Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Red Shoes and Happiness


Today, I went to some meetings at the company where I used to be an employee. I walked its grey corridors in my red shoes. A small part of me was slightly envious that I no longer work there – there’s always an amazing buzz, the employees are young and trendy, the buildings are modern and stylish and the coffee is excellent. Despite all this, most of me knows that the last thing I need is an office, a boss and an access card. Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be right now.

Instead of my being an employee of the company, the company is now one of my customers. I work for various departments, doing different writing-related jobs: a bit of editing here, some white papers there, an online article or two here and there. Today I met with three different people who have work for me. They all have tons of work for me. I am trying not to hyperventilate.

There’s so much work.

There’s so much work.

There’s so much work. And I have three kids, and three hours four times a week free to do the work in, unless I want to do it late at night, in my pyjamas when all the world has gone to sleep. Not to mention the house I need to maintain, the friendships that require time and commitment, the novel I dearly would like to get bloody written, the handsome man who occasionally would like me to look up from my computer and acknowledge his sweet presence, the blog posts that need to be composed.

Luckily though, I was wearing my red shoes:

My red shoes, like those of Mma Makutsi, assistant to intrepid lady detective Mma Ramotswe in Alexander McCall Smith’s lovely Botswanan detective series, pinch. But, like Mma Makutsi’s blue shoes, my red shoes give me courage. If I can wear these and walk all over the company’s campus, keep smiling and nodding and saying “yes” to all the work they want me to do, then I can find the time to do the work.

I feel panic, but when I look at my red shoes I feel happy. They are coping shoes, getting-it-together shoes, working-all-night-and-meeting-that-deadline but still-getting-up-the-next-morning-to-feed-the-children shoes. If nothing else, I have to live up to my shoes. They are shoes with panache, with gusto, and with attitude.

Bring on those white papers! Bring on the 170-page editing job! Bring on the book chapters! My shoes and I are ready.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

21 thoughts on “Red Shoes and Happiness

  1. NICE! I have some brown boots like that and my dad calls them cockroach shoes. …since I can reach in the deepest area of room corners to stomp on cockroaches. lol.

    I want your shoes by the way!

  2. I think when my mother wore this kind of shoe in the Sixties, she called them “winkle-pickers”. I’m not sure why.

  3. Yes, that’s what my parents call them too. I guess it’s because they are so pointy and narrow at the end that you could eat winkles with them.

    Anyway, your shoes are gorgeous–no wonder they give you confidence.

  4. Red is my favorite color. It gives me confidence, it’s the color I rely on when I need to feel that I look good, so I understand you very well.

    You sound like you’ve got it together Charlotte, so go to it! And I think blonde people look gorgeous in red. 😉

  5. Maybe I should get myself some red shoes…

  6. Those shoes sound so cool. I’d love a virtual pair to give me courage as I pace around the world of online freelancing, even if they pinch a bit.

    I haven’t worn a real pair like that for about fifteen years though, my feet would scurry off in fear if I asked them to deal with pointy toes and heels!

    Good luck with all the work flowing in and I hope those three hours stretch concertina-like to encompass it all.

  7. To me they look like “bring on the chiropodist shoes” 😉

  8. In our neck of the woods they would be called don’t-mess-with-me shoes. Anyone seeing you in them is admiring of their beauty, but cautious not to ruffle your feathers.

  9. I’ve always heard those kind being called “come f**k me shoes,” but perhaps with higher heels, and in a different context, I imagine!

    You go, girl. I’m feeling the same work pinch right now, planning what hours of the night I can allocate to get a monstrously large project done before the end of the month. Deep breath, wee can do it!

  10. oooh! Pretty!

    I have a pair of cute but painful heels that make me feel awesome too. I love my heels!

  11. If you took off the shoes and taught your toes to touch-type…

    Don’t sweat the workload. Work expands to fill the time alloted to complete it, after all. You’ll just do it more efficiently now.

  12. Hi Ms Marmite. Kind of odd, using a pointy shoe to winkle periwinkles out their shells, but it’s a good image.

    Lizzy, I don’t wear red often, but it worked today. You’re right, it’s a good confidence colour.

    David, watch this space. Let’s hope they help me get through all this work.

    Thanks, Kit. I wish you some virtual red shoes for online pacing. Good luck to you too.

    Elaine, well, you’re right. That’s why I only wear them about once a year. What I did not photograph are the two blisters I acquired wearing them.

    Yes, Lia, I am happy to say I remained – outwardly at least – unruffled.

    Go Henitserk! Good luck with all your late nights.

    And you know what, Thordora? My cute but painful heels were greatly admired by my five-year-old princess. I think she aspires to power heels herself.

    That’s quite a concept, Letters, those touch-typing toes. And you’re right; it’s all about the efficiency now.

  13. As I sit here comfortably in my birkenstocks – with fuzzy socks – I wish for those red shoes to pinch and feel the pain of confidence on my feet. Every girl needs her red shoes! Thanks for the post, I needed it!

  14. You could take on the world in the those shoes. They are gorgeous!

  15. I love a dash of red somewhere about me when I need a boost. I don’t choose shoes though — too wary of those unseen blisters — but underwear.

    Everyone needs at least one item of clothing that puts a smile on their face and an attitude in their heart. Go the red shoes!

  16. Those are great power shoes (I hope your toes can say as much…), but even without wearing them you’re powerful too! Your post is full of energy and courage, thank you!

  17. Hi Charlotte, I loved the No1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

    Looking forward to your novel!

    Spunky shoes!

  18. Lovely shoes 🙂 Hey, you can always subcontract someone to help with all the work 🙂

  19. I posted a comment yesterday — not here? Not sure why. But I just want to add Charlotte, that I feel your conundrum. I want to freelance again, but when would I do it? And can I add another obligation to the ones I have? If I did have childcare, when would it come — with 3 schools, my schedule is jammed. And, I’m selfish. What would the childcare provider see that I would miss?
    I had a client like yours once — I couldn’t go there without feeling their anxiety. I sent a wonderful resignation letter — I still have it. It never stuck. They kept calling, I kept devouring projects, until finally… they all moved somewhere else.

  20. Oh, just looking at those shoes makes my feet hurt. I’m sure you love them though, and that is what is important.

  21. Nice shoes! who needs self-confidence courses when you can just buy more shoes instead?

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