Doll Shoes

Doll Shoes

A Cautionary Tale on the Importance of the Proper Shoe

Mr. K was the kind of host who’d invite his friends over and then ignore them the whole evening, too busy trying to set the perfect mood. Never get it right, either. The music always too loud, the lights too dim, the snacks too slim. Even the drinks were weak. That kind of host. Happily, he acquired his décor entirely through gifts, so at least there was something to talk about.

His ideas of gifts were hardly that. Castaways best left where they lay, most of the junk. Many were received directly from back alleys. No solid argument from his friends could ever mend this state. He lived on a slower-paced consumption, only acquiring through charity and chance.

Admittedly, the décor had some intentioned style, no small feat on such restricted means of acquisition. But no matter how dark the lights and loud the music, the perfect mood lay smothered amid the southern silk flowers and the dried roses. Roses hung upside down in trophy from distant boyfriends, candle sticks above in holy supplication to our mother of wayward boys. Each rose bouquet of withered white or red heads numbered but six. Always the same - six. This was the saddest fact of all. If only there were twelve, just think the improvement in furniture.

“I think I’ll put on long pants,” Mr. K the host said, or rather, “I think I should put on long pants, since all of you are wearing them.” Displacing the blame, of course.

His guests all looked askance. Long pants, sure, but the evening had already been decided by shoes, wasn’t he watching?

Mr. S had on a pair of black expensive sandals, exposing his well-groomed heel. Mr. B wore new black boots, with red stitch, and Mr. M had cheap woven sandals the color of wood. Mr. K the host was terribly jealous of Mr. M's woven sandals, since they obviously won cheapest shoes, the title the host himself most craved. The black sandals won for best-dressed, of course, but nothing topped the Doll Shoes. Their host Mr. K wore them, below his long pants.

At first, nothing was said. The shoes said it all. Exactly like doll shoes. Black, with big cut-away sides, a skinny strap, a squared bubble toe. And thick, oversized soles, which exaggerated the resemblance. The giant beer bottle bank in the next room pointed to their being some odd salvaged store prop. Off a giant Raggedy Ann doll, perhaps.

Mr. M named Mr. S the evening’s winner of the best-dressed shoe. Then the guests looked pointedly at the shoes of their host.

“And you have the largest lesbian shoe collection!” Mr. B exclaimed.

“What are those, doll shoes?” Mr. S asked,
voicing what all had thought.

That’s when Mr. M started laughing. He laughed the whole night. And even the next day, walking alone, thinking about something else all together.

“Thanks,” said Mr. K, “for having such fun at my behalf.”

“You’re welcome,” the guests said.

The host Mr. K spent the rest of the party in the kitchen, pouring pitcher after pitcher of those weak drinks into his own glass. By the end of the evening his eyes were slits.

The next day Mr. K took Mr. M to another party. Mr. M wore his woven sandals again, in false pride. But Mr. K wore sneakers, shamed out of the doll shoes.

Their abundant hostess, Ms. F, had fresh flowers, not silk, and dried flowers only as part of a picture frame. But she had even more candles burning then Mr. K lit the night before. Kept the place hot.

By dessert the doll shoes came up, with some casual ribbing.

Their hostess Miss F said, “But I loved those shoes! I helped you pick them out, remember?”

“We both did,” said her friend, Miss P; the one with the extra needs.

“Yes,” Mr. K said, crossly, “But last night they called them …, (and here he paused, choosing his words with the utmost deliberation), …Gay shoes.”

“Gay shoes?” the obligatory straight couple sitting behind the hostess asked.

“Bless you!” Mr. M said, wickedly.

“No, gay shoes,” said Mr. K.

“You mean those pretty Japanese ladies?” asked Mr. M, in mock innocence.

“But I loved those shoes,” said Ms. F.

“I did too,” said Miss P, her friend with the extra needs. “They were so great!”

Doll shoes,” Mr. M said,.

He then explained to the couple in the corner how they looked. How the host had even worn them with thick white socks, which bunched down around the ankles and emphasized their doll-like nature.

“But you’re supposed to wear those with white socks,” “Ms F insisted.

“I thought so,” said Mr. K, indignantly,
hands on hips.

“I had a pair just like them when I was a little girl!” said Miss P, the one with the extra needs.

“Yes!” said Ms F. excitedly, “I did too!”

“See!” Mr. M said, laughing wickedly. “That proves it! You shouldn’t wear them. For your own good.”

“What makes them gay?” asked the couple in the corner.

Walking home, Mr. M warned Mr. K to never, ever, wear the doll shoes again, as any true friend would.

Years later, Mr. K saw his old friend Mr. M on a busy street.

You ruined my life!” Mr. K cried, “You and those damned doll shoes!”

“What! You fool! I was looking out for you!” Mr M declared. “I only told you the truth! I was being a real friend!”

“Did you have to make a movie about it?”

From - A Vile Old Queen’s Guide To Etiquette And Proper Living