My body’s in Houston; my feet are in hell

I am on a business trip this week. Normally, I enjoy these little jaunts. Anyone who has children at home enjoys business trips, whether they admit it or not. When else are the towels on the floor, unmade bed, and food preparation someone else’s responsibility? I don’t care if I am working 14 hour days; not being responsible for feeding or picking up after people is worth it.

But this business trip is different. I’m at a tradeshow that my company is sponsoring; I’m on the communications team; I’m responsible for turning in several video stories each day for the company intranet. In another life, I used to be a TV reporter, so I’m completely comfortable sticking a microphone in people’s faces and asking questions. Once a reporter, always a reporter.

What comfort zone?

A tiny bit of relief

A tiny bit of relief

But still, I’m waaaay out of my comfort zone. Not from a reporting aspect, from a literal, physical comfort aspect. This tradeshow is in a 1.8 million square foot facility: the size of 30 football fields! And I am walking, walking, walking all day long. Because I’m wearing primarily sleeveless sheath dresses on camera, I have to wear the kinds of womens work shoes that I normally make fun of. There’s the Stuart Weitzman animal print pumps that are gorgeous but raise blisters on my pinkies every time. The patent leather pointed-toe slingbacks that I cannot keep my heels in.

To add (proverbial) insult to (literal) injury, I am surrounded by a sea of totally unexpected fine men’s shoes. I work for a male-dominated high-tech company, and the pocket protector crowd (which I consider myself part of)  has as much fashion sense as Dan Quayle has spelling ability. I figured this week would be a bust in the shoe-spotting department. But this is a global conference, and geeks or not, European men have quite a bit more pride in their footwear. And I won’t ask a single one if I can snap his shoes, because, well, it would be inappropriate in this setting. Sigh. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

Do as I say, not as I do

Womens work shoes are meant to be carried, not worn

Womens work shoes are meant to be carried, not worn

Meanwhile, I slog from my hotel to the convention center in a pair of clogs, carrying my “work shoes” to work in a tote bag. That’s right, I’m doing the very thing I think no women should EVER have to do. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Hashtag hypocrite, that’s me.

(Please excuse the missing apostrophes in the word “women’s” in this story. I know better, but must appease the search engine optimization gods.)

'My body’s in Houston; my feet are in hell' have 2 comments

  1. March 13, 2015 @ 2:18 am Angela H.

    Leslie, so true…..I cannot count the number of times I have worked at meetings in shoes that looked great but did not feel that way…..making long days even longer. I am all for this movement…..keep comfortable and carry on!


  2. March 9, 2015 @ 12:36 pm Ken P

    Great post Leslie!

    Regarding your comment of European men versus American men choosing their footwear: Most men in the US make choices based on comfort, while European men make choices based on style.

    Europeans chose automobiles for style and the performance – Americans chose automobiles for cupholder count.


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