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The High Heeled Ruminations Of Melrose Plant

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Welcome back! Glad you had a great trip! I like those heels!

Steve

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Yesterday, I had a decision to make about whether I was going to wear heels to an event. One of my friends and coworkers was going to be playing with his band at a fairly good-sized venue, for a good-sized event, and a few of us made plans to go see him. Normally, I would not have the least reservation about wearing heels to such an event, but then it came to my attention that there wasn't going to be just a handful of us at the concert, but a substantial crowd of people from work, many of them travelers who most likely had no idea about my fashion proclivities. These are the same guys who gave one of the safety crew a lot of trouble because he wore jeans with fancy stitching and a few rhinestones on the back pockets one day. Would I make my future work life miserable for quite a while for just a few hours of fun? On the other hand, my general foreman knows about me, but has never seen me, and I'm sure he would have given me a hard time if I didn't wear heels, so I vacillated for a time about whether to ditch the heels.

About an hour before we were to leave, I finally decided to wear the heels, but which ones? I'd pretty much decided on my outfit, which was going to consist of skinny jeans (but not super tight ones) and a busily patterned yet not in-your-face button down black shirt, which I had planned to wear untucked. Before I even chose the shoes, I looked in the mirror, and didn't like the look. So I tucked in the shirt and added a close fitting jacket. Much better. I immediately thought that this was the time to break out the knee-high boots and wear them loud and proud, but after getting two seconds' look in the mirror, it was, "Nope. Definitely not." I tried some stiletto shoeties/booties, but they just didn't look right with the length of the pants. They probably would have been good with boot cut pants, but not these. So then I looked at my platform loafer pumps, which are about the highest heels I own. And I thought they looked far better than anything else. Wait a minute, am I really going to wear these absurdly high (5.5 inch), basically high-cut pumps to go meet a bunch of construction workers for the first time socially? Yes, I guess I am. What is it they say nowadays? Go big or go home? Something silly like this, but perhaps apt for this situation.

As it turns out, it was fine. There were a lot of people there, some I knew, some I didn't. I only got one comment from the guys, and two comments from strangers, both women. The coworker, after standing there talking with me for 10 minutes without noticing anything, suddenly said, "What the hell is that on your feet?" I answered, "Well, I guess I'm busted, let me buy you a drink, Brother." And that was almost the end of it. He did mention later in the evening that perhaps I should have worn leggings like the attractive lady that had walked past at that moment. I told him that even I have my limits, and we laughed about it. No other coworker who had never seen me before said a word, though I am sure that most, if not all, noticed. Actually, the most awkward feeling I had during the night had nothing to do with heels, but rather because one of the people who showed up was a job superintendent, and it was a little strange interacting with him socially, outside of work. He's always treated me decently, and I don't expect that to change going forward.

A random woman approached me fairly early in the evening and told me that she loved my shoes. She said it twice. I smiled and thanked her, and she went back to her table. Another random woman, several minutes later, who was wearing black Ugg boots with a Harley-Davidson logo embroidered on them, accosted me. She went on and on about how in the hell could I walk in those. I ran into her again later on, and she started in again, pulling nearby people into the conversation. She then asked me what size I wore, and I told her Size 9. So then she wanted to try on my shoes. I said, "Well.  .  . um.  .  . OK, why not?" She could barely manage to stand in them, and was unable to straighten her knees, so that lasted about 30 seconds, and I got my shoes back. Several more minutes of "How can you possibly like those shoes? My feet are still hurting from that 30 seconds.  .  ."

Since I am not comfortable asking people to take my picture, especially with the aim of highlighting my high heels, the only picture I have is a selfie in the mirror in my dingy, disorganized basement. Sorry, it'll have to do. The other picture is, as you can imagine, a portion of the group that showed up. All in all, it was a worthwhile and fun experience, and both bands were playing well that night, and the sound was good.

By the way, the general foreman I was worried about giving me a hard time for not wearing heels never showed up.

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Good outfit and good time, sounds like! Glad it all worked out for you. Thanks for sharing your story!

Steve

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Great looking outfit!  The jacket and the heels work well together.  Putting an outfit together with the assistance of a full length mirror is always a plus.  The second picture of you standing with the "gang" (as opposed to a picture of you standing alone) says volumes about how well the evening went.  Your comment about being "busted" is a classic.  It sounds like a good time was had by all, except the lady that tried on your shoes. :penitent:

:wavey:

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You look GREAT, I am so envious of your courage and confidence!  But, I know that taking such a big step must have paid off many times over.  I dream of being able to do something like this someday, it would be so liberating...

I did wear my booties while meeting up with a few of my crewmembers a few months back.  Only one woman noticed, and she had a few drinks in her, went on and on about me wearing "kinky boots".  I guess I was hoping no one would really notice, they would just assume the booties were the cowboy boots I always wear for work....

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That outfit is absolutely perfect!!!

Welll done !!  Glad you had a great time!

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Monday morning came around awfully fast--too fast, as usual. I started in a new position at work, as part of the safety team, but that is ancillary and merely coincidental to the purpose of this post. What I really want to talk about is how the guys reacted to me, after having seen me in what must seem to the layman as ridiculously high heels. So here's what happened: Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nobody who had been there Saturday night said a damn thing. And it wasn't a strange silence, either. It was so unbelievably.  .  . normal. We'll see what happens the rest of the week. I have contacts. I will know if someone is talking about me.

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What struck me from the group photo is that, although you are not a tall man, you appear to be second or third tallest in your gang!   The heels obviously make a difference, but not that much.   Perhaps your added stature (in more ways than one) has made you less open to any challenges, good-natured or otherwise.   Whatever the situation, you (and they) have handled it well.

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3 hours ago, Puffer said:

What struck me from the group photo is that, although you are not a tall man, you appear to be second or third tallest in your gang!   The heels obviously make a difference, but not that much.   Perhaps your added stature (in more ways than one) has made you less open to any challenges, good-natured or otherwise.   Whatever the situation, you (and they) have handled it well.

Unfortunately, it's an optical delusion coupled with coincidence. Just by chance, I happen to be standing right next to Bryan, who is exactly my height in flats, or maybe even half an inch shorter. Everyone else is taller than me, even in giant heels. Just doing the math quickly, I am guessing that those shoes give me right around 4 extra inches of actual gain in height, because of the platform.

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12 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

Monday morning came around awfully fast--too fast, as usual. I started in a new position at work, as part of the safety team, but that is ancillary and merely coincidental to the purpose of this post. What I really want to talk about is how the guys reacted to me, after having seen me in what must seem to the layman as ridiculously high heels. So here's what happened: Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nobody who had been there Saturday night said a damn thing. And it wasn't a strange silence, either. It was so unbelievably.  .  . normal. We'll see what happens the rest of the week. I have contacts. I will know if someone is talking about me.

This is the reaction we all would hope for, thank you for being so bold, and such an inspiration for all of us....

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1 hour ago, mlroseplant said:

Just doing the math quickly, I am guessing that those shoes give me right around 4 extra inches of actual gain in height, because of the platform.

Your height is measured from the ground to the top of your head.  If your heel raises you 5 1/2", your 5 1/2" taller, regardless of the platform.  The platform just changes the angle to which your ankle must conform.

I think the reaction you have gotten from your co-workers ("Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch") is a sign of the respect they have for you.  However, I would expect if a discussion ever turns to your or a co-workers height, you should expect a good natured comment like "Yeah, but you should see him in his heels" which will be another opportunity for your "busted" line.

:wavey:

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1 hour ago, Thighbootguy said:

Your height is measured from the ground to the top of your head.  If your heel raises you 5 1/2", your 5 1/2" taller, regardless of the platform.  The platform just changes the angle to which your ankle must conform.

I think the reaction you have gotten from your co-workers ("Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch") is a sign of the respect they have for you.  However, I would expect if a discussion ever turns to your or a co-workers height, you should expect a good natured comment like "Yeah, but you should see him in his heels" which will be another opportunity for your "busted" line.

:wavey:

I agree, well said...You might be the target of an occasional joke, but it is obvious you are respected....I'm thinking there might be some closeted envy as well!

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Mlroseplant.....   Your basement looks fine, about as "dingy" as my - well - garage - no basements here on the left coast....  Nice shoes too, glad you has a nice time....   Take care, sf

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8 hours ago, Thighbootguy said:

Your height is measured from the ground to the top of your head.  If your heel raises you 5 1/2", your 5 1/2" taller, regardless of the platform.  The platform just changes the angle to which your ankle must conform.

I think the reaction you have gotten from your co-workers ("Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch") is a sign of the respect they have for you.  However, I would expect if a discussion ever turns to your or a co-workers height, you should expect a good natured comment like "Yeah, but you should see him in his heels" which will be another opportunity for your "busted" line.

:wavey:

Not so.   Anatomy and stature do not allow the full height of a heel to add to one's height when wearing that heel.   The 'ankle angle' you refer to is part of that.   The higher the heel, the greater the 'loss' in added height.   My guess is that, assuming that the heel is 5.5" and the platform 1" (so, net heel height 4.5"), about 4" is added to overall height, i.e. about 3" from the heel plus the full amount of the 1" platform - and Mlroseplant confirms 4".   If you don't believe me, try measuring your height with and without your highest heels.   (I know that, if I wear 5" heels, my effective height increases by not more than 3.5".)

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Way to go on wearing your heels to the event, and BTW you look great in them.  Feminine and masculine put together with perfection.  

BTW, I have started to wear my 3.5", 4.5", and 5" heeled cowboy boots to my clients and not a single negative word, only compliments or nothing at all from men and women.

I have climbed ladders with them on running cabling in the ceiling and amaze the hell out of the other guys.

I think if we all keep pushing the envelope it will become normal sooner than we think.

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5 hours ago, Puffer said:

Not so.   Anatomy and stature do not allow the full height of a heel to add to one's height when wearing that heel.   The 'ankle angle' you refer to is part of that.   The higher the heel, the greater the 'loss' in added height.   My guess is that, assuming that the heel is 5.5" and the platform 1" (so, net heel height 4.5"), about 4" is added to overall height, i.e. about 3" from the heel plus the full amount of the 1" platform - and Mlroseplant confirms 4".   If you don't believe me, try measuring your height with and without your highest heels.   (I know that, if I wear 5" heels, my effective height increases by not more than 3.5".)

This was exactly how I arrived at my approximate calculation. I counted the 1" platform at full value. Obviously, if I stood on a board 1" thick, all of me, including the top of my head, would be 1" higher than the floor the board is resting on. The remaining 4.5" must be "discounted" or perhaps more humorously, "derated," because the pivot point of my ankle is some distance in front of the back of my heel, which is where we normally measure heel height. I assume this exact distance varies slightly from person to person, but I estimated I gain about 3", give or take, from the remaining 4.5" of heel height. That's how I came up with the 4" increase in height.

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14 hours ago, Thighbootguy said:

I think the reaction you have gotten from your co-workers ("Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch") is a sign of the respect they have for you.  However, I would expect if a discussion ever turns to your or a co-workers height, you should expect a good natured comment like "Yeah, but you should see him in his heels" which will be another opportunity for your "busted" line.

:wavey:

Today, one of my union brothers was in a tight spot, and he needed my help to fix his only car so he could get to work. It also happens that this brother was one of the people who was at the concert last Saturday night. While we were working on the car, I asked him if he had heard anyone on the jobsite say anything about my heels. He said that he had, but really not much. He said that a couple of guys thought it was "a little odd," but nobody said anything negative. He told me he answered them that Squirrel (my persistent nickname on the jobsite) was his own man. They agreed with enthusiasm.

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8 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

He told me he answered them that Squirrel (my persistent nickname on the jobsite) was his own man. They agreed with enthusiasm.

Sounds like you have earned your place in infamy. :cheeky: 

The only nickname I consistently attained was "Hey You".:penitent:

8 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

That's how I came up with the 4" increase in height.

When you have some spare time... stand flatfooted in a doorway with a ruler on your head and have someone mark your height on the door-frame then repeat it wearing your 5 1/2" heels.  What is the distance between the two marks?

:wavey:

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17 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

Today, one of my union brothers was in a tight spot, and he needed my help to fix his only car so he could get to work. It also happens that this brother was one of the people who was at the concert last Saturday night. While we were working on the car, I asked him if he had heard anyone on the jobsite say anything about my heels. He said that he had, but really not much. He said that a couple of guys thought it was "a little odd," but nobody said anything negative. He told me he answered them that Squirrel (my persistent nickname on the jobsite) was his own man. They agreed with enthusiasm.

Cool!

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9 hours ago, Thighbootguy said:

...

When you have some spare time... stand flatfooted in a doorway with a ruler on your head and have someone mark your height on the door-frame then repeat it wearing your 5 1/2" heels.  What is the distance between the two marks?

:wavey:

That is more or less what I did to see how much height I gained when wearing 5" heels.   But I used a carpenter's square against the wall and across my head to mark an accurate height with and without the heels.   The answer, as previously stated, was approx 3.5".   I doubt that, if I wore 6" heels, the height gain would be more than about 4".

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22 hours ago, Thighbootguy said:

When you have some spare time... stand flatfooted in a doorway with a ruler on your head and have someone mark your height on the door-frame then repeat it wearing your 5 1/2" heels.  What is the distance between the two marks?

:wavey:

I will plan on doing this sometime soon, because now I am curious myself. Somebody at some time had a detailed post about this, involving diagrams, triangles, and stuff like that. In theory, a 5 inch heeled shoe with a platform should raise your head off the floor slightly more than the same 5 inchers without a platform. I'm going to steal Puffer's trick of using a framing square to help me get the mark, just so I don't have to try to explain to my wife why I want her to measure me multiple times. She's simply not a geek. :D

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On 3/1/2017 at 7:11 AM, Thighbootguy said:

When you have some spare time... stand flatfooted in a doorway with a ruler on your head and have someone mark your height on the door-frame then repeat it wearing your 5 1/2" heels.  What is the distance between the two marks?

:wavey:

I finally found the time and the place to do some measuring, and the results make me want to do some more measuring, because the results surprised me somewhat.

First, the bad news: I have always been, since age 16, exactly 5' 5 1/2" or just over 166 cm. Evidently, I'm going the way of almost all people as they get older, because sometime in the last few years, I have shrunk 3/8 of an inch. Therefore, I can no longer round up to 5' 6". Not only do I have to round down to 5' 5", I now have to round down to 165 cm. Oh well. Good thing I don't mind being short.

So for the first test: Gucci clogs, 4 3/4" or 12 cm heels, 1 1/4" or 3 cm platform.  I am not counting the thickness of the inner liner on these, which amounts to an additional 1/4". The reason for this is that I want to put open-backed and closed-backed shoes/boots on a level playing field. Since it is impossible to tell on a closed-back shoe the exact thickness of the footbed liner without destroying it in most cases, I "discount" the heel height on open-backed shoes a little bit in an attempt to equalize everything. The result: Standing in these clogs, I gained exactly 3 3/4" in height, or 9.5 cm, to stand at 5' 8 7/8" tall, or 175 cm. Ok, that's about what I expected. I gained about 2 1/2" from a 3 1/2" difference in elevation between heel and toe, plus the 1 1/4" platform, for a total of 3 3/4". No surprise there.

Next up, my Nine West Plantera platform pump/loafers that I wore to the concert the other night with my coworkers. 5 1/2" or 14 cm heels, 1 1/4" or 3 cm platform. So, heightwise, they are the same dimensions as the Gucci clogs, only the heels are 3/4" higher to make the elevation difference 3/4" steeper, and you can definitely feel that when wearing them. However, that 3/4 of an inch translated into a mere 1/8 of an inch increase in head height. That was a bit of a surprise, but maybe not, considering on my Size 9 Women's U.S./7 UK feet (EU 39 or 40, depending on brand), most of that extra heel height is pitching me further forward, rather than upward. So in these, which are about my favorite dressier shoes these days, I stand a full 5' 9" tall.

Last up for the night was my Nine West Bellafina platform pumps, which are the highest heels I own, by a small margin. I've never actually worn them out in public, they show a fair amount of toe cleavage and I haven't yet found the right outfit for them, but in this case, they served a very good experimental purpose. The numbers are: 5 5/8" or 14.25 cm heels, same 1 1/4" or 3 cm platform height as the other two pairs. The result: An additional 1/8" increase in head height, or adding 4 1/8" to my stature, which is surprising. I would have expected the measurement to be nearly identical to the Plantera pumps. So I have two possible explanations: Measuring error, or a difference in the thickness of the footbed liner. I suspect the latter, as I made multiple measurements to double check, once I saw this result. If nothing else, I have worn the Plantera pumps many hours and many miles, possibly compressing the footbed liner somewhat.

What this tells me is that to gain a significant amount more height, I'd have to go to a larger platform, which I find aesthetically disagreeable. In any case, it would amount to at most one additional inch, going to a 2 or 2 1/4" platform. Not going to happen. If I do any more measuring, it will be with lower heels and single soled shoes to check a few of my suspicions. I hope this helps @Thighbootguy and @Puffer.

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3 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

I hope this helps @Thighbootguy and @Puffer.

I stand corrected, surprised, and a little bit shorter. :penitent:

Thanks for the effort and results.

:wavey:

Edited by Thighbootguy

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2 hours ago, Thighbootguy said:

I stand corrected, surprised, and a little bit shorter. :penitent:

 

You can feel better, or at least taller, knowing that in your normal heel height range, with your substantially larger feet, the geometry is in your favor. In your size, a 4 inch heel probably yields considerably more body height elevation than my size. Which is sort of fundamentally unfair, it seems to me. Randy Newman hit the nail on the head. Short people ain't got no reason to live.

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2 hours ago, Thighbootguy said:

I stand corrected, surprised, and a little bit shorter. :penitent:

Thanks for the effort and results.

:wavey:

You stand tall in my estimation, Tbg, regardless of your heels!   And ditto, Mlroseplant, regardless of your lack of stature.

I'm thinking now that, with a little more data, we could possibly derive a formula to show the effective gain in height whilst wearing heels - given that the higher the heel, the greater is the discount.   I suspect that foot size will be relevant, but that the height of the wearer will not be.

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I did some more measuring out of curiosity. In my Aldo oxfords, which are 4 1/4" heels, no platform, it yielded a gain of exactly 3". Then in my Via Spiga boots, which also have 4 1/4" heels, but with a 3/4" platform, the gain was 3 1/4". 

I am sure we could come up with a formula to predict how much taller a person would be wearing shoes having certain dimensions, @Puffer. As you suspect, the biggest variable would be the length of the foot, but I could also see another variable, which would have to do with the exact position of the ankle/pivot point in relation to the back of the person's heel. I imagine this would vary slightly from person to person. 

In any case, although my maximum height gain appears to be around 4", absent a huge platform, when I'm wearing the 5 1/2" platform pumps, I feel ten feet tall and bulletproof! I'd better watch it. 

Edited by mlroseplant

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4 hours ago, mlroseplant said:

I did some more measuring out of curiosity. In my Aldo oxfords, which are 4 1/4" heels, no platform, it yielded a gain of exactly 3". Then in my Via Spiga boots, which also have 4 1/4" heels, but with a 3/4" platform, the gain was 3 1/4". 

I am sure we could come up with a formula to predict how much taller a person would be wearing shoes having certain dimensions, @Puffer. As you suspect, the biggest variable would be the length of the foot, but I could also see another variable, which would have to do with the exact position of the ankle/pivot point in relation to the back of the person's heel. I imagine this would vary slightly from person to person. 

In any case, although my maximum height gain appears to be around 4", absent a huge platform, when I'm wearing the 5 1/2" platform pumps, I feel ten feet tall and bulletproof! I'd better watch it. 

Insofar as human anatomy is never 100% standardised, you are probably right to question whether the ankle pivot/heel dimension is fixed for a given size of foot but my assumption was that it could be assumed so as variation would be both tiny and difficult to measure.   In other words, foot length alone (easily measured) would provide the basis of a formula.   The height of the individual is irrelevant, although I can see that overall build and weight has an influence on posture and a heavier person might not gain quite as much height in heels because compression of spine and limbs would be a little greater than with a lighter person of the same height and foot size.   Complicated, ain't it? 

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Ever since I reached my goal of walking 1,000 miles in high heels, I have become quite lazy to go more. I haven't taken a walk in heels or flats for nearly 3 months. I gained about 5 pounds while I was in Vietnam (all they ever want you to do is eat), and, with warmer weather approaching, I want to be able to wear my shorts without looking pregnant. So I started walking again yesterday, in heels of course, is there any other way? I am not ashamed to admit, it was a lot of work, and I only walked a mile.  Time to get back in shape!

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I hear ya, Mr. Plant!

My wife and I took advantage of the nice (but windy) weather today and went for a half-mile walk. I was in new shoes for the first time - Naturalizer "Zahn" sandals which I just recently got (3.5" heels) and a half mile was all I could do. The balls of my feet are a bit sore. Gotta build up the right kind of stamina, now that warm weather is coming!

Steve

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We have a new music director at the church. We have done without for the better part of a year, getting by on temporary volunteers to lead the choir who already had full time jobs elsewhere. So it was with great anticipation that we awaited our new hire's arrival. Well guess what? Not only is she a very talented musician, I've yet to see her in flats even once. She says she absolutely loves high heels. I asked her how many pairs she owned, but she was not sure of the exact number. I commented that I had yet to see her wear the same pair twice and she said that her collection was not quite as extensive as it seemed, and that I would be seeing a repeat sometime soon. I haven't seen a repeat yet!

She doesn't wear terribly high heels, I think the highest I've seen is not quite 4 inches, probably closer to 3.5, most are around 3 inches, but I haven't seen any kitten heels yet, either. It was pointed out by a choir member that my shoes were noticeably higher. This was on the first day we met her, and neither the comment nor the fact that I was wearing fairly giant heels seemed to faze her a bit. As I get to know her better, I might have another shoe buddy!

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