Day 23: Vanity and pain

I should have known better than to wear those shoes.

But I was going to a conference in Atlanta for women-owned businesses, and I knew that the women would all be wearing fashionable, high-heeled shoes. My North Georgia casual-comfortable Keens would not cut it in that crowd.

Instead I wore some black shoes that had heels and are moderately stylish. I had the forethought to realize that I didn’t want to walk to the train station in them (15 minutes+), so I drove to the station. 

Hadn’t thought about the fact that those four minutes at the other end – which turned out to be 10 – walking from the station to the conference, would be on city sidewalks in 90-degree heat. By the time I got to the conference, my little toes were badly blistered and I could hardly walk. 

I managed to get through registration and find a seat. But all through the morning of presentations, I was distracted by the pain in my feet. I couldn’t take off my shoes, though I eased them away from my toes.

I was equally distracted looking at the shoes of the other women. Incredible high heels, pointy pumps, all lovely and carefully matched to their outfits. 

That pain was about feeling out of place. It’s an effort for me to wear makeup and dress up because I work from home; I’m not used to it.

But also because, long ago, I decided that you attract the kind of attention you advertise for, and wearing tight dresses and heels and lots of makeup only got me attention I didn’t want. 

There were other women at the conference wearing sensible shoes. And no one there, I am sure, would have said, “EW! I’m not doing business with her, she’s wearing flats!”

At 56, you would think I’d know myself well enough to say, “To hell with uncomfortable shoes. This is a conference where I don’t need to impress anyone. I’m going to wear comfortable shoes.”

Next time, I swear, I will do that.

Meanwhile, I had to leave the conference and go to a shoe store (not on foot – thank goodness for Über) so that I could buy a pair of shoes that would get me through the day.

I picked this penny for today because it is tarnished – and it’s a 2015, which should be bright and shiny. Like a promising day tarnished by a dumb decision.