It's generally believed that a man going through his mid-life-crisis dyes his hair black, buys a flashy sports car, and trades in his wife of 20 years for a younger model. What does it mean when a forty-five year old woman who's only ever worn comfy flatties, gets a rush of blood to the head and buys herself not one, but 2 pairs of high heel shoes on the same day?
I live on a farm where the rocky, uneaven terrain dictates that a woman must wear practical flat shoes in order not to kill herself. Most of the time I wear crocs, or slops. Flat, strappy sandals are for special occasions. Recently this changed.
On our brief trips to Cape Town my husband usually keeps a beady eye on me, and never lets me loose alone in a shopping mall. Today however he needs to look at vehicles, as our bakkie is starting to blow smoke from the engine and we need to trade it in. (For a younger model.) He has no choice. Shopping for a car is a man's job, and he can't be hindered by a woman tagging along. He drops me at the mall. Not just any mall. The V and A Waterfront. You must understand that for a woman who lives in the Karoo, where the only source of retail therapy is Pep Stores, the Waterfront is nothing short of heaven.
I head for the shoe department to find a new pair of sensible sandals for summer. I'm spoilt for choice. I'm baffled by the vast range and begin the process of trying on, and rejecting shoes. Twenty something pairs later the joy of shoe shopping is starting to wear a little thin. I finally find a pair that's both flattering and comfortable. Feeling a little overwhelmed, and desperately in need of a cup of coffee, I head to the counter to pay.
Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I spy a funky pair of shoes with the most indecently high heels I've ever seen. The pair I'm holding look so boring and fuddy dud in comparison. Let me just try them on for fun! Gosh! They look magnificent. I feel chic and glamorous. In a moment of daring I decide to buy them as well . Before I can change my mind I head for the till again. Just ahead of me I spot yet another pair of gorgeous heels. I try them on. WOW! Stunning! I can't justify buying three pairs of shoes. I'm a Karoo farmer's wife for crying out loud. When do I ever get the chance to wear high heels? The blood is rushing to my head. I ditch the sensible flatties, and with my head down, I make a dash for the counter. This time I make it. I pay an exorbitant amount of money for two of the most fashionably stylish and exceedingly impractical pairs of shoes I'll ever own.
I feel bold and extravagant, and yes; sexy. For a brief moment I also feel foolish and guilty, but I banish those thoughts. I am not a boring Karoo Tannie. I am a mature woman, in her prime. I am fulfilled and confident. Interested and interesting, and even if I can barely walk in them, I am the proud owner of two ridiculously high pairs of shoes.