After the fall: A tale of unsafe shoes

Based on actual events

This is the true story of the event that pushed me to stop complaining about women’s shoes and instead, try to start a revolution.

As I mentioned in my initial post, I work in an office. As much as I’d like to sit around and blog about shoes all day, I do have a real job. It involves a lot of writing: intranet articles, corporate messaging, company emails. When I write, I like to chew. Bubblegum. I am chewing furiously right now, in fact. Yes, I am a middle-aged professional woman who loves, LOVES bubblegum. And a few months ago, on Day 1 of my new job, I was sitting in my cube after lunch, writing an organizational announcement and blithely chewing away, when my boss called me into his office for a friendly first-day check-in.

As we chatted, it occurred to me that I really wished I had thrown away my gum before we started talking. I was speaking carefully so as not to reveal the wad in my mouth, but well, it felt unprofessional. When my manager paused our conversation to reply to an instant message, I saw my chance. I casually stood up and took a step towards the trash can a few feet away.

Chewing gum 250

Unfortunately, as I moved, I caught the heel of my shoe on the edge of his desk, and before I knew what was happening, my feet came out from under me and I was sailing – catapulting – through the air. To be clear, this was not a stumble-and-caught-myself event. It was a complete wipeout. I smacked my head on the adjacent wall and landed kersplat on the carpet. To make matters worse, I was wearing a dress, so my boss, ever the perfect gentleman, was trying to figure out what the heck had just happened, while politely averting his gaze from the, um, employee parts that bosses just shouldn’t see. Ever.

I picked myself up, bushed myself off, and retrieved my errant shoe. To add insult to injury, the payload never made it to its target. I swallowed the gum somewhere between takeoff and landing.

I sat down and laughingly explained that evidently I couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. I was mortified, but sometimes the best way to handle an embarrassing situation is to pretend it didn’t happen. It’s a little hard to pull off when you have a carpet burn on your forehead, but I did the best I could.

I suppose it could have been worse, actually. I was telling my friend Therese about it, and she told me her story about slipping in her heels in the rain and breaking an ankle. I was surprised how MANY of my friends and acquaintances had similar stories of trips, falls, and face plants, all caused by footwear.

My boss and I can joke about it, now that some time has passed. But still, just to be safe, I never go into his office with gum in my mouth.

And I threw away the shoes when I got home.



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