It's Labor Day and I went to work, as did Lady Lucia, because we work in social services and don't automatically get holidays off. (She is paid much better than I but, in many ways, her job is also even more of a pain-in-the-tush than mine). Anyway...I went to work and now I'm home, trying not to go crazy. Typical Monday.
So...I looked up at the wall where my last pair of toe shoes were hung on a nail, being decorations, as they have been for the better part of the last twenty years (I think the shoes have moved about eight times with me and I've always found a place to hang them up).
Toe Shoes Hanging on a slatted door in our Dyker Heights apartment
I didn't buy this last pair for decoration. Even though I was thirty years old and had long since given up hope of a ballet career, I bought the shoes because I thought I would be wearing them while teaching ballet (a promised gig that never materialized when the ballet school's funding fell through; typical heartbreak for people in the arts). Still, I had paid a lot of money (about $40; God knows what they cost now!) for a pair of Grishko (Russian!) pointe shoes in the Vaganova model, size 4 1/2 (dance shoe sizes run smaller than street shoes). I decided I would practce in them once in a while to keep my feet strong and maintain the skill. Why not?
For some years I continued to do the occasional short practice session en pointe in my living room. Also, a couple of years after I bought the shoes, I was cast as a "Drunken Sugar Plum Fairy" in a comedy sketch, so I actually got to dance in them (albeit "drunkenly") on stage a few times. And...then they became wall-hangings. Why? Because pointe shoes (or toe shoes, if we're being American) are beautiful things. I know very few former ballet dancers who don't keep a pair around, years after they've stopped using them, just because they're so cool to look at.
With that in mind, I decided to share mine with you. 'Though I can still stand en pointe in the shoes (for a couple of seconds, before excruciating pain forces me back down) it was not possible to stand en pointe and photograph my feet at the same time (yes, I tried). So, I just posed my feet prettily in the shoes and took pictures that way:
Goody One Shoe
Goody Two Shoes
Now my shoes can go back on the wall and I can go back off the wall.
Blessings, well-wishes and curtsey-with-a-kiss,