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home : columns : dear harriette December 9, 2019

11/13/2019 7:42:00 AM
Short woman tired of high-heel pain

DEAR HARRIETTE: I like to wear high-heeled shoes, mainly because I am pretty short. If I wear heels, I feel like I am at least getting up to near where other girls are. I like that aspect, but sometimes my feet hurt like crazy. When my friends are chilling in sneakers, I almost always have on heels. It's not fair. What can I do to feel good about myself and not have my feet hurt constantly? -- No More Heels

DEAR NO MORE HEELS: You have to accept yourself the way you are. Putting on high heels does not make you as tall as your taller friends. While it may give you confidence, it's not real or practical in certain circumstances. Of course, you should be able to have your sneakers on whenever you want to!

Let me tell you a story. I am tall -- 5 feet, 9 inches. My grandmother, whom I adored, was a whole foot shorter than I am, at 4 feet, 9 inches. It was never an issue in our family, and to my knowledge, in her life. She was generally the shortest person around, but she had a big presence, and people took her seriously and gave her space. She accepted her physical stature, but she did not let it negatively affect how she moved through space. That was true for other challenges in her life as well. She grew up during Jim Crow and had to face many indignities of racism. She handled those with grace as well.

It may be worth it for you to look at the big picture of your life. What is important to you? What are some of your biggest challenges? Where are you most confident? Most insecure? Evaluate whether you should give as much attention as you do now to your stature. Chances are, your physical size is not as important as other issues in your life. When you can make mental adjustments based on your physical reality, your quality of life can improve. Make sneakers your friends -- even if you get some with a bit of a platform -- and focus on what really matters in your life!

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a shopper, and I love finding a good sale. A woman complimented me on my new glasses the other day, and my knee-jerk response was to tell her where I had bought the glasses on sale. A friend of mine was in earshot, and she told me that I should just say who the designer of the glasses is, not where I bought them or at what price. She said if the person had asked me where I got them, that would have been one thing, but she heard the person and that wasn't the question. Do you think I should point out a sale even if it isn't asked about? -- Discount Shopping

DEAR DISCOUNT SHOPPING: Your friend is right. When you receive a compliment, you can genuinely accept it and let that be enough. If asked who makes your glasses, or whatever other item is being acknowledged, you can name the maker. Often that is enough, especially because people shop in lots of places. Save the details for the super-curious.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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