Sunday, June 11, 2006

B4B: The Magic of Shoes

The theme for this month's Blogging 4 Books contest is "Magic". A few months ago I wrote an essay I called "The Magic" and thought perhaps I'd enter that, but on re-reading it after several months I found I wanted to rework it just a bit. So the entry below is the revised version called... "The Magic of Shoes" When I think back on my childhood, one of my most vivid early memories is the memory of breaking a glass slipper. It sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it? It wasn't of course, but I'll start the story in traditional fairy tale fashion anyway. Once upon a time, when I was very small, my parents and I went to visit my grandparents and my great-aunt, who lived with them. In the middle of her dresser my great-aunt had a small figurine of a beautiful, high-heeled, glass dancing shoe decorated with fat pink glass roses and shiny green glass leaves. That shoe fascinated me. I was certain Aunt Maxine had somehow come to possess Cinderella's famous glass slipper. What else could it be? I had to touch it. No, it was more than that. I had to try it on! I just knew it would fit and I would be magically transformed from an ordinary little girl into a princess. After all, isn't that what magic slippers do? I was forbidden to touch it, but I could no more stay away from that glass shoe than Jack could resist climbing the beanstalk. I waited for my chance. Then one day, when no one was looking, I dragged a footstool over to the dresser. I climbed up and carefully reached for the slipper. Then I oh-so-cautiously climbed down from the stool with it cradled in both hands. I sat down and quickly removed my dirty tennis shoe and sock so I could try on the magic slipper. And I broke it, of course. It was inevitable. I was heartbroken, sure I had ruined the magic. But you know what? The magic is still there. Every time I drive past my favorite shoe store I feel that same moth-to-the-flame pull I felt that day so long ago. I love to wander through the displays of delicate glittery shoes made for dancing, bright fun sandals perfectly suited for a day at the beach, or boots sturdy enough to hike up a mountain. I love to try on the new styles and picture where my feet might take me. And when I find just the right pair to bring home? Magic.

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