Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Official footwear of O.Z.

When I lived on the Upper West Side and davened at OZ, I would often, on my way to shule, find other single women walking in front of me, clearly going to the same place. And since they were in front of me, I could analyze their outfits with impunity.

This boot
epitomizes the Friday night post-davening OZ scene. When I first saw them, I said "oo la la" and fantasized about owning them. (Note: Just because I love to look at beautiful shoes does not mean I spend money on them. Actually, my shoe collection is even weaker and more embarrassing than my CD collection. It's pretty sad.)

But on a deeper, darker, level, they represent everything I loved and hated about UWS life. Because, unlike other girls, I gave thought not only to how fabulous and slightly-vixenish shoes like these would look while standing on 95th street, smiling, and flipping one's carefully-blown-straight hair, but also how they would feel on the walk home. Ouch. And I also gave thought to how impractical and, frankly, JAP-py it is to spend time and money buying tons and tons of shoes in order to conform to some social pressure to have the perfect pair for every outfit. And so, much as I love to look at them, I would never, ever wear these to shule. Maybe to a weekday cocktail party of some kind, if I were getting a ride there and back. And if I could afford them. And if I had storage space for a collection of oo-la-la shoes. But not to shule, not when I lived half a mile away. Ouch!

These boots represent, simultaneously, all the Manhattan values I loathe . . . and all the things I wish I could be.

It's not easy, being a woman. And I'm not just talking about the high heels.

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