The world's most subtle torture device: high heeled shoes.
They masquerade as innocent, pretty little things that match cute dresses and play up the shapeliness of one's legs and backside.
Enter: the beautiful, sunny, perfectly warm May wedding day.
Everything was just lovely, with pink and yellow roses here and there, a beautiful blue sky, trees in bloom, and bright green grass everywhere. A gorgeous stone and stained glass church, lace and delicate details, and a beaming bride and groom.
I knew the shoes were going to be painful, but I figured I had planned well enough with my backup shoes (the Nina shoes I mentioned). I didn't even wear the pink peep-toes unless it was absolutely necessary, going barefoot all over the cold-stone-floor church hallways in the hour before the ceremony. I promise that I had a good breakfast, including fiber, tea (no caffeine), milk, orange juice, and a full bottle of water. I even snacked on cherries and cheddar cheese chunks with the bridesmaids. All was well, until about the ten minutes into the (very beautiful and meaningful) service.
I began to feel too warm (in a strapless cotton dress with no nylons and my hair in an updo? give me a break. I've done choir concerts in heavy velvet robes in 90 degree Florida weather. This should be cake). I noticed that the hot-glued ribbon handle of my bouquet was feeling tacky, and my feet really hurt. Grin and bear it, I said to myself. I can't draw attention and ruin my brother's very special first-kiss day. Breathing, bending my knees, shifting my weight, considering taking the shoes off and shrinking four inches...
And then it hit me. I was nauseous, and I do believe it got a little bit darker in the church. No, maybe that was my vision. This is how I feel most mornings on the pill. This is what happens before I faint, if I don't do something to prevent it. So I leaned my left hand on the conveniently placed altar rail, whispered to my sister-in-law that I was dizzy, and I knelt down. Well played, my mind whispered. Very smooth. I then sat down, tucking my knees to the side and looking rather ladylike. I breathed and breathed but couldn't shake the nausea. Then they were praying to bless the exchange of rings and vows. I turned around to the bride's Grandma Lou, who had a water bottle with a sport top. I squeezed three gulps of water into my mouth and began to recover.
I must recover enough to walk back up the aisle with a smile on my face and looking graceful in these dumb shoes on my handsome husband's arm. Be strong, Linnea.
So I continued to sit on the very nice, dark red velvet cushion, which was pleasantly close to the smooth terra-cotta colored, cool-to-the-touch square tiles on the floor. I flipped open the hymnal to join in the final song of the service, singing just one of the four verses. From memory, because I love that song. I looked over at my Grandma, who tried to tell me that I should just take the shoes off. I tried to tell her that I was okay. Ha.
I stood up to join the recessional, and was successful in leaving the church without falling. Hubby didn't even know that I had begun to feel bad, and picked me up in a big bear hug when we got to the back of the church (very sweet).
I actually did feel okay for a while, until we had to stand in the sun for pictures. For one of the casual shots, I had to squat down because I didn't feel good, but the photographer thought that was genius and asked another bridesmaid to do the same thing. I felt slightly less awkward. I downed an entire bottle of water in one shot.
At the first free moment, I took my shoes off and ran to the bathroom. Still not feeling better. We had a couple more pictures after that, and then about 30 minutes of free time. I had more cherries, lots more water, and a comfy seat in the corner of a firm-cushioned tan suede couch. Still dizzy.
I switched to my black Nina shoes, which were much more comfortable. I began to feel better after we ate some food at the reception, and even enjoyed dancing and more pictures. I was very social for a Linnea, for whom it is difficult to be so surrounded by people.
The whole wedding was simply lovely, and my brother and new sister-in-law seem very happy.
But alas, my feet. They beg of you to take away these cute shoes so that I don't ever have to bear the torture again! :o)