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In memoriam of the perfect black patent leather peep toe slingback

May 10, 2009

I realized last week that my blog is titled "Cupcakes and Shoes," yet I have rarely written about shoes (and regularly write about the cupcakes I eat, hence the five pounds I regained overnight on Thursday). A shoe eulogy is not how I would like to incorporate the topic into my blog, but it is the sad truth.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I had a date with a lawyer last week. I've never dated a lawyer, but I didn't want to make snap judgments -- like he was going to be arrogant, sleazy, dress much better than me, etc. -- so I kept an open mind. (Plus, many lawyers in DC are different than corporate lawyers since they're fighting for non-profits or government agencies. This also means they're not filthy rich but still have to pay off those student loans -- yet another reason I don't understand government types.)

Since we were meeting up after work, I had to make a little more effort that day. Joanna and our other co-workers, Tai and Matt, had discussed the day before how to do my hair. (No, Matt's not gay, he just interjects himself into our conversations. He used to try to discuss Battlestar Galactica with us, but we would turn around in our chairs and blatantly ignore him, so I think he's trying another angle now.) Despite the humidity (as great as my hair is, two straight weeks of rain had taken its toll), I curled small sections and fluffed it out then sprayed it with hairspray -- just enough so it would still look soft and bouncy -- and vowed not to touch it for the rest of the day. I was wearing a peacock blue blouse with billowy sleeves and a gray pencil skirt with black patent leather peep toe slingbacks. I looked pretty ab-fab, which was so great because it happened to be the day I ran into Humanitarian in the hallway.

I was coming back from lunch with Megan when I turned a corner and saw a congregation of about eight Air Force guys hanging around by my door. It took me about three and half seconds to realize they were actually hanging by their door and Humanitarian was among them. Half a second after my realization, Humanitarian noticed me and began to squirm. I tried not to laugh (which I do when I get nervous -- see "DUI wasn't drunk!") and then thought, Oh what-EV! He's the one who made things awkward! Anyway, I look fabulous and he's in a stupid uniform. Although he does look really cute in his uniform...Mary El! Focus! Smile a no, too much...better...I am just thinking about how fabulous my life is and how I have a fabulous date with a fabulous lawyer tonight and everything is fabulous. I need to read a thesaurus. My vocabulary is really limited if I can't think of a word other than "fabulous" to describe everything. What about "terrific?" But the derivative is "terror," and that's not really how I want to describe my life. How about...

"Hey! How are you?" he said, way before I was ready to converse. I was only halfway down the hallway. Now I was going to have to chit chat till I got to the door.

"Oh, hi, fine, you?" I almost sang, trying to sound fabulous.

"Good! I finally moved into my condo!" he said like I care.

"Oh good for you," I said, reminding myself to smile. I was nearing the door, so I took out my badge to swipe for entry into my office.

"Yeah, I bought a sofa, but it's too big for the space," he continued.

"You didn't measure?" I tried not to sound mean. Of course I never measure, but if I bought a condo on U-Street I'd like to think I would.

"No. Oh well. So, I've been doing some weapons training for the past few weeks down in southern Virginia." Is this supposed to excuse you from ignoring me? Too bad, buddy. This time when you ignored me it did not make me be in love with you (see "I'm in love with a mediocre guy because he's ignoring me").

"Oh? Okay," I said. I was finally at my door so I lifted my arm to swipe my badge, but he moved closer to me and blocked me. WTH???

"So, I'm finally getting some media coverage of my Robin Hood mission!" he switched subjects again.

"Oh?" I repeated. Is he a schizophrenic humanitarian? And am I supposed to be impressed by him referring to himself as Robin Hood? Ugh why is he so cute in that stupid uniform??? AHHHH!!!!

I moved closer to the door, but so did he, blocking me again. "So, uh, we should get lunch sometime next week," he said. I fought the urge to have a hissy fit.

"Uhh...sure," I said through my big, fake grin. Then I pushed past him, swiped my badge, and flashed the smile at him once more before fleeing into my office. And then I had a hissy fit.

Joanna, Tai, and Matt were there to support me and agreed that he is deranged. They also pointed out that I looked hot that day and thank goodness I was going on a date later.

After the Humanitarian incident, I was super hyped to go on a date. I got off a little early, so I decided to perform a test while waiting for the Lawyer. I sat at the bar, legs crossed and posture straight, ordered a glass of wine, and worked on a crossword puzzle. My friend Brian had told me to try this as it will make me seem approachable. Hitting on Mary El Season is open, boys! I thought, swinging my beautiful, shiny shoe-adorned foot. But they were all more interested in the anorexic Asian female bartender.

After my test flopped, Lawyer showed up and ordered a beer. "Do you want to get a table?" I suggested, not wanting to spend the evening looking sideways at him.

"Nah, I'm fine," he shrugged. Ooooooookay. I'm glad you're fine. I already have a crick in my neck. "So what do you do?"

"Media analysis," I started, ready to give him the spiel I give everyone who asks. But he was watching the TV, so I figured I was already boring him. "What kind of lawyer are you?"

"Government." He said more, but honestly, I doubt you would be interested, and I don't need to waste your time explaining it to you. But if you want to know more, I can give you many, many details, because he talked about it for the next hour. That is, until his phone rang and he talked about something else with a friend of his for a few minutes. Then promptly at 7:15 he announced he was meeting up with some friends but we should get lunch sometime.

I was close to the mall and had coupons, so I figured I might as well make the most of the evening and go shopping. On my way over to Victoria's Secret (like I need any of that stuff) I got a text from Jamie: "What are you doing? Come to Chinatown and let's meet boys!" After having two glasses of wine and no food, that seemed like a brilliant idea. I hopped on the Metro, and when I emerged from the underground tunnel into the bright lights of Chinatown (which is actually Americatown but with Chinese subtitles on everything), I checked my phone for Jamie's location . "Wallet stolen. I'm at Hooters" the text read.

Great, more anorexic competition. I strolled in and found Jamie sitting at a table with a plate full of hot wings and two guys.

"Hi, what happened?" I asked, sitting down, eyeing the taller one.

"Ugh I think it was stolen!" she frowned. "I'm babysitting my friends' boyfriends, by the way."

"Ohhhh, hi," I said, shaking their hands.

"We hung out at the bar for a while, but no one turned it in," the cute one explained. "It's gone."

"But I want to go out!" Jamie cried.

"Maybe we should just call it a night," the other one said. "We all do have to work in the morning."

I was liking that idea. My wine buzz was wearing off, revealing the pain of my throbbing feet. My shoes were pretty, but they were also tight after wearing them for 12 hours.

"What if I go get my passport? Yeah! Let's go!" Jamie exclaimed, jumping out of her seat and motioning toward the door.

We drove to her apartment, and while she looked for her passport I exchanged my shoes for a pair of her flip flops. When she found her passport I stuffed my heels into my purse and we were on our way, while the guys decided to turn in.

We ended up at Marvin's on U Street, and I was delighted at how many young, good looking guys were there. I sidled up to the bar, hoping to order some french fries. I still hadn't eaten and I was feeling faint. Immediately a guy nearby began talking to me, but he quickly switched his focus from me to Jamie. (Joanna told me later that Jamie is like a rockstar when she goes out, leaving little hope for others around her to be noticed. I can't blame her -- her platinum locks look oh-so-vibrant in dim light while mine fade into the background.)

"Mind if I smoke?" the guy asked.

"No! In fact, I'll have one too!" Jamie chirped.

"If I start coughing it's just because I'm coming off a 6-month bout with bronchitis," I Debbie-downered.

"We'll just walk over to the deck," the guy offered, nodding at Jamie.

"Okay, so we'll be right back!" Jamie said, getting up.

"No! Wait! It's okay! I like smoking! Y'all should smoke here! Please smoke! Yaaaaaaaay smoking!" I lied. I really did not want to be left alone to get not hit on again. But they were already walking to the outdoor deck.

My french fries arrived shortly after and I couldn't have been happier to see them. At first I daintily chewed them, hoping someone might notice how pretty I look eating french fries.

"You know," a deep voice to my left said. "If you gave me your number I could put it in my phone."

Is that a real pick-up line? What does that even mean? I turned to see who the cheese belonged to. He looked like a giant toad in a 90s clubbing shirt. I took a handful of fries and shoved them into my mouth, making sure I chewed with my mouth open, just like my mother taught me not to do.

After 20 minutes I was feeling pretty tired and lonely, so I went to find Jamie and the guy. I found them talking to some other people on the deck.

"I'm leaving. Nice to meet you. Bye!" I said then turned to walk out.

Jamie ran after me calling, "Wait! I'll come with you!" Then the guy called after Jamie, "Wait, I'll come with you!" I didn't know at the time, but he had turned possessive. Apparently smoking a cigarette together these days means you're a couple.

Jamie and Possessive Crazy trailed behind me to the Metro, and when I arrived I leaned down to take off the flip flops and put my pretties back on. I took off the right flip flop and put on one shoe, then I reached in for the left one...for the left one...uhhhh...where's the left one?

"What's wrong?" asked Jamie.

"I can't find my shoe!" I squeaked, frantic.

"We'll go back to the bar and look for it. Just wear my flip flops home and I'll get it to you later, okay?" Jamie offered.

I nodded and said good-bye, but after her wallet experience I had a sinking feeling it wasn't going to be at the bar. Her text later that night confirmed what I had suspected: "Shoe wasn't there. I started talking to another guy at the bar and that guy got mad! I'm sorry, are we dating?"

Well, I didn't suspect the second part. Anyway, the worst part about the whole thing is I have one shoe, and someone has the other. Therefore, no one will ever enjoy them again. At least if they were both gone I'd know some poor girl somewhere was wearing them and feeling pretty!

And now let's take a moment in remembrance...


  1. Oh MY GOD. I just laughed out loud several times and my coworkers think I am clinically insane slash schizo. Thanks Mary El.

  2. Maybe the toad is your prince charming and has your missing glass slipper.

  3. It's possible...think I'll pass on that prince!

  4. I'm having a ball with visions of your evening. Only you.... but, then again, if they had blogs 15 years ago, I would have had a laughable stories to tell! :) Love.

  5. This is your mother. Yes, I do read this sometimes. I would still advise to chew with your mouth shut. You never know what the other brings out in a man. Have you ever seen the movie Tom Jones? Good manners are always appropriate. You never know who is watching or listening.

    By the way.......this is funny. I'll critique more when I talk to you. Love you!