If you’ve read this blog before, you probably have picked up that I am obsessed with shoes. I won’t bore you, but I checked myself and I have 4 places that I (already) talk about shoes.
That’s a lot for someone who is definitely not a fashionista in any possible way, shape, or form.
But it’s true, what I said above about shoes telling all. That’s a quote from Rabbi Jay Miller, z’l, my teacher. He noticed a lot of things about people, and one of them was that. Of course, he was particularly talking about newly-indoctrinated yeshiva bochurs who were trying to fit into the yeshiva world but wore the wrong shoes, or at least didn’t know enough that that would be a tell-tale sign that they were new at the game.
But in those days, I don’t think people cared so much about pretending to fit in; their ignorance preceded them. And no airs were necessary.
Today we judge and are judged so much on our externals. And I realize that I am guilty, as well; I so don’t want to be taken to be in any other “camp” that I want to make sure that I am distinctly not covering all of my hair. And it is not possible to think that my hair is a fall:).
Shoes to me are like the open closet doors of one’s outfit; I can’t handle it if it’s off. So sneakers, especially light-colored ones with dark socks or stockings, just make me shudder.
I know. REALLY silly.
And I know that some people wear sneakers walking to shul because they live a distance away and even perhaps outside of the eruv, so they’re being practical and smart. So why should I have a problem with them? I don’t.
I don’t know. I know I prefer them to high heels, both wearing and even looking at. When a chiropractor once told a group of women that the strain of wearing high heels is like being 8 months pregnant, another woman in the group asked, “So if you’re 8 months pregnant and wear high heels, is that like being 16 months pregnant?”
Sensible is as sensible does.
Maybe, for a lot of women, it’s saying that this look is enough and they don’t have to care more than that. Maybe for some women that I see, like the woman yesterday with her ill-fitting sheitel and her sensible sneakers, she’s just making herself fit in to a world where she really isn’t accepted, so maybe I’m realizing that function has completely lost to form. And so I am sad at the symbol of shoes. Because it can’t possibly be about comfort.