get through (if you remember way back he had his own set of personal demons to confront). He is now happily re-married with a beautiful wife and child, and a new album. All the good stuff. His life turned around. As I watched him sing I thought, wow, he finally found the RIGHT shoes.

And then I thought of all the shoe cliches I have tried to instill in my daughters: Put yourself in her shoes. Put yourself in your sister’s shoes (I probably say this a dozen times a day)…. If the shoe doesn’t fit …– all those soapbox lectures — held so much truth. And today, when I felt so inwardly scared about putting myself out there, live, on Television, it was THOSE shoes that gave me both comfort and confidence.

In shoe lingo: I was having a Soul-To-Sole moment.

Once the interview began, I forgot all fears of saying something foolish that I couldn’t delete, and instead I connected with my inner-self, let go, and just had fun. (click here and you can see it, if you choose). Melissa was so warm, and our interview felt natural, girl-friendy. I laughed, she laughed. We talked motherhood, sex, and relationships. It was a true GIRLilla connection.

We hugged after our interview. (I knew within seconds of meeting her that I liked her.) A Mom, a journalist, a “juggler,” and funny as hell. Forman was my kinda girl. Oh, and did I mention that I LOVED her shoes?

LB:  THOSE Shoes are my security blanket … what’s yours? GIRLilla Warfare would love to hear about the one item that gives you a lift when you need it most.


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