Youth Knows No Pain

First terrible high heel experience, New York 2007

Thursday night I’m working again with Bennette as a hostess at Brick+Mortar. I think maybe I’ll get cut early because I’m training and there only needs to be one hostess. This is why I decide it’s OK to wear heels. Usually I wouldn’t wear them at all, but I don’t feel like any of my flats match the dress that I’m wearing, and these are wedges, so they’re definitely the most comfortable heels I could wear.

Brian decides to cut Bennette first, because he wants me to get practice. Oh yea, sure, that’s fine. Not. I think this might be the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I think back to running the streets of New York in heels with LMonny, trying to find the theater where Wicked was playing. My feet hurt the rest of the night, but that is definitely another story for another day.

Brian leaves, so I’m left with the new manager who I just met today, Devon. There’s no way I can ask her if I can leave early. I’m training and she’s only just met me. I feel like such a baby, but oh my God, I don’t know how women wear heels. It’s six hours of standing in them – definitely the longest I’ve ever lasted. Eventually, I walk to the back where there’s a little outside area. I can’t take it anymore. I take off my heels. Ohhhh good Lord. I’m flexing my feet and moaning. This was a terrible idea. I have to put them back on. I go back to the hostess stand and try to lean on it to take the pressure of my feet. I complain to every waitress who will let me. This is most certainly not a good first impression. It especially sucks because if it weren’t for this, I’d be enjoying my evening. I like working here, and I’m fine with staying later. But not like this.

I try to accept the pain. Sink into it. It’s dull and sharp at the same time. Guys are so lucky. And truthfully, we do look so much better in heels. They can dress up any outfit; make you look professional and sexy at the same time. They make you feel good, for about 20 minutes, then they make you miserable. I contemplate taking my shoes off. That’s not possible. My mind’s not right. I keep thinking I’ll tell Devon. Please let me go home. We’re not busy. You don’t need me. And I can’t stand any longer. But I can’t do that.

After an eternity, she tells me I can go. I get out of there as fast as humanly possible. Once I’m out the door, the heels are off. I walk to my bike, moaning with pain and relief. Throw the God awful things in my basket, and pedal home barefoot. Again, moaning the whole way home. It’s a real good thing Mike isn’t here – he’s out of town on work for two nights. If he had to listen to the noises coming out of my body he would want to kill me. I rinse my feet off in the bathtub. Put on Boardwalk Empire, and lay down, trying to relax.

I can’t. The pain is still there. I can’t get comfortable. I wish I had a bucket that I could fill with soap and water and just stick my feet in, but I don’t. Finally, I grab a washcloth, soak it with cold water, and drape it over my elevated feet on a kitchen stool. This is slightly better. I feel ridiculous through it all, that I’m being so dramatic about my feet hurting from wearing heels. But it’s real pain. Lesson learned. Heels suck. Never again while I’m working.

It’s a busy weekend. I work Friday night and Saturday and Sunday brunch. Life is glorious in flats.

*Likke Li

2 thoughts on “Youth Knows No Pain

  1. i hate heels too lindsay!! i always try and wear them but we are both short so why bother being uncomfortable and try and look taller!

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