I can’t look at a pair of red shoes without thinking of one of our Hanson Services clients. For her 98th birthday, she wanted a pair of red shoes. She wasn’t trying to accessorize an outfit, or pretend to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She is a woman of style who wears what appeals to her. She wore her new red shoes with unabashed delight and was the belle-of-the-ball on her birthday. At nearly 100 years, she is still the most vibrant, beautiful woman in any room.
The best life lessons come from the most unexpected places. For me, it’s our client and the red shoes.
I remember a conversation with the owner of Knuth Shoes. She noted that we Cleveland women have a peculiar way of buying shoes. We are drawn to the red (yellow, orange, blue etc.) shoes because of their beautiful colors. We try them on, admire them, parade in front of the store mirror in them, then we ask, “Do you have these in black? I can’t wear the bright colors.”
I’m guilty. I love red shoes but never wear them. In fact, I have a closet full of black shoes, purchased because they were gorgeous in red.
It’s not a lack of versatility. In fashion, red has become a neutral. But red on me is just so bold. I’m not sure I can “pull it off,” especially at my age.
What I have learned is that my age doesn’t diminish the beauty of the shoes. Instead, choosing to wear the shoes I like, enhances the beauty of my age. I hope (God willing) I will be wearing red shoes on my 98th birthday.