$articlecss = 'css/article1.css'; $keywords='humor, shoes, cheese, slipping, embarrassment, walking, clicky heels, footwear, slutty heels, falling, skating, contest, coolest person, powdered cheese, powdered cheese empire, lawsuit, woman, women, blog, superstore, shopping, market, errands, humiliation, katie weekley, columns, rebellion'; $description='As I`m cheese-skating out of the aisle, I imagine myself filing a lawsuit against Superstore, hiring an ambulance-chasing lawyer, and even wearing one of those puffy cervical collars as I sorrowfully tell a courtroom how my life was nearly brought to a grinding halt by powdered cheese.'; $title='Moondance: Celebrating Creative Women - Columns - Cheeseskate by Katie Weekley'; include INCDIR.'/header_content.inc'; ?>
I live in a city with really sucky public transportation. I get around this either by:
My Not-Suitable-For-Walking shoes are beautiful. In catalog-speak, they are: rich oxblood Mary Jane flats with delicate clicky heels. My shoes have lead to this conversation many times:
AWESTRUCK WOMAN: I love your shoes!
ME (blushing, humbling): Oh, thank you very much.
AWESTRUCK WOMAN: Where did you get them?
ME (scraping reverently, conveying that it's not like I discovered insulin or anything, but this is still pretty important): Oh, just New York!
Yes, some people are born great; some have greatness thrust upon them; and some people travel across the continent to purchase footwear.
I'm no Sex in the City fool who struts around in five-inch stilettos. I don't mind a nice slutty heel every now and then, but only for situations where I'm going to be standing rather than walking and not compressing several important lumbar vertebras while imagining the hours I've spent at yoga now completely wasted. My Not-Suitable-For-Walking shoes are really Not-Suitable-For-Walking-Long-Distances-Safely shoes. They're comfortable enough, but the soles are Depression-Era thin and have no treads. But because they do make a decisively bold clicking sound, it's sometimes difficult to make the judgment call of exactly what is too much walking.
If I already have committed to an event where I need to drive and wear cool shoes, I often decide to maximize the situation by doing as many car-related errands as possible. On one particular day, I decide that since I've fatly and lazily driven downtown, I should drive a little bit farther to Superstore and do some bulk grocery shopping that I can't do in my own neighborhood. I'm clicking around the aisles, feeling fashionably put-together and a serious contender for the coolest person in Superstore, if such a contest were to suddenly spring up.
And then I slip.
It's one of those slips where I don't actually fall but where every muscle in my entire body tenses in a desperate defense against which way gravity decides to pull me. So I stay upright and, in fact, my quick cat-like reflexes mean I actually only move a few millimeters. My body has convulsed violently, though, making every appendage snap quickly like I'm on the cheapest roller coaster ride ever invented. Also, I've displaced every molecule of air in a twenty five-foot radius, which causes the other customers to turn and locate the shockwave’s epicenter.
Suddenly, I'm not the coolest person in Superstore.
Post-slip Reaction #1
"What? Me slip? No, no, I've been walking for years! I'm really good! I never slip! Hey, did you fill out your Coolest Person in Superstore Ballot?"
Post-slip Reaction #2
The crap is powdered cheese. Which makes it official: I have to throw the contest. I mean, maybe if it were something truly scary and dangerous, like mini-anvils or even thumbtacks, I could argue that my safety was seriously put at risk. But powdered cheese? So, I default to Post-slip Reaction #1 and hightail it out of the Aisle of Embarrassment. Except my thin soled shoes, perhaps in what they see as a rare opportunity to become substantial footwear, cling to as much of the powdered cheese as possible. I then am forced into an old-fashioned skating stride, still allowing a few, tiny regions of my brain to hang onto the notion that no one has noticed.
And then, what always happens to me when something is only slightly embarrassing? I imagine a complex, crazy scenario that would raise the stakes right up to Most Ridiculous Ever. As I'm cheese-skating out of the aisle, I imagine myself adamantly filing a lawsuit against Superstore, hiring an ambulance-chasing lawyer, and even wearing one of those puffy cervical collars as I sorrowfully tell a courtroom how my life was nearly brought to a grinding halt by powdered cheese.
Oh, no. Everyone is staring at me. No, not because I'm the lady who shifted all the air molecules. I'm the lady who only a few seconds earlier may have passed as a normal human being but not any more. I am now completely alone, giggling and convulsing like I’m at a comedy club’s All-Star Night. I'm snorting and guffawing so hard I must cheese-skate over to the frozen pizzas and sit on the edge of the freezer so my brain can process the Powdered Cheese Empire I could build from my Superstore Lawsuit Riches. It takes a lot longer than I'd care to admit.
Sure, a responsible person would have reported the hazardous powdered cheese spill to an employee. But having drained nearly all my reserves, when I finally found someone, I probably would have gotten something nonsensical like "POW-POW-POW . . ." out of my mouth before collapsing into another fit.
My need to narratize every little thing that happens ("I'm a dork: Details at Eleven!") means that even after I depart from Superstore (leaving a trail of orange powder), hours later, I still periodically emit spontaneous barks when flashes of the Superstore Heiress Lifestyle that I lost pop into my mind.
Important note: I am in no way blaming this on the shoes.