This is a lyric from Wicked, specifically from the song “Popular.” Even if you haven’t seen the musical, chances are, you’ve heard this quirky little song. In it, Galinda is transforming Elphaba into a girl popular enough to be her friend.

In attempt to glam myself up for my very own viewing of this musical, I re-learned the perfectly true saying that “beauty is pain.” Boy is it, ever. I borrowed one very hot pair of shoes* that (though they weren’t ruby slippers, sadly) really pulled together my entire ensemble. Half of which was also borrowed, considering my clothing options are rather limited when I’m traveling. The point is, I was determined to wear these shoes. No matter how much Dear Friend (who attended the show with me) insisted that I would regret it. Which I did. And do.

All was more than fantastic until I started walking in these fabulous shoes. The trouble began outside of the restaurant where we had our pre-show dinner. My heel kept slipping out of the shoe, causing me to have to walk tip-toed for a step or two for my heel to slide back in to place. Or to make like a flamingo and stand on one foot or the other and manually adjust the shoe causing the issue. This happened about fifteen times between the parking lot and our table, and a similar number on the way back to the car after dinner.

At that point, I was still quite proud of how hot these shoes were and how lucky I was to have the same sized feet as Dear Friend. Sure, the hobbling was an annoyance. But it was certainly worth the look I achieved by wearing them.

The situation became more dire when we were mid-way into a rather longer walk between the parking lot downtown and the theatre entrance; we were nearing the 15-minutes-to-showtime mark and we both had to use the facilities prior to this three hour long musical/visual extravaganza and then hike up four flights of stairs to the balcony and one extra flight to the VERY last row and around 20 already seated folks to get to our seats before show time. This is NOT easy to do in the allotted time, even in flats. But honey, I was rockin’ some serious heels that were not entirely fitting my feet to begin with. I made it to my seat with barely a moment to spare, and with what felt like bleeding, blistered, and battered feet. It was just a relief to sit down.

Until I discovered the definition of vertigo and almost lost my dinner on the nice family in the row in front of us. Seriously, we were WAY too high (in the vertical sense, not the druggie sense). WAY. But that’s not really the point of this post, now is it?

Needless to say, my toes came out to play during the performance. They deserved a break. They’d performed admirably well – I was satisfied with them as a whole, no matter how much I wished I’d shoved a pair of flip-flops in my purse on the way out the door.

Things just became humorous after the show. It was around 11pm at this point and I am usually quite relaxed and nearly asleep by this time most nights, so you might describe me as “drowsy” to begin with. Though there was no alcohol involved in this fantastic evening, if you’d seen my attempt to get back to Dear Friend’s car, you would have assumed I’d drunk heavily for several hours before making the journey. I wobbled. I clutched on to Dear Friend for Dear Life. I swung my arm in attempt to stay balanced. I curled my toes up in the shoes so that the heels would stop slipping. I sang the only line from the musical I could remember (the word Popular) over and over again. I gave myself permission to never wear shoes again if I just made it to the car without giving up and walking barefoot through the streets of Birmingham. Dear Friend weaved with me as she tried to support my leanings. She laughed at my absurd singing. She reminded me that she’d told me not to wear the shoes in the first place.

She was right.

But dang, they were such adorable shoes. I’ d probably put them back on right now if they were mine to keep. Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as a pair of shoes can transform a person’s attitude? Galinda is right. Sometimes it just takes finding the right shoes to wear to make yourself feel like the most popular person in the world!

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Wicked Heels!

Wicked Heels!

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