Don’t ever tell me shoes aren’t magical. Certainly don’t tell my extraordinary friend, Katie. Never fear the red shoes, ladies – they may just work like a fairy godmother and bring you the love of your life. Everyone wish this mommy-to-be the best — I love a happy ending!
I had been working within a hospital system for several years, partnering with physicians and administrators to fundraise for their various causes. I loved this part of my job. I despised the employee campaign, the antithesis of what I was doing in the “major gift fundraising” department with physicians. To aid this week long torturous campaign of soliciting my fellow employees for donations, I sought the help of Renie, the lady who had run the doctors’ dining room for 25 years. She and I had become friends over the years, and she promised to ask EVERY physician who ate in her dining room to donate $10 to the employee campaign. She printed out a sheet of names. She was serious.
Each day, she called around 1:30 for me to come collect the cash. She had no where to keep it, and she insisted I retrieve it each day, no matter how inconvenient it was for me and my Faulker train of thought. The one perk-she let me have a Diet Coke from her fountain machine. For free. Everyday.
On a pretty March morning, I decided it was time to wear the cashmere before it got too Houston hot. I chose a simple white sweater dress and my Jessica Simpson red heels. You know the spiky kind that are really too tall for work? But I liked them. And they made the otherwise conservative white cashmere a little more fun. That day, like clockwork, Renie called, and I made my way over to the dining room to fetch her loot.
After visiting for a few minutes, I let my eyes wander to the coke fountain and asked if I could have my treat for the day? By the time I eagerly arrived, desperate for my caffeine kick, there was a man, with his half-filled cup, taking his pretty time right by the Diet Coke. As I was waiting, earnestly trying to give him personal space while dying inside for the fizzy happiness, he looked over and said, “I like your shoes.”
“Oh, thanks. They’re Jessica Simpson. Don’t tell anyone. Sometimes, it makes me feel stupid to wear them.”
“Well, I like them. They look nice.”
And that was it. I filled my drink, said thank you to Renie and watched the man, whose name I did not know, leave.
Renie did the rest. She had, apparently, thought this young man was very nice, and needed a lady-friend. She told him I thought he was cute (which I did not say since I didn’t know what he looked like!), he asked for my number, she gave him all my information (oh, Renie), and after a week of phone tag, google searches for a “Dr. Hale,” and I-don’t-remember-who-this-guy-is-or-what-he-looks-like, he came to my office to visit (when I learned it was Gale, not Hale), asked me to dinner and proposed 3 months later, to the day. We married February 7, 2009.
On one of our first dates, Steve asked me to promise him that if we married, I’d mount those influential shoes. So, for his wedding gift, I gave him what I’d promised. It sits in our home office, privately reminding the two of us that little choices like accessories can be quite fateful decisions, altering our life’s course forever.
He is my soul’s partner and my life’s joy. I love him with such magnitude and depth. What a DEAL I got with the $120 shoes!
To red heels and bursts of magic,