by Jan on August 19, 2011
This week I impulsively splurged on a pair new red suede pumps. More than that, at the time I had no idea why these red high heels jumped out at me – compelling me to bring them home.
As I tried them on I suddenly felt alive in a way I haven’t been for some time. I loved them–even though they are half a size too small.
This saga started with the comment by an unwelcome salesperson.
She forcefully explained to me, an obviously over 50-year-old person, “No one notices you after you are 50.” My blood started to boil, and I told her quite strongly, “I don’t accept that.” I walked away from her in a fury, promising I would never, ever, buy anything from her.
A few minutes later, and down the escalator, I was in the shoe department, buying these shoes.
I normally wear “slightly” more sensible shoes. But when I got home, and thought about it, I began to wonder what really happened. What motivated me to by red suede high heels?
Clearly, it was the saleswoman’s comments that were a trigger. She was the spokesperson of the moment for our cultural conversation that old is ugly, or at the very least, not noteworthy. Apparently, in her opinion, after 50 no one will ever notice you again, you don’t count, and you should act your age! Yuck.
Do I want to be noticed by wearing nice clothes or red shoes? No and Yes. I do it to feel beautiful for myself. That is the key. But I also don’t mind if others approve.
Beautiful things give me the feeling that I am worthwhile, no matter what my age. And so are we all. We can’t give up hope that we live a fulfilling life, a useful life, or even that all of our adventures are over because we’ve reached some arbitrary age.
Here is an anonymous* quote that I wish was my response to the saleswoman.
“You are the content of your character. You are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you see. You are the things that you laugh at and the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder. You are beautiful and desirable not for the clique you attend, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your life a full and meaningful one. You are beautiful not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul in it.”
More than anything my red shoes are a symbol for me.
Hope to live a free, unexpected life, is too strong in me—one that I’m not going to give up.
* Source: Red Rock Shoes