Guest Shoes by @muliercula – A Homage to my Red Shoes

One of the reasons that I love Twitter is that I have come across so many new writers and such a wealth of quality writing that I would never have discovered otherwise.

Muliercula is by her own description a stay-at-home parent, sometime English teacher, sporadic blogger and Twitterer. While I have not met her, I can vouch that she is extremely entertaining in the last two capacities. You can find her on Twitter here . Her latest blog post entitled “The Virgin Diary or What Tony Abbott Should Have Said to His Teenage Daughters” brings back all the stuff that I remembering being told at Catholic School about virginity, its value, its preciousness.  There are a few other Catholic readers out there who will probably agree with her.  If I could have sold it on eBay in those days to get it over and done with, I would have. If you are outside Australia you won’t know who Tony Abbott is. He is the leader of the Opposition in Australia, proud wearer of budgie smugglers and a self-proclaimed bedroom philosopher.

This morning, while I was wasting time wondering whether or not Tony Abbott had committed the crime of  obscene exposure under section 5 of the Summary Offences Act (NSW) Act 1988 by wearing Speedos, she has been busily writing about my favourite shoe colour.

If I could fill a wardrobe full of red shoes… my husband would probably move out.


My two children (boys, 3 and 4) have recently discovered The Wizard of Oz. As I had never seen it in childhood, I have discovered it with them. They love it and have invented a hilarious game whereby they screech “I’m melting!” when they’re in the bath. I, on the other hand, have inevitably been pondering the subject of the red shoe.

I admit that I find it just a teeny bit gross when the film shows the Wicked Witch of the East’s skinny, dead legs sticking out from under Dorothy’s house. My kids seem unmoved, nor are they much interested in how Dorothy ends up in the footwear of someone she effectively murdered. What I notice is that on those bony, lifeless feet, the ruby slippers look odd and clunky; but on Dorothy’s feet, they are all glam and sparkle. Perhaps a shoe has to be worn on the right foot if it is to truly shine.

I am sure that many a PhD thesis has been written on the topic of the red shoe – so filled is it with symbolism and metaphor. A quick google for example reveals this interesting discussion thread where red shoes are described as representing “the active, energetic principle.” JJ Ghatt’s guest post on this blog is a case in point.

I am firmly of the opinion that all women should own a pair of red shoes. My own beloved pair has been a faithful and utterly reliable companion for over 10 years. I bought them at a time in my life when I was shoeloose and fancy free. I was sharing a flat with a friend and we’d throw parties at the drop of a hat. New Year? Let’s have a party. New job? Let’s have a party. Election? Let’s have a party (sadly, it didn’t help at all; John Howard kept winning). For me, my red shoes are definitely party shoes, although as you will see they would not be at all out of place in an office.

I don’t remember the purchase itself, but I can tell you they were marked down from $89.95 to $69.95 because I kept the box (aren’t you proud of me, Caveat Calcei?). I can even tell you the name of the model: Lisbet.  What a demure little name for such a handsome shoe. (By the way, I am not fond of shoe makers’ habit of giving shoes funny women’s Christian names. But that’s another subject.)

My red shoes are RMK patent leather Mary Janes. They are nothing like Caveat Calcei’s red patent leather Mary Jane pumps , which just goes to illustrate the boundless variety of the shoe species. Mine are a slightly metallic, deep cherry red. They have a wedge-shaped chunky heel which is as high as any I’ve dared to wear and yet are perfectly comfortable when worn dancing or even for walking home from the train station. They have never given me any blisters (or if they did at the start of the relationship, it is long forgiven and forgotten). Somehow, they seem to go with everything. It’s as though they were actually black. They have glammed up any number of ordinary outfits, even since the patent leather got a little scratched up. In short, I love them. I don’t even let the children play dress ups with them. Some things are just too special to share with your kids.

I have no idea why Caveat Calcei asked me to guest blog for her, as my own blog is covered in several inches of dust. Also, I have all but given up shopping since I started having children. But the very day I received her request, a strange coincidence happened. You might even call it a red letter day: I had just purchased my first new pair of shoes in years. I take it as a sign that the shoe gods are smiling on me again, at last, thanks to Caveat Calcei. Let the shoe shopping begin anew (and maybe the blogging too…).

6 thoughts on “Guest Shoes by @muliercula – A Homage to my Red Shoes

  1. the ballet the wizard of oz and the picture above, whoopee! I had a working colleague who wore red shoes and a bit like the previous blog which I lengthily comment on the shoe wearer was a bloke. perhaps we can deduce who the male red shoe wearers are. that may be a leap too far or a flying jump into unknown space but you can only see and believe what is before your eyes. which takes us to red eyes. what exactly do they tell us. there is, of course, the red eye shuttle from the west coast to the east coast of america. having undertaken this trip more than once, it does give the eyes a very peculiar colour of red not pink but red. where does that leave us? I am not too sure but what I still know for certain is the clear distinction between aussie english and english. I am never certain of what certain words mean but have concluded that that fact is of no relevance. accordingly, I will not give my eyes the red treatment by rubbing them in wonderment about what this ausie word or that means. just lie back and think of queen and country. incidentally, the queen was considered by some miscreants in a recent poll to be a sexy little nymphet. now that one may be worth pondering long and hard abut the state of england.

  2. I, too, thought of the film The Red Shoes, as it was what made me want to become a ballerina–and I almost did. What I hadn’t reckoned on was the pain involved in dancing on toe shoes. I can’t even bear wearing high heels, so you can just imagine….
    I love the stream of consciousness reply from alexarchitect; it captures the mood of this blog.

  3. I knew my life was incomplete and now I know why. I don’t have red shoes. I thought my crisis was existential but really it’s so fixable. Thanks.

    When I watched the Wizard of Oz as a child I was so frightened by it (the flying monkeys especially). My own kids are unfazed.

    Love your blog.

  4. the music in the film was terrific but with regard to fright I found the most compelling scene and related film music to be the march of the witches praetorian guard as they moved en bloc into her castle. a magical blend of visuals with music of a very dark sonority. a little bit scary for a child. but then, the dark light divide was never a simple thing to digest.

  5. Great guest post, Muliercula!

    I am soooo with you about the red shoes. Every girl needs a pair. I once, when we just had Mr Justice and my husband was earning 0.5 of a university wage (which is like 0.1 of a normal wage), I saw a red pair of Mary Jane Tatami flats in the Birkenstock shop window and I wanted them soooooo much. “Why, nobody could ever feel unhappy in a pair of red shoes like those,” I exclaimed.

    Unfortunately, we chose food and nappies over the shoes and to this very day I still think of them.

    I am currently searching for the perfect pair of red shoes to turn 40 in. If I fail in my quest, can I borrow yours? x

    • Of course you may borrow my red shoes, but I have just seen Nomes Messenger’s Mary Janes on today’s guest post, and they are almost red and far, far, far more delicious than mine! I would ask her if I were you.

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