courtyards where the bricks we walked on were so old they had indentations in them. This building sited beside a river with towering river gums overhead. The antique bricks reflected the colour of the ages gone by; reds and creams; rough finish on some and smooth on others. All handmade. A symbol of times gone by. It was Summer and the temperature climbed into the high 90s. The trestle tables were set out in long rows ready to receive the one hundred and seventy guests. Huge fans turned from every vantage point and spread water spray on the people walking past or lucky enough to be sitting in the span of the turning circle of the fans.
I'd planned to wear something spectacularly clinging and romantic, as fitted the setting. But as the day was so very hot I changed to a simple shift; no stockings, just fake tanned legs. And then the shoes, I could not compromise on them or the hat. The hat was a huge black straw hat with a very wide brim. And the shoes were high heeled with straps. Totally impossible to walk in after years of ignoring these beautiful things which had lived in my wardrobe for twenty years,
Where do you wear four inch heels, with straps and no backs. Shoes that were bought so that my long legs could display them when I crossed my legs. How beautiful to sit with long legs crossed elegantly displaying painted nails and gorgeous black strappy sandals. The joy of posing and knowing all was beautiful below the knees.
The wedding party was spectacular. Modern and sentimental. The groom was Jewish and so we had Mazel Tov as the glass was broken under the archway of tradition. And the party began. It was years since I had had any interaction with Jewish people; not since moving from Windsor in Melbourne and playing tennis against them at AJAX Sports Club. So we talked and reminisced about the Sports Club and other mutually known traditions. And I stood in my very elegant shoes in my black elegant hat and renewed my friendship with the Jewish religion. And the heat continued and everyone began to take things off but not my shoes. They were firmly on my feet.
I wondered if they could dance. And they could. We carried the bride and groom around the dance floor and joined hands singing traditional songs. Quite frankly we rocked! And the party went on for hours and hours. Everyone singing and dancing. Me still tottering along on my wonderful strappy sandals praying I would not break an ankle. The sun went down, dinner was over and still we sang and dance. Mamma Mia came on and I think one hundred and fifty people stood and moved to the dance floor. And we sang and joined with each other in complete celebration of the wonderful night; beautiful company, sharing the joy of the newly married couple.
The music stopped and we all went home. I put myself in my car and drove home in a euphoric state having experienced a wedding I would never forget. I only had one other wedding I remembered in the same way. It was not mine but friends who had a wedding where the dancing and singing was monumentally wonderful. That one set overlooking Port Phillip Bay.
Next morning I placed my wonderful shoes back in amongst my other shoes; the sneakers for walking; the Rockports for comfort; the flat black court shoes for those lunches beside the lake; the sandals for the hot weather and the shoes I bought for someones wedding twenty years ago and that came out for Winter Weddings. Nestled amongst this mundane, ordinary shoes there are my high heeled strappy sandals. Resting now after a hard night of enjoyment and enthusiastic partying. The hat lay somewhere in the bedroom along with the shift dress.
Those shoes are the odd thing out in my Wardrobe; impractical but so very beautiful And only to be worn on beautiful occasions such as the wonderful wedding beside the river in an ancient building celebrating the union of a loved couple.
*Helen creatively renamed her 'Odd One Out' story 'Odd Thing Out'...