I think my obsession for them started very early in life. My parents were young when I was born and couples still do a lot of socializing in their twenties. When it was appropriate, I was brought along. It was the 60's and everyone seemed carefree and cool with their teased hair, cigarettes and high heels...pumps my generation called them, now they are stilettos. A really good shoe style remains fabulous whatever their name or decade and I enjoyed sitting there sipping my Shirley Temple and oogling all the ladies shoes.
My mother's high heels were magical to me, 3 pairs stick out in my memory the most. There was the predictable steady classic black ones, but my mothers were special and made of smooth velvet. The curve at the top dipped ever so promiscuously, showing what we will call 'toe cleavage' and they were decorated with two thin strips of braided black satin that swept across the top of your foot from one corner to the other. Inside, they were silver and this fascinated me because I understood that once the shoes were on, no one knew except you, that your feet were wrapped in much more than fine material.
The second pair were Kelly Green. My mothers favorite color is green and I always wondered if that was why she had them. The first time I saw them on her feet, I thought that nothing else could be more beautiful. She was all dressed up to go out, she sat down, crossed her legs and your eyes had to go straight to those green shoes. Mom made her statement.
The last pair were so extravagant all covered with a specially made silver glitter. They felt scratchy if your feet accidentally rubbed while you walked. Were they dancing shoes?... or perhaps for a close friends wedding? I pictured her dancing in them and catching the lights with her steps.
What mom was told more recently, was that I used to play with them all the time when she was gone. My favorites were the black ones by far. I was too young to understand that they were very sexy shoes, for that time, but I do remember how they made me feel when I had them on.
So, that is when the shoe bug bit me and they transformed from being useful and practical, into something that I invested my feelings into. I sure wished mom still had those black high heals...I think we could both use a night or two out wearing them.