Friday afternoon traffic in Midtown Sacramento is just what one would expect in early September–hot, congested, and achingly slow. Add in that the ongoing construction near Capitol Avenue has narrowed 16th Street from three lanes to two, and a recipe for grinding stop and go is the gridlocked result.
We usually don’t go out on Friday nights, but sometimes there’s an event we can’t resist. Tonight we were lured to Empress Tavern with the promise of tea service and dinner before ascending upstairs to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the adjoining Crest Theater.
4 p.m., incoming text:
L: Can you make the movie tonight?
Me: Of course! Bumper to bumper, but I should be there by 5ish.
L: See you soon.
After four red lights in a row and poking along behind a behemoth city bus, I finally pulled up to my house. As soon as the door shut, I shucked off my work clothes in a lovely pile of I’ll-get-to-that-later, fed Kilter while the shower warmed up, then scrubbed off the day’s exhaustion. Ten minutes later I deliberated in front of my closet–what to wear? Something punk? Bohemian? Maybe just a little black dress…
To wear underwear, or not to wear underwear?
Heels? Which ones?
Clutch or shoulder bag?
Finally I decided on a short black dress with a print of lilies, lemon yellow heels and a matching clutch. I love the fabric, stretchy enough to roll my hips while walking in heels and comfortable enough to sit down in.
Twenty minutes later I was again crawling through traffic and eyeing parking options along the way. Luckily, there was a space just off 17th near CVS. I parallel parked like a boss, paid the meter, and started towards Jazz Alley.
Three day weekend, beginning with dinner and a movie–fabulous! I thought to myself, waiting on the pedestrian signal before crossing J Street.
Just as I reached the call box to Lover’s building, I felt a flump under my right foot.
I shook my shoe in mild irritation and punched in his number, saying, “Knock knock” when he answered.
He buzzed me in, laughing, but as I pulled the glass doors open, I again felt a weird hitch in my stride. Looking down I realized the entire bottom of my heel had separated!
Mentally I reviewed what Lover might have to repair the damage. There was no way we would make our dinner reservations if I returned home, even though I only live four miles away. With the current state of holiday-weekend traffic, it would take forty minutes to go there and back again.
I sighed, thinking I might have to resign myself to wearing his too-big black flip flops with my sexy dress.
“Hi-” he began, opening the door and immediately interrupted by me wailing,
“My shoe! I have a shoe emergency!”
Still hoarse from a week with laryngitis, this came out in a squeak, sounding more like, “Ma choo! I eva choo ‘mergency!”
Lover smiled, trying not to laugh in the face of my despondent distress, but couldn’t help saying, “You sound so cute, like one of those toy dolls. Here, let me see it.”
Relieved to hand over this problem to bigger hands than mine, I gave him the shoe and perched on the couch.
Lover tested the width of the wooden sole, made some noncommittal hmms, and began digging through his tool bag.
I made a few more grumbling noises of my own and eyed his black flip flops, thinking, After all this trouble to look pretty, I’m going to have to wear those!
Then I heard the whine of a power drill, and I perked up.
“What’re you doing?” I asked, but Lover couldn’t hear me because I couldn’t force my labored vocal chords above a whisper.
A moment later, he said, “Here you go” and handed me my high heel back.
My shoe with a complete sole!
He had drilled a short screw through the top to bind the thing together, and even checked to make sure the screw wouldn’t poke through to injure my toes.
After only a total of five minutes, we were out the door and on our way to the elegant underground lair that is Empress Tavern.
And, I have to say, I was fairly impressed.
All through the nineties I dreamed of dating MacGyver, a man who could break out of a locked room with a Q-tip and some Silly Putty. Perhaps, after all this time, my wish has finally come true!
**All pictures my own.**