I paused in a pool of light along the brick path. The lilacs were still closed tight and Shelburne Farms had not put on the sunset garden show of springs past. Instead we had huddled inside grouping next to full height fireplaces and picking through lots and lots of cheese.

It was the third annual Spring Soiree at Shelburne Farms and most of the guests had gone all out. Themed for the roaring 20’s there were feather headpieces and flapper dresses and tuxedos and fedoras. Lots of folks having lots of fun.

I was in a black sweater and pants. We had only decided the day before to come to the fundraiser and the idea of shopping for a 1920’s appropriate dress in Vermont in May in a large size was whatever comes between daunting and a full on IRS audit. Except I had conquered an audit and I would never conquer this fashion challenge.

So I directed Steve’s attention to my shoes. They were relatively on track for the twenties. Mary Jane style where the T strap ended in a croc patterned bow. As I type this I realize the image is not clear. I stopped in the pool of light to take a picture of the shoes. Even last night I was planning to write about this. However the picture ended up looking like a skinny snake eating an albino sausage so you will have to just imagine the shoes.

As I was choosing the shoes I thought how much I loved them and also how, despite the heel and high quality I didn’t think they were sexy in any way. These are a girl’s shoe. No man would be drawn to them.

As we sipped cocktails, talked about the incredible Inn we were in and debated the merits of Denver v Boulder, Burlington, Boise people also commented on my shoes. And by people I mean women.

As we tripped down the brick path headed to our car I stopped in the light to ask Steve what he thought. “Aren’t these just the type of shoes that only women like.”

He took his time with this. He looked down at the shoes above, profile, other profile.

“Men just don’t care about any women’s shoes.”

I couldn’t accept this. What about sexy strappy sandals? Stilletos, Grecian wrap thingies?

Nope. Nope. Nope.

OK. Here came some back up. Down the path came friends. I grabbed her arm. “Aren’t these shoes that only a woman would love?” She instantly stuck out her own foot. Stacked wedge heel, closed toe and open instep, a variation on my Mary Jane. “Mine too! Mine too!” “Yes.” I agreed with her, our shoes are in the same category for sure. But Steve had implied that ALL shoes were in the same category. I turned to her husband who had wrinkled his brow at this conversation. This is a stylish man.”Steve says men don’t care about women’s shoes!”

He paused. “That’s right. I don’t really care.” Remember, he has great glasses frames, shirts, even his shoes are stylish. And he is telling me that men don’t care.

Could this be true?

What do you think?

A. My shoes were sort of like this. I called them shoes only a woman would love.

A. My shoes were sort of like this. I called them shoes only a woman would love.


B. Shoes that OBVIOUSLY only a woman would love. But aren't they such cute rain shoes?

B. Shoes that OBVIOUSLY only a woman would love. But aren’t they such cute rain shoes?


C. A hybrid grecian, sexy strappy sandal thing that reminds me of bondage and by all rights a man OUGHT to love because why else would a woman wear it?

C. A hybrid grecian, sexy strappy sandal thing that reminds me of bondage and by all rights a man OUGHT to love because why else would a woman wear it?

D. OK now that I look closely at the stiletto I see that they may be equally marketed to the two genders but Steve still says he doesn't care. But women brave grass and cobble stones world wide...have we been wrong all this time. And by we I mean lots of other people because I have never ever worn a stiletto. I would fall down.

D. OK now that I look closely at the stiletto I see that they may be equally marketed to the two genders but Steve still says he doesn’t care. But women brave grass and cobble stones world wide…have we been wrong all this time. And by we I mean lots of other people because I have never ever worn a stiletto. I would fall down.


E. When I searched "sexy shoes" these were featured. STRONGLY DISAGREE

E. When I searched “sexy shoes” these were featured. STRONGLY DISAGREE

F. These also came up. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. If I could walk in these I would wear them. These are sexy shoes. Is there a man out there that disagrees?

F. These also came up. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. If I could walk in these I would wear them. These are sexy shoes. Is there a man out there that disagrees?

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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