Well Since I Come Home, Well My Body’s Been a Mess

August 29, 2008 § 1 Comment

Being in N.Y.C. this week reminded me of being in N.Y.C. almost exactly a year ago, visiting my best friend Tracey. She lived there for a year, and before that she lived in San Francisco for a year, and before that she spent 12 hours a day toiling in the cubicle down from mine. Now she lives in San Francisco again. (Got all that?)

Actually, that coast-hopping kind of sums up what I love about Tracey – she’s fearless, collected, and razor sharp but not cutthroat. Two out of those three thing we do not have in common. Things we do have in common: An utter adoration for pop culture — 30 Rock, Sports Night, Charlie’s Angels movies (total inside joke) — bingo, and fabulous designer clothing.

So let me set the scene: Bergdorfs. Late summer sale. Diane von Furstenberg. Theory. Marc Jacobs. Tory Burch. Philip Lim. These are a few of our favorite things. We bought more than a few of these things. On sale! (But still.)

And then we went to the shoe department. And then one of us (I don’t remember which) spotted them: Black suede Christian Louboutin hidden platform pumps. Marked down to two hundred and seventy dollars.

We were both immediately in love, but there was only one pair.

Both Cinderellas tried on the slipper. The slipper seemed to fit both.

You take them.
No, you take them.
I’m not sure I will wear them.
They. Are. Louboutins.
(It’s worth noting at this point that I still wasn’t sure how to pronounce Louboutin, so a lot of time the conversation would be more like “LOW-BOOT-IHN?’ and ‘No! LOW-BOOH-TAWN.’ Someday, I dare you to ask me how to pronounce Givenchy: Hilarity will ensue.)
You found them. You take them.
You found them!

Somewhere in the midst of this, a sniffy Bergdorf’s salesman had wafted up next to us, and eventually, pointedly announced that he had found another pair. The exact same pair, the exact same size.

Two pairs of Christian Louboutins! The day was saved. We paid. We left. We returned to Tracey’s apartment and showed off our spoils to the husbands and then-fiances, who, with funny looks on their faces, wondered aloud who the hell we were, and how much money we suddenly were making. Were there promotions they were not made aware of previously?

The boys! The voices of reason! They put chinks in the armor of Diane and Marc and Tory but they could not touch Christian.

But then I noticed that the pair I walked out of Bergdorfs with were mismatched – same shoe, but a 37 and a 37.5.

We spent the rest of the weekend sipping beers on the rooftop, giving ourselves Amy Winehouse cats-eyes, and I spent at least 30 minutes each day slipping the shoes off and on and clomping around Tracey’s walk-up — my right foot is bigger than my left — trying to convince myself that this was for the best. It was fate! These shoes were perfect for me! It was meant to be.

The morning we were leaving, and I set the Louboutins on Tracey’s kitchen table, and asked, meekly, Will you return these for me the next time you go to Bergdorfs?

She said, yes, of course.
And the Marc and the Tory?
Yes, of course, she said.
I’m keeping the Diane.
You should.

A few weeks after that trip, she called me, to tell me, I returned the Louboutins, finally.
Thank you, I told her.
I returned mine too, she said. It just wasn’t meant to be.

I wore the DVF in N.Y.C., and I thought of my friend Tracey, who supports me when the shoe fits and when I’m just squeezing into it, and vice versa. And I missed her, tons.

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