10 Sep
These Shoes Speak Volumes

I am guest blogging for Maureen Haddock today. Yes, I know I am only a pair of shoes, but Maureen hasn’t been keeping up with Glamour for Grandmothers lately, so I am going to help. Her father passed away after a long illness, and she managed to write the obituary and the tribute, but now she is feeling reflective, quiet, and not so productive. Sometimes, a person should let her shoes do the talking.

I sit beside her computer, and I know her well. There is no need to mention my appearance on this blog. It can be our little secret. 

First, I should introduce myself. I am Ivory leather with patent toes and was born to the Spring 2013 collection of pluggz. I have awesome features, but Maureen chose me because I am fun and cute. I’m actually much more than that, as you can see.


Maureen is one of those women who applies her lipstick soon after breakfast, dresses like she is going somewhere (even if she isn’t), and loves hosiery, slips, scarves, and jewellery (costume or otherwise).


I am sort of a consolation prize in Maureen’s life, but I plan to change that. You see, Maureen loves to wear high-heeled shoes. She has even been known to vacuum in high heels.  She says her feet feel best when raised at the heel, and she likes adding a few inches to her height. You can see I keep company with Chantii Bs, and Kenneth Cole New York 9.2.5s, and Tahari platforms. She loves us all, but recently, if she is going to exceed four hours on her feet, she begrudgingly chooses me. 

Maureen, now in her mid-sixties, is okay with the laugh lines on her face, loves her silver hair, and doesn’t mind having to forgo dessert a few times a week to control her midriff. However, she is despondent about the fact that her high heels sometimes bother her hips after only a few hours on her feet. She has reluctantly embraced the kitten heel, the modest wedge, and stylish, comfortable boots. Shopping for footwear requires more care than in past years.  


One morning, while fearing the orthopedic oxford that might be lurking in her future, she received a package in the mail containing her first pair of pluggz. They were a basic black ballet flat. Her daughter had mailed them along with a checklist of features, including their grounding properties. The list informed Maureen about pluggz’ skid-resistant rubber soles, antimicrobial lining, contoured arches, and padded heels. Maureen thought they looked very Audrey Hepburn.


Maureen put them on her feet, looked in the full-length mirror, and discovered that her legs looked longer, despite wearing flats. These shoes were low cut, showing some sexy toe cleavage. She spent the day with her grandchildren. She felt great when she got home, and she slept well. Although these are some of the side benefits of wearing grounding shoes, she was just glad that her hips felt fine after a busy day.


While packing for a trip to Europe, Maureen was drawn to the catalogue to look at the complete selection of pluggz. She chose me, Ivory, with patent toes, and the rest is history. Early in our relationship, Maureen discovered how little I weighed, and she took to popping me into her tote on high heel days, just in case her hips started complaining. I was winning her over, and, for the long flight to Budapest, she tossed me into her carry-on luggage.


Maureen wore comfortable boots for travel, and, when she got bumped to first class, I was stuffed under the seat in front of her.

Across the aisle, I could see a pair of Italian loafers on a gentleman who looked worthy of them. I admit I was smitten. Maureen wasn’t paying the least bit of attention to me. She was happily tasting cheese and sipping wine. Soon everyone was nestled under fluffy white comforters, and the cabin belonged to the shoes. I had hoped to escape the travel bag, but they provide little slippers in first class, so Maureen had no need for me. I strained to see the loafers better. They winked once in my direction and fell asleep. I was a little disappointed by the lack of effort they made to strike up a conversation. Oh, so typical of a couple of loafers.   


About twenty-four hours later, we arrived at our hotel in Budapest, Hungary. Maureen and her husband went for a walk, and left me in the hotel room in Le Meridien. From my window, I saw the Ferris wheel known as The Eye of Budapest, brightly lit against the evening sky.


In the morning, Maureen realised it was hot, and boots weren’t going to be comfortable for the long walk they planned. The Danube was flooding, and there would be detours and bumpy patches. She put me on her feet, and my travels began. Over lunch, at The New York Café, I met a pair of men’s Vass Shoes made by hand in Budapest. It was fun chatting up the locals. It seems that these shoes have a reputation for adventure. The oxfords I spoke with had two buckles across the instep instead of laces. I promised I’d keep an eye open for their birth factory as we walked. According to those Hungarian oxfords, I am pretty well put together. I was feeling quite cherished as we left the café.


We left Hungary by bus rather than on our Viking long-ship. Our European river cruise promised to be an adventure because of record-high waters and flooding banks. On one long, hot day involving buses, roadblocks, bathroom shortages, and tours, we reached our ship, exhausted. We received cocktails at the entry, and I admit I might have misbehaved with a pair of Californian flip-flops. I mean, they were difficult to ignore, sitting there all relaxed and laid-back. I don’t think Maureen noticed, but I was gaining confidence and knew I could fit in anywhere.   

Over the next ten days, Maureen and I visited Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands. We walked on cobblestone paths where kings and courtiers had walked before us. She told her husband how she loved the feel of the cobblestones underfoot. I heard others complaining. We walked on the wet streets of Vienna, through castles, in gardens, and up and down rolling hills. I kept her feet fresh and feeling light. She told a friend she felt like she was walking barefoot. She was very energized during those tours. She grew to love me.

After Europe, Maureen noticed a little scuff on the tip of one of my toes, and she thoughtlessly ordered another pair of Ivories from Spring 2013. I am upset because what’s a scuff when you have shared so much? She’s showing some wear and tear herself. Oh well, I am a veteran, and the other shoes in the closet love to hear my stories. 

Remember to keep this visit between us. There is no need to bother Maureen about it.



Comments (5)

  • Patricia Coulter
    September 26, 2013 at 05:54 pm

    What a clever marketing tool - the product does the talking, walks the walk!

  • Helen Davis
    September 11, 2013 at 06:04 pm

    Remembering the two hour coffee chat that Maureen and Helen had a couple of years ago...can't remember the shoes that visited under the table...but it certainly was a good afternoon. Shoes, please carry Maureen through this difficult time carefully...she has so many more miles to walk....

  • Sharon Zwarich
    September 11, 2013 at 04:21 pm

    Very interesting story! I'm looking forward to wearing a pair of pluggz.

  • Maureen Haddock
    September 11, 2013 at 09:36 am

    Good morning to Helen's shoes. This is Ivory, with patent toes, and I am so pleased to learn that you can read. Maureen will be sad to learn that your Helen fell after her hip surgery. I think you have made a good point about gratitude. Maureen should be grateful she can wear pluggz, right from the factory, and not require every shoe to be renovated. Between us, shoes to shoes, I think you are lucky to be in Helen's life too! She has a wonderful positive energy.

  • Helen Davis
    September 11, 2013 at 09:14 am

    First and foremost...my deepest sympathy for the loss of Mareen's father. I am Helen's shoes....she has had some great pairs throughout her life...but after a fall following hip surgery a few years ago, her right side was shortened by 1 1/2 cm. so Abilities Council lifts the right shoe of any pair of shoes Helen chooses to wear. And styles are limited. So, the fancy shoes have gone by the wayside. But, the fact is, I can carry Helen at an even keel now...without any pain in her right hip...we make a great combo. Makes me feel very important. I am pleased to hear of your adventures..you sound like such comfy soles...and how lucky you are to be part of Maureen's life.

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