Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ain't Nobody Loves My Legs Better

I'm not the most stylish woman you'll ever meet. Not even close, never have been.

Everyone seems to accept this fact about me except one friend, Pru, who apparently resolved to address this shortcoming casually and relentlessly.

She's the one who informed me that I didn't do enough with my eye makeup, complete with examples of my shortcomings, so I began putting more effort into that. She was beside herself last year when I broke a life-long moratorium on wearing jewelry. It thrills her.

Now she's trying to up my shoe game. Her complaint? I wear the same shoes all the time. Who knew anyone was paying attention?

First came the sky-high sueded Betty Boop platforms with feathers and a flower that she gave me in the Fall when I had plans to attend a black-tie event at the November Theater. She worried I wouldn't go buy fabulous shoes to wear with my adorable thrift store find cocktail dress and she was right.

And not to toot her horn too much, but those shoes got a lot of compliments for me that night. And not to toot mine, but when you always wear a dress and have nice legs, people are already looking down, so shoes do get noticed.

Shoes Pru picked.

That purchase and her happiness at how they looked on me must have been like a new drug to her because she showed up for our delayed Christmas exchange with four gift-wrapped boxes for me and three contained shoes. Three.

There were stylish boots with a jaunty buckle on the side, sort of an Emma Peel look. They look totally mod on. There was a pair we dubbed the David Bowie tribute because they look like a futuristic take on a classic t-strap, but with the addition of a net-like shell around the strap and a tall, thick heel. The ultimate party girl shoe.

And there was a perforated pair of ankle strap platforms that manage to be both ladylike and downright sexy, but perhaps most amazingly, pretty comfortable considering they jack me up three inches. Turns out she already has a pair in two other colors (I got black), so she was well aware of how cute and comfy they were.

Let me assure you, tonight was the first time in my life I got three pairs of shoes in one day and it felt downright decadent. I gave her a book wrapped in a satin ribbon, but it hardly compared to her offerings.

Our get-together was a chance to catch up and sip white Pinot Noir while listening to Chaka Khan and Isaac Hayes ("Never Can Say Goodbye" got us both dancing but it was "The Look of Love" that stopped her in her tracks) and mulling such things as big birthdays and the catch and release program.

One of the highlights of our tĂȘte a tĂȘte involved her smoke break on my balcony, a part of my apartment of which she was completely unaware. "How is it I never knew you had a veranda?" she queried of her many visits here over the past seven years. One has to save a few surprises for later on in the relationship, no?

Once we got peckish, Amour became our destination for a nibble, so I did the only logical thing, shed my boring shoes and buckled on my new ankle-straps. Who doesn't want to wear a new Christmas present once it's opened?

Or, as Chaka would say, "I'm every woman. It's all in me." I can be stylish, with a little help from my friend anyway.

We had the bar to ourselves at Amour, with owner Paul entertaining us with news from Carytown and beyond while we snacked through a cheese (ah, Morbier, how we love you) and charcuterie plate (liver mousse, yes, please), a happy hour special of shrimp and pearl onions with balsamic reduction, stellar duck rilletes and a duck mac and cheese that almost certainly closed our arteries as we mainlined it.

The Elby nominations provided both laughter and derision as we considered the hackneyed choices, questionable designations and obvious omissions.

At times, Richmond isn't just a small town, it's a village, as anyone who has lived here for long has learned. As the owner so succinctly put it, "What happens at Amour stays in Richmond," and the same could be said for almost any restaurant in town. We have no secrets, at least not for long.

And that fourth present from Pru? That was a muff, an item I've long coveted but haven't owned since childhood. That's been corrected with a furry hand-warmer complete with deep zippered pocket for all life's necessities: lipstick, lip gloss, driver's license and debit card.

You know, for when I'm standing around in the cold Richmond winter, batting my well-mascaraed eyes and showing off my legs in adorable shoes. Pru's already told me she wants a picture.

My only concern is it'll show up all over the village and people will mistakenly think I'm stylish. As if.


  1. The way you paint yourself standing stylishly dressed, waiting for the next best thing... I hardly need a picture!