Regardless of the fact that my sister and I are polar opposites (she’s perfect and I’m a train wreck), I love her to bits. We’re incredibly close, and the universe made no mistake by putting her first in our family’s birth order. She’s brutally honest, amazingly sweet, and is the one person who will always walk in when everyone else is walking out.
She’s also the reason I have an expensive love-affair with good footwear.
You see, when I was four, we went to see Cinderella at the theater, and when I begged to see it again and again and again – she indulged me. When I asked her if she saw it over and over because she was getting paid to babysit me or because she liked it as much as I did – she said, “Any woman who figures out that the right shoe can change your life, deserves to live happily ever after.” And that winter, she bought me my first pair of dress boots for Christmas. Please know this - I loved those boots more than a pimp loves money. I wore them all day, every day, regardless of the event or the season. I even wore them to bed. And when I finally outgrew them, I wept. I also refused to wear shoes for two days straight, until my mother said, "Clothes don't make the woman, but naked people don't get very far in life. Let's go shopping."
As fate would have it, that experience not only had a profound impact on my psyche, it prepared me for Aunt-hood… when my beautiful baby niece fell in love with the fairy wings from her Halloween costume. She wore them everywhere for everything. We all let it go, thinking she’d outgrow it, until her pre-school called and said, “It’s becoming an issue.”
That’s when we staged an intervention.
As my entire family sat around the dinner table, explaining to her why she couldn’t wear wings to school anymore, I shared that I had ‘literally’ walked a mile in similar shoes and could relate to her pediatric passion for fashion. And that’s when my adorable, waifish niece looked me dead in the eye and said, “I’ll give up the fairy wings, Auntie... but it’ll cost you.” So I picked her up, carried her to the car, buckled her into her car seat, took her to Bloomingdale's, and bought her a pair of boots.
I love my gene pool. Though it's shallow and could use some chlorine, it gives me hope for the future.
But I digress. This post isn't about my niece, it's about my sister. And years ago - when I graduated from college and needed clothes to interview in - I flew home to go shopping with her and my mother. So there we were… in Macy's… bickering over the difference between what’s fashionable and what’s trendy… when my mother handed a pink, cashmere sweater-set to me. Being the dutiful daughter that I am, I begrudgingly tried it on. When I walked out of the dressing room, my sister looked at me, then looked at our mother, then looked back at me and said, "If God doesn't destroy that outfit right now, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology. She looks like the tooth fairy on crack." And instead of defending me, my mother said, "I just thought it would look better on." … on fire, maybe.
Clearly, I'm not a sweater-set kind of girl. I'm the go-go boots kind. I guess I have been all my life. Just ask my sister. Talk to you next week.