Still dancing...

2개월 전


We were a pair; twins, actually; mirror twins. Elegant, black, sleek and with a touch of gold at the toe that showed off her pert, perfectly lacquered toes. The feature of which she was most fond: our four-inch stiletto heels.

For her, it had been love at first sight. A student, on a meagre allowance, she had to buy them - on tick. In those days, there was no application form, no credit check: just an address - a street address – her parents'. No phone number was needed, let alone a mobile number or email address. They'd not been contemplated - that she knew about - then.

Four-inch, leather stiletto heels don’t make for sensible wearing on a campus with steep hills and a gazillion steps, in the days when not only did very few students have cars, but first years were allowed cars only with permission. Consequently, it was Shanks's Pony for traversing the campus from one side to the other several-times-a-day. We did, however, shoe our way into parties, balls and the rare formal occasion and photo opportunities. Like this one.


Rhodes University 1983 - Arts & Science Festival Committe - we were there

Then there were the formal photo shoots that drove everyone a bit dilly...


Rhodes University Student's Representative Council 1893 - we were also there

At university, balls were a regular feature of the annual calendar. Glamorous gowns and elegant shoes went without saying. We danced all night which meant happy, achy feet the next day. She’ll tell you a story of one particular night when they formed a chorus line, and a vigorous washing of the dirt on her instep turned out to be a bruise …

Student life gave way to working life, but the dress code for her first job was not much different from university days and we retained our role as party and formal attire. In that first year, we only hit the deck once – for a wedding. We were relegated to the back and very bottom of the wardrobe. We lived in constant envy of the white Brazillian sandals and the perfect pink Hush Puppy pumps.

She needed to wear us more often.

Eventually she did. Her next job had a very formal dress code: skirts, stockings and heels. No trousers or slax. We kid you not. We were in our element! Oh boy, we hit the Johannesburg pavements – supposedly paved with gold – in a big way.

We often had to hurry her to the bus when she was late. We partied less, worked harder and watched how she came to terms with working in the male-dominated mining industry; she was oblivious of the fact that we not just lengthened her then slim legs, but made the slit in her long black pencil skirt seem as though it reached all the way up ... her thigh ...

The dancing didn’t stop – she’s never stopped dancing – but times had changed and her dancing shoes became more comfortable and less elegant. The Brazillian sandals and the bright pink pumps danced more than we did, but they didn’t get to the formal functions that we revelled in. We got to mix in circles she never imagined in her student days and in gowns as elegant.


Closed shoes for this formal function: we sat enviously in the wardrobe while she went to receive an award during 1988.

She’d also found the perfect accessories for her shoes – a couple of little black numbers. Our favourite: a versatile silk with a subtle African design in gold print around the mid-calf hem. We worked well together and made her the belle of several balls. Alas, there is no photograph of that ensemble.

Then her life took a turn. She fled the big city and followed her heart; again we were consigned to the bottom of the heep, only to be dredged out on high days and holidays.

All told, she walked and danced us around for more than twenty years: we graced the boards in seven Johannesburg abodes, one in Queenstown, five in Cape Town and, somehow, we just didn’t get to McGregor. By then, we all recognised that our time together was done. We were no longer compatible and our love affair came to a sad, but necessary end: peep toes, delicate leather and four-inch heels are no match for gravel roads, no pavements, dust and mud.

Foot attire is much more practical and, we're lead to believe that her new favourite black shoes are agricultural ankle boots!


With no ill feeling, we bade her farewell, giving way to Fit Flops, spotty socks and Sketchers. Happily, she sill has her lovely lacquered red toes that still tap to any beat.


Oh, and we're told that she and The Husband are often first on the dance floor, and last to leave it. Some things don't change.

So:


I unashamedly love shoes. It is true that there comes a time when a girl can have too many, and that's what's happened to me. Sadly. I can still spend hours and hours in a shoe shop looking at beautiful shoes dreaming of when and where I might wear them. The daydreams leave with me, but the shoes stay on the shelf. Today's shoe fashions are probably one of the few reasons I lament the loss of youth: in my day, shoes were, by comparison, rather dowdy and plain except for the odd button, bow or touch of gold. How I long for a time I could get away with wearing something like this....

Photo by Bryan Schneider from Canva

Consequently, when fellow Steemian and Powerhouse Creatives @zord189's weekly contest was about shoes, I couldn't resist. I really did love those black stilettoes, and for all the gnashing of teeth about the dowdiness of the shoe fashion of my youth, they stood me in good stead for a very long time.

Until next time
Fiona
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa




Photo: Selma

Feature image: Ava Sol

Post Script


In addition to WordPress I blog on a number of platforms:

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Stilettoes are our best friends :)
Just amazing to slip into them and parade around.
Although the heels at the end of the day, it's still worth it

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How I wish I still could! Hahaha!

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You are a lucky one to be able to walk in those. I've dreamed of walking in high heels and the sexy clothes I could wear to match. Only to see myself fa flat on my face. No thank you. How do you girls do it?

I look back from time to time as well when the clothing I would still like to wear the clothes that are only acceptable when younger and I miss those days.

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Hahaha! you and me both, girlfriend!

How do you girls do it?

Perseverence and practise! I don't any more even though I wish I could....

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I killed my ankle trying it. Foot wobbling side to side and knees bent. Felt like I needed a pole like the ballet dancers do lol.

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Hahahaha! I so relate. That's me, now!

Hihi even summer and winter ones

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Hahaha! Of necessity @brittandjosie. If I could get away with only wearing the flops, I would, but I suffer from cold feet...

I used to wear heels too when I was younger but then since baby came into the world, all my shoes are flat. Then from many shoes to just one pair, wear till tear and then buy another time. Haha. I have no time to collect different designs of shoes. Like one pair for everything. Lol.

Enjoyed reading your story. ==)

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Thank you @iamjadeline, for stopping by - I am now a bit like that. Two favourite pairs for summer and winter. Worn until they can be worn no more! Hahaha!

@fionasfavourites,

A wonderfully well written tale.

I bonded with the shoes ... and was heart-broken. In the back of my mind, a tune started to materialize:
.


.
Quill

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Ah, thank you, @quillfire!

Puff, the Magic Dragon, hahaha! Indeed!

A lovely tale of some treasured friends! I enjoyed seeing the photos to go with the events, though would have loved seeing that silky black number. ;) It's nice to know that despite the lowering of the heels the feet still know the steps to the dance floor..

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I so wish I had a photo of me in that dress. I loved it. It had a 1920's feel about it: kinda straight and it had a scarf that depending how I felt was used as a belt or whatever. In the 80's big belts and dropped waists were all the rage. Oh and I had a gold head band - a la Olivia Newton John. Oh geez... hahahaha!

I'll tell you what: The Husband and I danced the first time we met 20 years ago...we were told stop dancing and go home from our wedding (17 years ago yesterday), so unless something seriously untoward happens, these feet will carry on dancing - even if it's just a kitchen boogie as I cook!

Hi, @fionasfavourites!

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The shoes may change but it's great to see that the spirit of the dancer remains. Loved reading your article Fiona.

I've gone back to childhood and just go barefoot as soon as winter is over ~ And fortunately winter in Sydney is very short-lived. ♥︎♥︎⚖️♥︎♥︎

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Ah, thank you @allyinspirit. I'm not very good at it, but I dance nonetheless! Winter is also relatively shortlived in South Africa but because I hate it, it feels long. It's supposed to be spring and went down to 4 last night. Barefoot when I can, but with the thorns and nasties, it's confined to in the house. Roll on summer!

What an amazing entry for contest, wishing yo best of luck.

This post has been appreciated and featured in daily quality content rewards. Keep up the good work.

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Thank you so much, @appreciator, and thank you. Much appreciated.

What a delightful story, well intertwined into a story on how carefully one selected shoes to last, simply not for one occasion.

How very much life has changed along with footwear, no longer loving placed back in the box at the bottom of a cupboard to wear on the next grand outing.

Some pairs kept us company for many years, you made me smile thinking back how much fun we had selecting clothing, dressing according to event requirements in our youth.

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Ah, thank you, Joan!

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I love SO much about this Tale of Two Shoes! I never really mastered the art of the stiletto - for some strange reason, my dancer's feet (ballet from age 5 to 13) complained immensely any time I tried. Instead, my go to footwear of choice was elf boots, with thigh high fishnet stockings (usually worn with my denim maxi skirt... ahh, the good old 80s...😂 ).

And for the record, I think you could totally get away with wearing those gorgeously gem covered heels. 😊

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I get you! I have a slightly peculiar big toe which objected to pointy shoes, and I do confess to not enjoying breaking in new shoes.

And you have reminded me: elf boots! I also had a pair! Also much loved.

And, thank you for the vote of.confidence. Who knows what might find me for the next milestone birthday...🤗

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This is an absolutely fantastic post. I love the story, I love the images. whats more is that I love your wp blog. its really wonderful. Resteemed!

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Thank you so much @paulag! My blog: a rather eclectic miscellany of things...

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What a cute story! I enjoyed every minute reading it!

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Thank you, I am glad!

Another epic post about the history of Fiona 😀

Enjoyed the characterisation you gave your shoes although I will never understand the infatuation the Venus species have with those things 😁

I have 4 pairs and I think that's excessive 😂

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Hahahaha, @nickyhavey! We all have pasts. Not to mention skeletons... ;)

I will never understand the infatuation the Venus species have with those things

You don't have to!

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you don't have to

Thank GOODNESS you gave me permission to not try to understand it. I feel like a free man now 😀

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OMG! Why did I do that?

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Because you know it makes sense 😈

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Of course it does! 👠👡👢👑👒📿

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It's awesome having Partiko back 😁

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Indeed!💃✋💪

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this was such a precious story, i loved!

It made me think sadly of fast fashion and how shoes would never last twenty years now days!

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Thank you @princessmewmew and yes, fashion shoes seldom last longer than a season - especially if you wear them... :(

What an absolutely wonderful post @fionasfavourites! I can envison your story from the time you purchased those lovely pair of shoes through the years to the time you said goodbye. I too love shoes, although being very tall, heels would never have worked for me. I could see you dancing, even now :) Brought a smile to my hear and face this morning, thank you!

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Makes me smile to know I made you smile, @birdsinparadise

I loved this! I love my shoes too and would wear my stilettos whenever I could get away with them. There is something about the way they make me feel after a time in them!

A girl never gets over her first, ever. Oh, yes! You have such fond memories and pictures to match. What a lovely piece!! I can tell by your writing, this is serious business to you, these lovely shoes.

You tell a wonderful story!

!tip.20

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@dswigle

wear my stilettos whenever I could get away with them. There is something about the way they make me feel after a time in them!

You got that right!

A girl never gets over her first, ever.

Ain't that the truth .... ;)

Thanks for coming by, Denise, and yes, in their day, they were serious business!

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Oh, you are so right!!! :)

Loved that story!!!

I cannot relate in wearing stilletos lol but I loved the story.

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I cannot relate in wearing stilletos

@watersnake101, you can't? Why am I not surprised? No matter, I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

These last shoes have a spike heel. Nice to get lots of wear out of your pumps.
I’ve never wore a real high heel.

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Yes, that last pair of shoes are the ultimate in stiletto heels. I would so love to have had a pair like that - and the opportunity to wear them.

I love this! Personification of shoes, and you kept in character. Great story. You made me love shoes.

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Well, then, my job is done @blocurator:

I have made a man love shoes!

Thank you for the compliment. It was a risk, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to carry it off. A total departure from my usual narrative voice.

@fionasfavourites - great story told by the shoes - sorry they had to be put out to pasture. I never could mess with those stiletto heels, lol. I'm more a flip-flop and sketchers kind of gal myself. But I do love my dancing - but mine is usually done in cowboy boots!

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Oh, how I wish I hadn't got rid of my cowboy boots...

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Oh, I love this! I am a shoe-fiend, too, and loved this story told by the beloved shoes! Your photos are wonderful, too! 💖

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I love it: a shoe-sister, @thekittygirl! <3

Hey @fionasfavourites

What a fun story. Right up to the part where you said you were no longer compatible! That genuinely made me a little sad. 🙁

Cute feet btw! 😁

Gaz

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Thanks, @chees4ead -

That genuinely made me a little sad.

I'm sorry...

Fiona

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Lol. don't be. It was a cool story. 😁

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Thank you so much for featuring us in your footer. We appreciate it so much.

Dancing, I had no clue. Love shoe picks.
Ren

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I wish I had time to do more than that! I love the initiative and am more than happy to support it.

Thank you so much for featuring us in your footer. We appreciate it so much.

Dancing, I had no clue. Love shoe picks.
Ren

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It's the least I can do, Ren. Thanks for stopping by

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