In a Herd of Heels

I was painting my nails “Office” green. I was drinking Orange Pekoe tea and listening to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” (reminiscent of the CD I made my mom for her birthday this year). I had already done my make-up, blow-dried my hair, and put on my not-so pre-selected outfit. I wasn’t rushing. I was ready to leave the house in half an hour for my first real fashion show: Joe Fresh Style.

Then it all began, with a smudge on my left ring finger. Ugh. I re-painted it. Then I re-painted my right thumbnail – collateral damage. 15 minutes until I have to be out the door. Just enough time to dry. But it wasn’t, apparently.

When I finally ran down the stairs and out the door, with ruined fingernails in the prettiest hue and ready for my three streetcar rides to the Allstream Centre (thank you, TTC Trip Planner), I was a little behind schedule. Then there were no streetcars on Queen Street.

“How far are you going?” I turned around. A middle-aged man, clearly intoxicated, is asking how far I’m going. Oh. “All the way to Exhibition,” I told him. “Well, you can share a cab with me part of the way, for free,” he said. I thought for a second. A cab driver will protect me, right? So I caught the next cab with Steve, and got out safely (“for free”) where I had to catch my second streetcar. Thankfully, the transfer – and the one after that – went smoothly, (aside from one of my necklaces breaking, but by this time I was ready for anything).

When I got to the Allstream Centre, I picked up my seating ticket and entered the room. I’ll just call it “the room.” A few bars selling little boxes of wine, a hair-styling company sample-straightening girls’ hair, a booth where I played a computer game to find out what my “trim-style” was (yeah, awkward), and tons of other intriguing set-ups surrounded me. And heels. I’ve never seen so many pairs of heels.

When it was finally time for the show, I herded with a crowd of (what seemed like) thousands into the room with the runway, and found my seat. From there, I couldn’t see anything that looked even remotely like a runway. I told myself that once people settled down, I’d be able to see. I wouldn’t miss it.

The lights dimmed. Music blared. Everyone took a breath at the same time, and paused. Then out she walked – Crystal Renn, (not even secretly) the reason I was there – opening the show in a military-style shirt, shorts, and zip-up, leather boots. She was followed by much more military, a whole lot of fur, sequins, mohair, buttons and crazy hair extensions, and the show was over before I really realized it had started.

We herded out like we herded in, and the man on the really-loud-speaker told us what time to be back the next day.

I won’t be back the next day, though. Now, it’s back to reality: back to school, back to the office, back to bed – my reality.

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