Because You Can't Wear Platforms in the Peace Corps

my life illustrated by stories of shoes

Cinderella Set Us Up March 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Geri Gordon Miller @ 8:28 am
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I was talking with my friend about Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the Lesley Ann Warren version; how much I loved it, and  knew when I got married I would have an ermine collared dress.

I didn’t, though I did walk down the aisle to “Ten Minutes Ago.” The tables were covered in tulle and glitter with a large snow globe in the middle, which housed Cinderella and her carriage . Cinderella Barbies festooned the stage, and my dress was Cinderella-like. My cake was awesome. It was different layers with whipped cream icing, and the Prince Charming and Cinderella Barbies  were so heavy the cake ended up tilting. it was fantastic! Loved it. 

 I did not wear glass slippers, but heavy satin Steve Madden platforms for comfort. 

I am pro-feminist, which is such a contradiction to the Cinderella tale. But it is my guilty pleasure, and I like to think it’s more about your dreams coming true. Like The Secret. Which I think is a bogus pile of garbage. I have been talking to David Letterman for years about my illustrious career, and having long conversations with O about my documentary, and, um, they haven’t manifested.

We also played “Impossible” when the bridesmaids and men walked down the aisle. And then the mice turned into horsemen. See dreams DO come true!

Following the ceremony, “The Prince is Having a Ball”  blasted from the speakers as champagne flowed. A psychiatrist officiated, and friends read from The Little Prince, The Owl & The Pussycat, Dr. Seuss, Erma Bombeck and an Apache Wedding Prayer. Instead of carrying flowers, we all carried “bouquets” made of gold wire wound around crystals, which I made on slow bartending nights. What can I say, I’m capricious. 

 I am always told that was one of the most fun weddings, ever. It was on the Warner Hollywood Lot, and there was an abundance of alcohol with  karaoke entertainment. My ex is Korean,and aside from the karaoke stereotype(you couldn’t wrestle the microphone away from he and his sisters. Really)  in Korean tradition, the two families bond during the ceremony with a toast cemented by shots of sake. We had all our friends and family partake instead to cement the union.  My dear friend and couture wedding dress designer Liz, said she doesn’t remember anything after the toast.

My wedding dress was stunning. It had an underneath layer of tiny iridescent sequins that glistened when I moved in a kickpleat and the sleeves.  

    

The dry cleaners thought so too. When I dropped it off, the two South American girls who worked there kept fawning over it, exclaiming how it was the most amazing dress they had ever seen. When one of the girls went to put my info in the computer, she told me it was down, but they would hand write it for me and when I came back in they would give me the computer receipt. Since I had been going there for the past two years, I thought that was fine.

When I went back to retrieve my dress, the dry cleaner didn’t have it. He said I was lying, that I brought in a pantsuit: that’s what the computer said. The two girls had already mysteriously quit and went back to South America. I called the local newscaster at the time who would go after deadbeats for you. I can’t remember his name, but his motto was” I’m XX and I’m in Your Corner!” He was short and stout and balding, but always managed to get the job done. When he got back to me , he said the old owners had sold the business.  I would have to sue the new owners, who would in turn sue the old owners if I wanted anything from them. It would’ve taken longer than my marriage lasted.  

That was an omen regarding the future of my union.

My friend ran into Lesley Ann Warren on Robertson a few years ago and politely told her how she loved her in that telecast, how wonderful she was and how it shaped her childhood. Apparently, Ms Warren was not too happy to only be known as Cinderella. It’s a lot to live up to. Though Julie Andrews seems to be just fine.

I have often thought about the glass slippers, and wondered why the costume designers chose them. I have come to the conclusion that when they are empty and alone, it means you are desolate, but when the foot is fully in them, you are now complete, sated.  Lesson: empty shoe-your life is meaningless, full shoe-your life is overflowing with joy. This is not a good thing, but the imagery is powerful.

Or maybe they just liked the way they looked.

And the Prince galloping up on his white horse, hoisting you on side-saddle, and then carrying you off to your new castle…how could we not have dreams of wanting that.

She was beautiful, fulfilled and happy!  

Chapter 2: Real Life Does Not Work Like That. I’d rather have the horse.

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Louboutins and Women For Women International March 24, 2010

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — Geri Gordon Miller @ 9:13 am
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I was just catching up with a girlfriend, and she mentioned she had friends who stayed in her New York City apartment over New Years.

While in the meatpacking district having cocktails one night, they met a fantastic couple who was in town for the holidays as well. They were fun and many cocktails passed before the woman showed them the present her husband had bought her- a pair of beautiful, butter soft Christian Louboutins from the shop around the corner. After fawning over the shoes, the  man asked if they wanted a pair of the shoes as well.

YES, he went and bought them each a pair of $1200 Louboutins, just because he could. What an incredible gesture. For him, it was about seeing the gratitude and pleasure in these girls eyes. This is a gesture that changed their life in some way.

It would’ve changed my life in some way too…

Now, I feel slight guilt saying that, because think of all the good you can do with that money. You can pay your bills, go on a vacation, pay for healthcare:) Or, if you have lots of money you can do all that and buy the Louboutins, Choos and Guiseppe Zanottis, my personal fave. 

You can also sponsor a woman in a war torn country for three years with that.

 I want to share an organization that I think is incredible.  Women For Women International. www. womenforwomen.org

The sobering fact is, many women across the globe don’t have shoes. They have no water, or roofs over their head. They live in war torn countries and are trying to survive. WFW goes into these countires and teaches these women survivors of war how to rebuild their lives. They give them tools and training so they can take care of their families. Feed them. Teach them to be powerful empowered women.

For $27 a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just give up a few grande  lattes and there you go.

I recieved the most beautiful and heart wrenching letter from my sponsor sister in Rwanda after our year together. She thanked me for helping her, and told me for the first time ever, and she was 50, that she had a real home. She built a house for her family, all 12 of them, a small tin structure with the money she made from the skills she acquired from my small donation. She asked for my picture for her wall so she could always remember the person who did that for her.

I could not stop crying, and felt like I should sell all my shoes(and everything I own) and go live there and help every single woman who needs a fighting chance. Being realistic, that’s not happening at this minute, however, I am trying to figure out a way to do something bigger to change the world.

One fighting step at a time. In my Zanotti’s.

 

snakeskin shoes, snakes March 23, 2010

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized — Geri Gordon Miller @ 9:00 am
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I was sitting thinking that no matter what, I had to get back to writing, no matter how tired or distracted I am. I started thinking about a few things I am going to write about, and I can’t get into the entire thought process, but I started thinking about snakeskin shoes.

And then I went back to a story my friend Amie told me…A girl she knew had a pet snake who she loved and slept with in her bed every night(I know, this is just where I should end the story.) One day her snake stopped eating, and wouldn’t sleep in bed with her-he would just stretch out across the living room floor. This went on for a few days, so she took her beloved pet snake to the vet, and he told her it was time to euthanize the snake. He had been stretching out to be long enough to be able to eat her. Eat. Her.

I cannot get the visual out of my head. So I decided to google “snake eating humans,” just to see if the image I envisioned was what it actually looked like.

Don’t do it. It is way worse than I pictured. No sleep for me tonight.

When I lived in New York I used to go to the Bronx Zoo and force myself to go to the snake house. I would get rid of my fears. I would stare them down, and then, when I stopped breathing, I would leave. I can’t even deal with garden snakes.

A few months ago a neighbor knocked on my door and asked if I had lost my pet snake. He found it. Noooooo, not mine, and where exactly did he find it and why did he think it was mine. The orange and green snake had wandered in his yard, which he found out wasn’t poisonous. What a relief. Cut to a week later, and a neighbor two doors down lets me know they found the snake in their basement. For weeks I was afraid to go to the back of my yard. Just the thought of the slithery orange and green reptile  I started sweating and my heart skipped a beat. Eventually he gave it to a reptile rescue, and i am hoping whomever lost it doesn’t have more.

I have an active imagination and I need sleep.

Someone told me a story once about a snake traveling through the septic system, and someone went to go to the bathroom, and looked down and there it was in the toilet bowl. Everytime I go to bathroom I look just to be sure.

About seven years ago my sister traveled through the Amazon. I will never, ever, forget an email I got from her when they got back to civilization and to an internet cafe. I want to say up front, I wonder if we really are related. 

She started the trip in basically a beat up wood dingy, slowing making its way down the Amazon at night, watching the eyes of alligators on the banks of the river watching them. Base camp was deep in the forest, where they were urged to go to the bathroom in pairs because a pregnant jaguar had just ran by. After a pregnant jaguar comes a male to protect her. The next morning was “hunting” for anacondas. As they waded knee-deep in the water where anacondas sleep, Julie asked how they knew they had eaten already. The answer was they just do. Hmmm. While swishing the sticks through the murky water, a swarm of killer bees suddenly appeared. The guide whispered to stay as still as possible, and the bees eventually flew away. When asked what they would do if the bees had tried to attack, the answer was jump under the water and hold your breath. With the supposed sleeping anacondas.


Those are some large, nasty looking , CARNIVOROUS snakes. I would have stayed at camp and taken my chances that I wouldn’t be eaten by a jaguar. No, I would’ve cried until there were no tears left, and demanded that everyone in the group turn around and take me back to modern society. No, I would never, ever, ever, go in a small canoe and travel in the amazon.

 There are just some things in life I don’t need to experience myself.