Around here, Sunday mornings are for re-living the past. Not in a Shirley Maclaine past-life kind of way, where we talk about cleaning King Henry’s chamber pots or being a samurai who hated sushi. No, we’re talking about Flashback Sunday, when we dig into the archives and pull random newspaper columns or posts from the distant past, back when the followers of this blog could all fit at our breakfast table. And did each morning before school. (Warning: This week’s Flashback includes strong graphic elements, such as the accompanying image of my actual legs in high heels…)
In preparation for October’s “Walk in My Heels” event, in which men wear high heels to show support for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, my wife talked me into going with her to a fancy shoe store to look for size-12 heels. As I expected, it wasn’t long before women were falling all over me.
That’s because they were all trying on high heeled shoes, some of which were so towering that a special negotiator had to be called in to talk them down. These women apparently loved high heels so much that, once they discovered they couldn’t afford them, chose to end it all by unstrapping their Stilettos and leaping headfirst into the bargain table.
I observed all of this knowing full well that if the heel were on the other foot, men, given a choice, would rather have themselves hobbled. The reason is simple: Men are physically incapable of walking in high heels without looking like a poodle balancing on its hind legs for a piece of cheese. We just don’t possess that special gene that women have, which allows them to stride down the street in high heels with leggy confidence. And let’s face it. Even if we did have it, chances are we’d still walk — with leggy confidence — directly into a post.
I am now going to reveal something about myself that could mean the end of my career. Or, at the very least, the end of my wife’s willingness to share a closet with me. You see, in order to prepare for writing this —
I dressed a poodle in high heels.
No. I tried wearing a pair of my wife’s high heels. And let me just clarify that it did not include any type of accessorizing, unless you count the scarf, which was used to stop my nose from bleeding after I tripped headfirst into the coffee table. For obvious reasons, no one was home when I attempted this, which is to say that I risked my life for this column. One minute, I was making my way along the wall toward an arm of the couch (and feeling pretty good about the way my calves looked). The next minute, WHAM! My ankles were touching the floor and I was trying to remember the number for 9-1-1.
Don’t judge me. I was a journalist in high heels putting himself in harm’s way in order to bring you the truth. God only knows what would’ve happened if the dog hadn’t broken my fall.
The irony in all this is that men were actually the first to wear high heeled shoes. That’s right. An Egyptian inventor devised them as a way for butchers to elevate themselves off the messy stall floors. This practice of wearing heels lasted approximately 11 minutes, after which the chief butcher to the Pharaoh awarded the inventor his very own pyramid chamber, which he was immediately sealed into.
Eventually, high heeled shoes resurfaced again in the 1600s, when the French used them as a way to elevate themselves above anyone who wasn’t French. Ha! Just kidding! They didn’t need special shoes for that. However, fashion-minded women in France did hobble around on 40-inch heels, often using long sticks to balance themselves. This helped established Paris as THE fashion Mecca, and more importantly to travelers, as a place where crowded streets could be cleared easily using a single bowling ball.
Just like a pair of Stiletto heels, there is a point to all this, which is that men should be extremely thankful for all the sacrifices women make in order to look and feel more attractive for the men in their lives.
Especially since they can do it without breaking the coffee table.
(Ned is a syndicated humor columnist for News Media Corporation. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439)
52 thoughts on “Most men will never have to butcher a cow while wearing high heels”
As a performer who has had to wear heels for most of her career, I appreciate a man who tries. And I have seen some men succeed in 3 inch heels, but it takes practice, coaching, and sometimes workman’s comp to win that battle.
I gained a whole new respect for my wife’s wearing of high heels. I mean, other than my appreciative looks.
And I am convinced, regardless of coaching, practice and enough medical coverage to cover “Act of Heels,” I could never be one of those men who could wear them with any sort of style.
*Bowing to you and all women in heels*
Having lived in downtown Toronto for several years and watching thousands of women wander the business and entertainment districts (all in the name of science, of course), I can tell you that the poodle problem has extended well into the female gene pool as well.
I don’t know how many women I have seen who simply cannot walk in heels without looking like they’re stomping grapes. Sure, their calves look great, but they walk like a linebacker trying to negotiate a very narrow doorway…not terribly sexy, but plenty eye-catching.
Women of the world, please don’t do this to yourself. If you’re attractive with heels, you are attractive without them. And if your goal is to puncture people’s feet as you stumble backward on a subway platform, just carry a nail gun.
Excellent point, Randall. I’ll even take it a step further (but not in heels) by saying that carrying a nail gun just makes good sense anyway.
Remember, nail guns don’t hold wood together. Wood holds wood together.
You haven’t seen my carpentry work.
I could easily picture you in fishing boots, mukluks and maybe even wooden clogs.
But 6 inch stillettos?
I’m off to a bar–need to find a way to unsee this…
Seriously, though, good for you. There are still piggish louts among us who don’t respect women and it’s important that they be shown their ways are not to be tolerated.
Just, for heaven’s sake, don’t break your ankle!!!
I don’t blame you for the need of a mind wipe. Not only did I have to take that picture of my legs in heels, but I walked past the mirror and caught my reflection. I begin therapy next week…
See you there 🙂
I just pretend I can walk in heels and do it only when absolutely necessary! I avoid them whenever I can and must watch out for solid objects.
I don’t blame you. I took the same approach during my short-lived heels experience. I found I wasn’t able to avoid solid objects, such as the ground.
I wear heels Mon-Fri, boots on the weekend. Mine are anywhere from 3 – 5 inches. The first time I ever wore heels, it took a week of practice to learn how to walk in them. Now I’ve been walking in heels regularly for 18 years, and can even run in them (and have). I don’t find them to be suffering at all.
My two cents, wear the heels frequently between now and the walk to break them in. This way they’ll be molded to your feet and hurt less (not not hurt, but hurt less, because it’s a mile and that’s a long way) and you’ll know where to put the band-aids to prevent blisters.
Thank you for the tips, from someone who knows. I will definitely use your advice. If you ever have the need to wear firefighter boots, I’ll return the favor 😉
I’ve only once ever even been close to needed firefighter boots, and I wasn’t really even all that close: http://thisismycorn.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/i-can-no-longer-say-ive-never-used-a-fire-extinguisher/. However, they may make for a good Halloween costume next month.
You deserve kudos for attempting to put the fire out in that outfit. You’re mustache after November observation: priceless 😉
I’m very used to heels. It would have been awkward in tennis shoes. And, yeah, his mustache still haunts my nightmares.
I can only hope he doesn’t have one of those creepy “Free Mustache Rides” T-shirts.
And as a side note, some old-school firefighters grow long mustaches and beards as a sign of “daring the fire.” Long bushy mustache = “never been burned.” I feel confident in my abilities as a FF, but keep my beard trimmed close anyway 😉
Very interesting. I’ve learned something today. What makes someone an “old-school firefighter”? Because he was young, like verging on too young.
Also I’ve realized I may or may not have paid attention entirely and may or may not currently have myself confused. So it’s Sunday (who knew). Was this walk not next month and I totally just gave you heel wearing advice that isn’t necessary?
Even young FF can be “old school,” depending on who has the most influence on them in the department. We have a few in mine. Scary.
And yes, given that today’s Flashback was from a while ago, I participate every October anyway — so your advice will definitely be heeded. Or heeled, as it were.
Good luck on the walk. I’ve seen pictures of like events. They look fun and funny.
The best kind 😉 Thanks for the good wishes. I’m going to bump up my life insurance policy, just in case.
Without PETA watching and peering in on my comment…
I would butcher a cow, a snake, a gator, a croc….all for the sake of appearances and the love of a shoe, of course. My heart and soul is for the love of a heel…I mean shoes.
Your wife is a saint. So is your coffee table.
Did you paint your toes too?
Your “I would butcher a cow, a snake, a gator…” started off like a horrific Dr. Seuss rhyme.
Anyway, my wife is without question a saint; she’s married to me, remember?
And I am toying with the idea of painting my toes, as soon as I find the right nozzle for my power sprayer.
…you forgot to mention the coffee table?
you must spray paint them RED. thats just pure class my friend.
I mean butcher speaking…
I’m certainly glad the event was not “Walk In My Underwear”.
I’d have to know your waist size first…
36 with DD cups
I’m sorry I asked.
I thought you might say that.
I would endure red wine burning my nasal passages to see you in high heels!! And not all women can walk in high heels – see the attached video. (I may or may not have had to change my pants after I watched it) I’m not sure what is funnier, the slo-mo replay or the newscasters reactions! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0eINGyJHz8
That is absolutely hilarious! The model’s wobbling heel fall is funny, but the anchormen’s inability to stop laughing had me rolling. There’s just something about news people laughing that extra funny, because they are supposed to be serious. Like getting the giggles in church or at your divorce hearing… 😉
hahahaha……I watched it a few times after I sent it….it still kills me…..
OK, this one is still one of my favorites. Makes me laugh every single time…
Hahaha…..I love that it was a Canadian Brown Finch. 😀
Don’t think I didn’t catch the irony in that! 🙂
Of course you did….I would expect nothing less. 😉
i used to somehow wear them as a cocktail waitress when i was a single mother putting myself through college. now, i wear them when i want to look or feel uber feminine. on other days, and when wrangling/teaching the kinders, i can easily adjust to my teva sandals, bare feet, or boots and be happy.
I have the utmost respect for your footwear versatility.
Holy snappin’ duck shit Ned, I think you’ve nailed it for me! The next time I go camel shootin’ I’m takin’ mah heels, I just know that’s what’s been missing from the whole experience…thanks man. REDdog
Let me know how that goes, REDdog! I guess with heels you won’t need spurs.
I have just given away all of my high heels given that my balance is suffering as I get older and find myself on the floor quite often…. And that’s wearing nothing but bare feet. I don’t need extra inches to fall on my backside. I commend you. And thank you for the giggle.
My pleasure, Suz. And as far as getting rid of the heels, it sounds like a solid decision. That said, if you have any size 12s, I’d like to know about it;)
I stopped wearing heels while I was living in South Texas, due to becoming insecure about my height (5’5″ on a good day). I was one tall lady by Mexican border standards. Thanks for the heels history, and kudos on your attempt at struttin’ your stuff! Practice makes perfect!
I can understand that. My wife is Latina and the same height as you, although I’m 6’1″ so it’s not an issue. Except that when I fall from my heels, it’s a longer way down. I’ve got three weeks to stop using my wife to balance myself 😉
Wearing heels is awesome…until it’s not.
That is the perfect description of my experience, which lasted about eight seconds before the “not part.” Kind of like a rodeo…
I recommend a sturdy, thick, heel something like Nine West Blossom http://www.ninewest.com/Blossum/11831609,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=JJ672C4_1&cgid=8346252&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=ninewest-catalog If you could find an open toe version it may be more comfortable. I don’t see you as a strappy sandal kinda guy, that’s a look that most men can’t pull off.
Yes, this is definitely more my style. I don’t have the calves or ankles for straps. I have come to accept that about myself.
I wasn’t going to mention why that isn’t a good look for you. I hate to see you run, crying inconsolably, through The Door. I’m sure the people in the newsroom drink a lot of coffee and need immediate access. Thankfully you’ve reached acceptance. I can’t where hats and I do so love the ones with little veils, just a hint of net. Perhaps a matching hat and bag will complete your look?
I LOVE that you are participating against domestic violence, Ned.
Lol! The only way I could pull off heels with straps is if I also had one of those hats with a veil, but long enough to cover my face and legs 😉
I thought men wore heels so they could walk through the streets of ‘Ye Olde England’ (and probably other countries, it’s not all our fault) without coming into contact with the contents of the slop bucket thrown out of the windows and into the streets!
That’s only in New Jersey.