New Year’s Eve in New Orleans: A Shoe Story

5 09 2012












Happy New Year!!!

Anita* and I looked at each other with much relief and excitement while we toasted our glasses and screamed out the countdown for the last seconds of 2009. We’d actually made it to her uncle’s house, running in with our best heels, just in time for us to have champagne glasses placed in our hands at the very moment the crowd started with the number 10.

“Whew,” she said to me. “Happy New Year girl!”

“Same to you honey. And this year, we managed to not be in the car, traveling from one place to the other, during the countdown.”

“I know, we definitely need to get better at this.”

She was right. This was our third year in a row of spending New Year’s Eve together in New Orleans and yet, somehow we still hadn’t perfected getting to our next location with time to spare before the New Year came. The year before, we found ourselves in the car, driving into the French Quarter, and when we heard the radio start the countdown, we just pulled over by the river and toasted by ourselves. We made it to our 2nd destination 5 minutes later.

We were a little better off this year, but I still found myself running into her uncle’s house, praying that I didn’t trip over my 4 inch leopard print heels. They had a red embellishment on the side of each shoe and the last thing I wanted to do was add to the red with my blood. But thankfully, none of that occurred. Instead, we grabbed our glasses and toasted the year with her family, and all was well.

Anita’s uncle had managed to serve up a beautifully delicious spread of food that was just what we needed to coat our stomachs before heading downtown. And so for the next hour or so, we ate and drank champagne and took pictures, posing like we were on our own special runway – making sure to tell everyone “not to forget the shoes!” We posed near his fountain in the backyard, posed in the dining room, posed in the kitchen, the living room, the front yard – anywhere and everywhere we could, really. We also probably ate and drank in all those locations as well!

And then, just as quickly as we’d run into the house an hour or so before, it was time for us to leave and head downtown to Bourbon Street. We gathered our things, packed ourselves back into her car, and then I realized what I’d done. I’d made the ultimate rookie mistake for Bourbon Street. Not attempting to go there sober, which is bad enough.

No, I’d forgotten to bring a change of shoes for the evening.

You see, one thing you have to know about Bourbon Street is that you never ever ever go there wearing shoes that matter to you. And since I didn’t want to start crying by the end of the night because someone had completely ruined my babies, I was at a loss of what to do. Sure, we could go back to my house to get some sandals or sneakers, but that would have taken up way more time and gas than either one of us wanted to spend.

We thought. And thought. And finally, Anita remembered that she had an extra pair of sandals in her trunk that I could wear. Perfect! Except that Anita’s shoe size was about a size and 1/2 bigger than mine, so while I was thankful for the spare pair, I was horrified about how this would actually be executed.

As it turns out, it was just as clownish as you would think. But since desperate times call for desperate measures, I buckled those sandals up, sucked up my pride and literally flip flopped my way along the streets of downtown New Orleans. “Most people would be drunk by now, anyway,” I decided, probably as a way to justify looking like a little kid walking around in her mommie’s shoes. “The last thing they would be worried about were whether or not my shoes were too big.”

And I was right. A few drinks and plenty of dancing later, I barely remembered that my feet probably looked like they belonged to a clown. What was most important was that me and one of my besties were having a great time (she even battled a drag queen to Single Ladies by Beyonce’!!) and for one night only, the shoes I had on were much less of a concern.

* Name was changed in this story.




2 responses

8 09 2012

I love your shoe stories!!

9 09 2012

Awww thanks hon!!! *does the happy writer dance*

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