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Tammy Swift column: Fashion gods make their point

Every few seasons, the fashion world has to throw us another curve ball. This year, it's the pointy shoe. You've seen it. It's the sadistically pie-shaped contraption that balances on a heel the width of an empty Virginia Slim. The area laughingl...

Every few seasons, the fashion world has to throw us another curve ball.

This year, it's the pointy shoe.

You've seen it. It's the sadistically pie-shaped contraption that balances on a heel the width of an empty Virginia Slim. The area laughingly called a "toe box" tapers into a painfully slender peak, which is quite comfortable for anyone with cloven hooves.

And to think we used to cluck our tongues over Japanese foot-binding.

Not only do we shove our feet into shoes tailored for an anorexic anvil, we shell out plenty of cash for the privilege of doing so. And all because some alien-limbed supermodel in Vogue looked so fantastic in them.

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I'm as guilty as the rest. I've been suspiciously eyeing this footwear for several months now, wondering if I dare humiliate myself by publicly trying them on.

You see, I'm not your average American woman. I possess feet that are extremely wide in the front; ridiculously narrow in the back. In fact, the new pointy shoes would fit perfectly if I could wear them backwards. But, because one has to fit their shoes like their jeans -- making sure the biggest part fits -- I am often relinquished to buying wide sizes. Or, as one shoe clerk diplomatically described it, "broader sizes."

She kept chanting this as I attempted to wedge my ham-like foot into a sprightly little sandal better suited to Tinkerbell. I think she feared an explosion of leather and cork.

I feared winding up at an emergency room, as seven nurses and two physicians tried to pry the teensy thing off my swollen toes. "Watch out!" the head doctor would cry. "She's got a bunion the size of a musk melon!"

Needless to say, she did not get a sale. My broad dogs had grown quite spoiled in the last few years. Shoes were big, square and boxy. I could stick my platypus paws into them, and they would spread out and make themselves at home. Kind of like pancake batter filling a submarine.

Ahhh, those were the days. Who cares if these cushy clompers -- when paired with bell-bottomed jeans -- could make one look like she was pulling a beer wagon? We were comfortable, and that's all that mattered.

But now the fashion gods have waved their wands, and it's time to get uncomfortable again. A rewarding future of hammer toes, bunions and aching arches awaits.

So does the prospect of getting stuck in sod and sidewalk grates. I mean, it's worth it, right? The fashion gods are never wrong. They invented the skort, didn't they?

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Swift writes a weekly column for The Forum. Readers can reach her by e-mail at tsruse2001@yahoo.com

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