16 February 2015

ObserVation: Heels for health (heelnote)

s I have been down with the flu since my last post, I got to thinking in my delirium and between bouts of coughing about the choice I had made in the shoe store mentioned in my last post on heels for health. For those who have read the post, it was while shopping for shoes for my wife that the shop owner asking me if I would also like to try some heels on. For those who hadn’t read the post, well now you know. I’ll add again at this point that the wife at present has no idea of Abigale’s existence, not a happy situation and will be taken up in future posts.
So, as I had wrote in the post I said “no” to the offer of trying on heels. I must say I found myself surprisingly embarrassed with the situation at the time. It could have been I was warning myself of the possible difficulties I would be getting into if I had said “yes”. 

Now to make it a little more complicated. If I had had this opportunity to try on heels before May 2014, I would have probably have said “yes”. Why? quite simple, up to that time I had no experience in heels. Since then Abigale has bought a complete wardrobe and a collection of heels in various heights /colours / styles. These shoes have given me, with the help of YouTube videos and trial and error pain, the opportunity to experience the “womanly walk” and keep me most of the time in an elevated upright position while in them. Therefore before May I would not have had to fake anything, since then I would. 

Here follows two extreme scenarios that illustrate in some way my quandary at the time. Most of the shoes in the shop where 4.5" (11cm) and upwards, not the easiest height for starters. Following a "search and fit" phase it would have been time for the dreaded "stand up and walk" phase.. 

One: Stand up without any help, ignore any warnings of taking it easy and slow, with knowing strides hips swaying but not overdone, walk the length of the shop, placing one foot in front of the other without falter, heel-toe heel-toe, stop, a practiced turn as on the catwalk, pause, balance on one foot while looking critically down at the other shoe from different angles, same with the other foot, walk back this time one foot a tick over the other turning toes slightly outwards, turn and sit down gracefully without using the hands for support. Then while looking up say "very comfortable just love the colour! By the way have you any Mary Jane’s in blue or pink?
or  
Two: Try very slowly to stand up holding on to the chair for dear life, as soon as in the vertical, grope out in typical Frankenstein’s monster pose seeking support as if life depended on it, wobble like mad, remark on how the hell can woman stand in these things let alone walk in them, try a few steps with legs / hips stiff and feet at crazy angles, turn abruptly around in a drunken sway and make a staggered bee line back to the safety of the chair, while turning and falling into it, say “thank you for the experience, but no thank you!

Ok I went over the top with this, but even with something in between the two, my wife would just not have bought it. Anything in the direction of the first scenario would have been a dead giveaway, our talk on the way home would have started with having to explain why it looked like I could walk in heels without any beginners mistakes, far from it. This would have gone on to a mix of curiosity, the killing of a cat and in depth 3rd degree, resulting by the end of the day in Abigale being pinned out on the dissecting table, but not under my terms. 
With anything in the direction of the second scenario just as bad, she knows me too well, she would have seen immediately I was faking it in some way, mainly due to the lack of effect in trying to balance. In the past we had years of ballroom and Latin American dancing, our teacher once remarked that I could sway my hips better than most men (and some women) in our group and in combination with years of Tai Chi I can hold my balance quite well even just on the ball of one foot. 

Result: I think she would have cottoned on and seen that either this was not the first time in high heels or that I put on such a show to hide the possibility I could probably walk in high heels. Whatever, it would have been a “lose lose” situation. Also the owner of the shop would have noticed any “ability” in my “walk around” and may have said something in jest which may have not been that far from, if not the truth. 
All a bit risky and therefore the “no” was, I think the best option under the circumstances. 

Now that I have that out of the way, one thing is still nagging me with the “yes” situation. If everything had gone smoothly and we all three had had our fun with my “fitting”, what would I have done if the owner, seeing a potential sale, had confronted me with the dreaded “buy” question.. 
I think I’ll speculate upon this in another post. I will mention here that although I implied I haven’t any experience in heels before May ‘14, this is not strictly true, but as good as. With the next “Windows:” post, I’ll elucidate on this and then maybe the “problem” with the question buy or not to buy, will become more complicated than it already is.

03 February 2015

ObserVation: Heels for Health..

ere is a so called “side effect” concerning wearing heels that I came across while shopping a while ago. It would be interesting if anyone has heard of, or experienced the effect in some way. 
I was with my wife once again in town on the lookout for shoes. As she has a very small shoe size 2-3UK / 34-35EU and wide width, it’s a nightmare trying to find anything that will fit and looking like it hadn’t come from the children’s dept. 
Fortunately there is a shoe shop that caters for very small to very large feet that we frequent to see what’s in season. As a regular customer the owner gives us a call when a new delivery is on its way. They don’t have that much of a choice and what comes in at irregular intervals is usually snapped up quickly, so timing is everything. 
As my wife was trying on shoes I wandered off in the direction of the large sizes and browsed. I held my distance as I didn’t want to bring attention to myself. After a while I wandered back. As we chatted with the owner, out of the blue she said that she had seen I had been looking at the high heels, and she asked if I would like to try them on! 
I did a double take, looked at her and said “pardon?”. Apparently she was not joking, as she repeated the question without any hint that she was anything but serious. 

Now if I would have been alone, I think I would had jumped at the chance. But I wasn’t and therefore I smiled and gave from myself a long drawn out “No…”. I must say I have no idea what my wife would have said if I had said “Yes please!” or "well ok, why not”. She would I think, have gone along with it, but I’m not sure if she would not have been inwardly or possibly outwardly embarrassed. 
I must say that when I’ve embarrassed her in some way it usually leads to her being angry with me and also angry with herself for getting embarrassed. It shows itself in a verbal shutdown for an indefinite time period. All I can get out of her in this mode, is short neutral toned monosyllable answers to anything ask. This carries on until I start to try and apologise, which slowly coaxes her out into the open again and we talk it through. 
Anyway I had said “no” and so I will unfortunately never know what the result would have been if I had said “yes”. Of course, I could ask her what she would have thought about the situation if I had said “yes”. But I’m not sure where it would lead. 

The shoe shop owner had mentioned in the past, that a number of the local drag artists would buy shoes from her shop as well as other shoe "admirers”. This time she told us of a customer that buys heels for his bad back. He said that it made him stand up straight and that his back pain was better after a while. We laughed at the “excuse” he had made to buy.
 
We also laughed about this on the way home, of course what I did not mention was my own experience in heels in conjunction with my own back problem. I have very little chance to walk in my heels, it’s down to short runs and manoeuvres around the cellar at home or walking the 45 meter long corridor at work, after the staff has gone home and the main lights are out. Fortunately there is the emergency illumination to make sure I don’t run into doors and the odd copy machine lying about. 
I try to get in at least 3 to 4 corridor “lengths” to give me at least an idea of what it would be like to spend an elevated evening in them. I do notice that the hips have the feeling of not being where they usually are and that I have to stand up as straight as I can to help with balancing. 
With my scoliosis not an easy task, I’ve had it since my teens; I don’t look like Quasimodo back wise, but I do have to make a conscious effect to raise my head that extra few degrees to look straight ahead parallel to the floor. I can’t say my back problem feels “better” while heel-walking, different if anything. My main focus is not to lose my balance and trying to think away the pain emulating from my ankles and toes due to the unusual angle and unfortunately a half a size too small shoe. I don’t really think there was going to be any orthopaedic benefit in walking in them. 

The only thing I would call a “positive effect” was as said, having to stand up as straight as I could. Which I think for my back and stance would be in the long run beneficial for my health. I can just imagine my medical insurance company laughing their heads off after receiving a bill for reimbursement from my last heel buying attack!  
With what I have found in the literature after a short Google in the Net, is that heels are in no way healthy. Understandable when one looks at the anatomical compensation needed by the body and the dramatic increase in weight on the ball of the foot when the heel is raised. The change in posture may give the wearer an, okay let’s use the word, “sexy” enhancement and that’s quite ok. There are far more extreme measures that one can do to oneself when trying to be so called fashionable.
I'm not against heels in anyway far from it, everybody to their own. But what I cannot understand is this trend of doing aerobics in heels! I very much doubt that this will bring anything, apart from a potential sprained ankle. Ok, a short workout in reasonable heels may help you to survive an evening dancing in them, but I think that’s about it. 

I know I won't be wearing heels every day on a regular bases, just the opposite due to the pain and lack of opportunities. I am frustrated that with a shoe size half a tick away on the wrong side of 9UK/43EU/12US there is a very limited selection in relationship to other sizes. On the other hand, I am also glad, because it stops me from potential financial ruin! 

If you have any positive effects while wearing heels please let me know. It goes without saying that I’m not referring to finally being able to reach that otherwise inaccessible top shelf without the use of a ladder!