This is a picture of my feet in wintertime.
This is a picture of my feet in red shoes.
I have this theory: Red is a pick-me-up color. A mood booster, if you will.
Here it is the dead of winter 2010, one of the coldest on record. I am easily depressed, especially sans warm temperatures and sunshine. Seasonal Affective Disorder it is called, better known as SAD. The best remedy I know for SAD is to paint my toenails red, throw on a red hat, a red coat, and, yes, red shoes.
My love for red shoes stems back to my childhood. My mother used to be me canvas Mary Janes for 88 cents at the Safeway store in North Las Vegas, Nevada. I have always associated red shoes with summertime for that very reason.
Then again, it seems I wore red shoes almost all the time. See, my mother had this thing about feet. Hers are pretty, my sister’s are pretty, and mine are even prettier, albeit much smaller. So much so, that I have this friend in Virginia who insists I should be a foot model. Anyway, my feet pronated inward as a child, so my mother insisted I wear orthopedic shoes. We would go to the Red Goose shoe store in downtown Las Vegas and she would have me fitted each school season for a new pair of double T-straps, orthopedic-style, in dark red. Around seventh grade, they didn’t carry the red shoes in my size anymore so I had to graduate to black-and-white saddle shoes.
It was hard to run fast in those orthopedic shoes, too. They were clunky and heavy, and although I didn’t mind the red double T-straps, I seriously objected to the saddle shoes.
Somewhere around eighth or ninth grade, I no longer needed orthopedic shoes and was able to wear real shoes, which brings me back to the photo of my feet in these Ann Klein red pumps, which I have worn all of twice. Once last summer on a date with a short dotted Swiss flip skirt and a tight three-quarter-length sleeve, black Lycra and cotton T-shirt and once with a Maggy London wrap dress to a book signing for my friend, Patsi Bale Cox for her very good book, The Garth Factor. Somehow, I remember events better when I wear red shoes and, yes, even red cowboy boots.
Years later, when I was living and working in Washington, DC, I went back to Las Vegas just before my mother's birthday in February. I took her shoe-shopping at Dillard's for her gift. As luck would have it, we found the perfect pair of low-heeled pumps for her. She was looking for something to wear with a navy blue dress and I insisted she get them in deep rose red. She did and they looked fabulous. That day, I felt we had come full circle in our lives.
So next time you’re feeling low, paint your toenails Jukebox red and slip on a pair of red shoes and you will feel a lot better. I know I do.