The Higher the Heel, the Closer to God: Living Your Authentic Self!
Post By Guest Contributor Courtney Frey
I’d been in Parkersburg, Iowa for all of a few weeks when I had to deliver fresh socks to my ten year old daughter at the local track meet at the high school. I’d remembered just in the nick of time, as I was headed out the door to a job interview, the conversation we’d had that morning over my coffee and her fruit loops, “Mom, don’t forget to wash my socks and bring them to the track meet by 3:00 today.” It was 2:15 when I was strapping on my stiletto heels, that I remembered the socks in the dryer, still tumbling around half done.
Socks in hand I hurriedly park and make me way down the steep flight of cement steps to the entrance gate of the track where I’m met with two women in sweat suits, “$2.00,” they spit out at me. I am suddenly aware that I have no cash in my purse, and also quickly and frightfully knowledgeable to their stares as they both look me up and down.
“I am so sorry, I don’t have any cash, I just need to get these socks to my daughter,” I say, looking beyond them to the track.
They pause. “You’re telling us that you don’t have any money in that Prada purse of yours?”
I shook my head, no way that woman just said that to me. Did she? I look down at my fake Prada, purchased off the back of a truck in China Town, then look back up at these strange women, “That’s what I’m saying.”
They begin to have their own conversation that is obviously not muffled enough to avoid my ears, “She’s not really dressed for a track meet,” and their snide laughs begin to boil my blood.
I immediately want to tell them that I’m dressed the way I am because I am headed to a job interview, and I want to tell them that they are really hurting my feelings because this is the first time I’ve actually had the opportunity to meet other women in this new town, and I want to cry and rage and make them see that I’m a city girl from Colorado just trying my best to acclimate to a small Iowa town. But, I don’t. I don’t do any of that. I just start walking around the outside of the tall fence, ruining my new black patent heels in the muddy grass, hollering for my daughter who meets me at the fence, and I toss the socks, and my pride right over.
Something happened that day that motivated me to stay true to myself, no matter what. So what I showed up at a track meet in 5″ black heels and so what I had a fake Prada purse? Driving to my job interview I pondered having to change the way I dressed just to fit in. To wear the sweat pants and the sports gear as a daily icon verses my entire wardrobe of “city girl” clothing and it was only when I realized that I didn’t even own a pair of flats that there was no way I was going to go into debt to change who I was. I wouldn’t even know the first thing about shopping in a sports outlet anyway.
Volunteering at a dance later that year, I stand in the kitchen area with other mothers whom I don’t know, but should by now. And once again, “I don’t know how you wear those heels,” and, “I could never wear those,” comments start to unfold. I stand, taller, and wonder why it is these women who don’t even know me would be so motivated to comment on my shoes rather than ask me about my children who are in school with theirs, or to even wonder about who I am or where I came from, from the city to a small town where no one knows us at all – it was my shoes that got all the attention.
I’ve e learned to say two things. “The higher the heel, the closer to God,” and secondly, “I’ve worn high heels all my life, and it’s just who I am.”
I’ve lived in a small town now for over eight years, and I’ve stayed true to my high heel and Prada purse wearing self. I’ve added the appropriate sweat shirts and tennis shoes to sport at my children’s events that show I’m a proud mom, and in the winter during football I bundle up with the rest of them. But on any given day, when I make that run to the little grocery store in town, I slip on my pretty red heels and walk proudly to the milk section.
Dressed in sweat pants with her hair pulled tightly back into a bun she leans over, “I don’t know how you wear those shoes.” I smile, watch her pull the 2% from the cooler and respond, “I don’t know how you drink 2%,” and I grab my skim, smile, and walk away in my size 7 skinny pants.
Living authentically in who you are sometimes has its perks.
- What about yourself have you found is hard for others to accept, and how do you create your own authentic moments in the face of judgment?
Published By Cyril P Abraham