That would be me, Mrs. Moglie. Married to a native Italian, Mr. Marito.
Mother to a daughter in high school, Ms. SmartyPants and a son in middle school, Mr. Uometto.
Employed at a private British School as an English teacher and Coordinator of Children's Studies.
Part of a small, but growing Protestant church in Frascati, a small town in the hills just outside of Rome.

This is where I sometimes gripe, complain and grumble about the things I dislike, have yet to get used to or simply don't understand about bella Italia.
I do, however, have many people, places and things that I dearly love and I am more than aware of being blessed by each and every one of them.
Also - a few helpful posts for visitors to Rome or for newly arrived ex pats. Check the side bar for tags. I've even some recipes that I've borrowed, tweaked or invented. One thing I've come to love about Italy is how it's changed the way I eat - slow food !! Although ... I do miss Taco Bell ... and Jack in The Box ... and KFC ... and ::sigh::
Thanks for stopping by !!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

High Heels, Pointed Toes and Larger Than Average Calves

I don't know how they do it, these Italian women. It would appear that as infants, the moment they graduate from crawling on marble Sicilian floors to walking upright, someone, somewhere comes along and straps a black pointy-toed 3 inch stiletto heel onto their tiny feet. How else can we explain it?

The it I'm referring to is this: Italian women, be they young or old, short or tall, thin or fat, tiny or large - they are all endowed with the superpower to navigate cracked uneven sidewalks, gravelly pockmarked streets, bumpy notched cobblestone roads, soft dirt and grassy fields - all this while sporting the latest in skinny-minny super high heels. Often, the toes of these shoes are pointed or elongated. I once tried my hand at a very modestly protruding toe and found myself constantly misjudging curb ends and stair widths, continuously stepping on my own feet and otherwise feeling as though I were wearing shoes made for a clown and consequently walking like one, too.

Italian women are ... gifted. Take the woman in the photo above for example. I snapped this photo one afternoon while at the park with Mr. Uometto. She'd come from the other side of the aqueduct, the side where there is only grass and dirt trails and lots and lots of small rocks and pebbles. She plopped herself down just long enough to sling her arms wide and over the bench back, stretch out her toned straight legs and finally look upon her belly with mild suspicion and circumspection. Within moments, she was back up and walking through more dirt, pine needles and tree roots that had broken through gravel and cement. That, my friends, is pure skill.

I'm neither a bag person nor a shoe person. I know, I know. Something must have gone terribly wrong in the combining of my xx chromosomes. And I dare to call myself female? Yes, I do, but I'm one of those females who tend to choose a purse or a pair of shoes and stick with it until I can no longer. This is a trait that Mr. Marito is quite happy to have found in a wife ^.^ So, the other day the pair of winter boots that I had bought last year for the low low saldi price of 49 euro had reached the end of its life cycle and could no longer enable my miserly habits. I had to buy new boots.

My plan was to return to the same store where I purchased the now frayed and split heeled boots from the previous year and find the exact same model. I have large calves and have great difficulty finding high-rise boots that fit properly. Add to that my personal preference for low flat heels, rounded toes and my aversion to dangles, bolts, studs, fringes and other such items that often adorn women's shoes and I've got quite the problem in finding a pair of boots to my liking. What is often a happy joyful occasion for most women, that is, having a husband's complete support and encouragement to spend money is instead a dreaded and depressing event for me. I know I'll find one shoe after another that I can't possibly fit into because of my oversized calves. Store assistants will look upon me with a mixture of disdain, pity and awe.

Also, I already knew that the shoes-I-would-wear pool would be significantly diminished because of the reigning trend of fashion first, safety second. Most shoe stores had an overwhelming preference for the scary shoe. These shoes are scary (to me) not only because they actually look scary, but also because of the thought it evokes of falling down and seriously crippling myself on the off chance I could find one to fit my gargantuan calves and the even more off chance I would actually wear them in public. And this is one reason I admire Italian women - the sheer fearlessness with which they slide on these fine Italian leather stilts and venture into the many hazards and dangers that make up Roman sidewalks. They grocery shop in these things. They carry small children in these things. They run to catch buses and trains in these things. A little part of me startles and dies each time I see a woman sprint over cracks, holes and grates to reach her destination. I hold my breath and tense up, so sure she'll catch a heel or stick a pointed toe and tumble to her death as Italian race-car drivers pummel into her lifeless body, one after another. What a relief when she makes it safely, having avoided all the perils of Roman traffic. I get anxious just thinking about it.

I found a very lovely store with a very lovely shop assistant who very patiently brought me every single boot she thought might fit and be to my tastes. On the 3rd try, we found it. My new wear-till-it-breaks pair of winter boots. Here I am, at left, waiting for the nice Italian lady to bring the other half of the pair.

On my way home, what did I find, but yet another pair of boots !! What a happy morning, after all. This second pair (and third, I bought one black and one brown) was also extremely cheap - only 14 euro. I wore the brown pair to work and received many positive comments and questions as to where I'd gotten them from students, coworkers and parents. It's very possible that my new boots are bellissimi, as I was told again and again, but it may just as likely be that everyone was just happy to see me in something more decent than my old and worn pair.

Not owning a full length mirror in my house, I went to my neighbor's to see a whole reflection of me in my brand spanking new boots !! YaY !!

1 comment:

Shoe Boy said...

Its funny how women can write so much about things they cannot always see!