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.

 

shoes. an obsession.my story November 4, 2009

Filed under: fashion,Life,love,Uncategorized — Geri Gordon Miller @ 8:40 am
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I have been obsessed with shoes since I was little.11-3-2009_001

I remember every pair of shoes I have ever owned, and the circumstances surrounding each pair. I barely recall events of my childhood unless they are about shoes. Poor Patti Mangan. I wouldn’t let her come to my birthday party if she was going to wear her white go-go boots, because I was wearing my black ones. it was my birthday, and I needed to be the center of attention.

I have loved fashion ever since I can remember. My grandmother Sadie instilled that love of clothing in me. Some of my earliest memories are of her taking me shopping. I think back on going to Jacks Department Store with her and watching her try on clothes…and furs. Mr Reynolds, the furrier (I can’t recall someone’s name I met yesterday, but I remember him) used to give me real mink tails for my Barbies. I was the only girl I knew whose dolls had genuine mink stoles. They also lived in huge mansions with black panthers as sofas, but that’s another story altogether.

When Frye boots were all the rage, my grandmother took me shopping and we bought the coolest pair of “Frye Campus” boots, which have been in my closet up until about two years ago when I handed them over to my sister, you know, as a  as a sisterly bond. Plus, they didn’t fit me anymore.Frye Boots

pink clutch 001I still have the pink, butter-soft Ruth Saltz clutch with the sculpted leather rose she bought me, also at Jack’s for my high school homecoming. I wore it with a black, way too sexy for high school, but I was a virgin so who knew, column dress, that had different colored velvet patches around the neck in different shades of red, pink, and gold, and tied around me Greek style. To top the look, I wore LOTS of eyeshadow, winged Farrah Fawcett hair, and black suede platforms. I was verryyy fashionable. And my date my a football player from a rival school.

Getting back to my youth, I had a pronating foot, so at some point my pediatrition Dr Pewterbaugh,who gave us packets of green colored, licorice flavored pills after every visit, and had the solar system painted on his walls in the waiting room, thought I should get “special” shoes. We had to get them at Newswangers, and whenever we would go to get a new pair, all the salespeople would scatter. I would throw temper tantrums like you have never seen. “I will NOT wear the ugly orthopedic shoes. They are hideous!” Seriously, I was about 6. Even then I knew, shoes make the man, or girl as it were.

I had every new trend that came around: Earth Shoes, Kork Ease, Famolares, Tretorns, Duck Shoes, each a parallel as to where I was in life. The duck shoes were important as I was going off to college, and they did look good with the Fair Isle sweaters and cords…very collegian. But I was still into my platforms, especially my tan Kork Ease with the red roses carved into the wedge and foot strap, and what I really wanted was to be an actress and study in New York.

My father didn’t think that was a real thing people did, and I had to go to a four year college or support myself, which was never going to happen, as he craftily knew. I mean, I worked at Ormonds, the Forever 21 of its day, and spent every dime on clothing. Admittedly, he did offer up FIT, but I didn’t think I had the talent, and clearly lacked the desire.

So, I decided I would go to school and be a journalist. I mean, that is acting, kinda. Plus, I could cover wars and really important things, and that would be my way of showing the disparity in the world, and those jobs are easy to get…right. It seemed like it would be a cinch, and my dad was paying for the experience.

Then, the summer before college started, I got mono, and there was the possibility I may not be able to make first semester, so I was thinking if I couldn’t start with my friends, I needed a Plan B. The Peace Corps. It seemed very adventurous to go to another country and lend a hand, plus, I read in Seventeen magazine , no doubt with Jayne Modean on the cover,about a girl who volunteered and found true love with another like soul somewhere in Africa. Exotic! Romantic!  Daring! Fantastic! I was always interested in exploring other countries, I would be doing something noble, and let’s face it, I would be a world away from my father. We just didn’t see eye to eye. On anything. Yes, that was the answer. It didn’t matter that my strict father made the edict that I had to go to school somewhere within 3 hours from home so he could check up on me, but I actually thought if I paid my way he would let me go around the world.

But of course, being that I had maybe $100 saved, and, I didn’t even rough it at camp, let alone own a backpack, that wasn’t going to happen. Plus, I wasn’t ready to give up my platforms and the collegian clothes we had bought for a year in khakis and desert boots.