Monday, March 28, 2011

Que Grandota! Why I Love Spiked Heels.

"Que grandota!" 

"She is GIGANTIC!"

It was a phrase I heard ad nauseum after puberty hit.  I had grown like a weed.  I was lanky and long by the standards of my Mexican family and friends.  I grew to a whopping 5 feet 8 inches.  I was a freak of nature.  I was GIGANTIC.

Freaks make people uncomfortable.   I made men, women and children squirm with my unsightly height.  I was The Jolly Green Giant.  HO HO HO.  Amazon women had nothing on me.  King Kong?  Puny.

Oh how I wished I could shrink and be tiny and teeny and look up with wonder in my eyes at all the tall people.

Thumbelina was my favorite story.  I read The Borrowers until my eyes bled.   What would it be like to be SMALL??

 I didn't know what to do with my gangly legs and boney knees.  I hung my head, hunched my shoulders and bent my knees when I walked in an effort to look normal.

Still at every turn They said, "Que grandota!"

I believe I was damaged in some way by the constant reference to my height.  No teenaged girl wants men in Cowboy hats with cigarettes hanging lazily from their mustached mouths to murmur, "Que Grandota," as she slumps by.

I had to stoop to enter the doorways of adobe houses in Mexico so as not to hit my gargantuan noggin.  My uncles looked up to me.  They had no need to stoop at doorways.  They had constructed the doorways, for Pete's sake.  Constructed them for decent folks of normal stature.

"Porque estas tan alta?"  they would ask.  Why are you so tall?

I usually just smiled like a imbecile and drooled a little.

My first boyfriend, Alejandro, was Mexican musico. I was 16.  He was 18.  I was a foot taller than he.  He didn't mind my height.  He was eye level to my well-developed clavicle.   And I didn't mind his little mustache, nor his exposed chest (as he always left the top three buttons of his shirt open).

He spun me around every Quinceanera dance floor he could find.  He wore a 20 gallon hat and boots with heels to even the score.  We were dashing.  Simply dashing.

Alejandro gave me confidence. 

I began to enjoy intimidating people with my height as they had enjoyed intimidating me with their words.

I eventually said good-bye to Alejandro.  (I'm told he still asks about me.  Ah, such a sweet little sprite.)  And I said "Hello" to The Stiletto.

Somehow I learned to embrace the very object of my humiliation.  My weak thing has been made strong.

Today I walk with head held high in 5-inch heels and feel Powerful.  I tower over men, women and children.  And when I go to family gatherings and hear,


I say, "Muchas Gracias."

PS I would KILL to own either pair of shoes featured above.  Anybody have $900 they wanna donate to a worthy cause??  I would seriously do some DAMAGE in that spikey number.  YEEEOWZA!!!  I'm salivating.