Or How to Wear High Heels if You’re an Amputee
Now that I’m in sales myself I can empathize with a very eager shoe salesperson I encountered years ago.
I was working for a Savings and Loan, on my lunch break and decided to go shoe shopping. A woman’s favorite pastime! As I was walking there, I imagined the perfect shoes I’d love to wear. I have a thing for high heels. Maybe black suede ones, with a punk rock feel to them (this was the 80s). I imagined myself walking down the sidewalk in my new suede shoes. How powerful I’d feel. I could hear the heels of the shoes clicking on the cement with each step I was taking.
I arrived at the store, very excited to get my new shoes. A salesperson came to help me and inquired, “What style you dance into?”
Reality returned. I had to answer, “Size 6 to 6-1/2, 1″ to 1-1/2″ heel and extra wide in the toes.”
Now, let me catch you up. I knew I wasn’t getting those high heels. But I loved dreaming about them anyway. See, I was walking in there on two artificial legs. The feet for these legs are separate segments of the prosthetic, with no discernible moving parts. They attach to the legs like a meatball on a fork. Each foot has a prescribed arch to it and does not give. One to 1-1/2″ it will be until I change feet. Even then, high heeled feet for prosthetics were a costly add-on that insurance did not cover. It’s not “medically necessary” to take those “powerful steps.”
So the salesman looked at me kind of strange, and asked, “Are you one of those girls who can’t walk in high heels ’cause you keep falling on your face?” All I could think to say was, “You could say that.”
But his response to that left me speechless for a moment. He told me, with his best Acting Hat on, “Because we have a saw in the back room and we do free amputations!”
Did he just say that?! I was dying of laughter inside! I didn’t want to take anything away from his sales pitch. I’m sure it helped to break the ice with many customers before me. Maybe?
I took a step back, a couple of deep breathes, and said “I’ve already had both of my legs amputated and still can’t walk in high heels,” raising my arms, I continued, “But if you want to try the arms I’m willing to try anything!”
He just looked at me and said, “You mean… ? Open mouth, insert foot.”
We both had a good laugh after the shock wore off. I wonder if he still uses that pitch?
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