Heel

img_6733.jpgAs you all know, because you’ve drawn my life story onto the walls of your cave, my pal The Poet is a fancy poet. She’s being sent to London next week, to read her poetry to all of London. She’s big, Ben.

The point is, Fancy The Poet came to my desk the other day, and I was like, “Oh, I like your necklace. Are those ostrich heads?”

Ostrich heads. That’s what I saw.

“Why, no. These are the Towers of Frooo-De-Hoog, from Bluufle Bluffledorf.”

img_6734.jpgAh, yes. Of course. If I recall from my extensive research, those are some of the better towers.

I feel like when I was in high school learning how to hold my Southern Comfort, The Poet was learning things. And that is why no one cares if I ever see London again. Or France. Or anyone’s underpants.

Also, while we’re on the subject of friends at work, my coworker Frapdorp hates the name Frapdorp. “It’s terrible,” he insists.

So because Ima tell a story about him, we must run Frapdorp through the random name generator and see what we come up with.

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…Okay. It came up with Alex. Dying. Let’s try again…

My coworker Davis Monk has a daughter named Iris, which is cute because maybe you didn’t know this, but I have a cat named Iris. Check your cave wall. Anyway, Davis Monk’s Iris is forever saying really funny, smart things and I like her even though I’ve never met her.

Lately she’s been gunning for a cat, and right then I knew. She was my people.

The point is, they got one. They went to some sort of cat-saving org, and Iris the person fell in love with an adult cat even though bitsy kittens were there, and I have to further admire her for this. Every day now, Davis Monk is telling me the cute things the cat does. It sounds like a bit of a Lily cat. It’s lookin’ for love, this cat is.

Iris also has a cat at her mom’s.

“Why did I never think to try this angle?” I asked Davis Monk. I already had Mittens at my house, Mittens my childhood cat, and YES I NAMED IT I WAS 8 FUCK OFF. But I coulda asked my father if I could have a cat at HIS place, too. Why. Why did that never occur to me?

“I pretty much thought that’s what kids did. They tried to find the angles like that,” said Davis Monk, and now I feel like I have to go back and redo my childhood, which would include not ordering that hot chocolate with whipped cream that I revisited mere moments later in the parking lot of Sambo’s at age 11.

The point of me telling you this is that I tell you all sorts of stupid things so why wouldn’t I tell you this, and also that I DID think of something I got my father to get me without letting on that my mother had already forbade me to get them.

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Freaking Candies, man. Now with hose!

Was obsessed. OBSESSED. With getting a pair. And because I was, you know, 14, my mother thought maybe they weren’t appropriate. But this one girl at school [random name generator gets fired up again], Merlene Culp, had them. She had ALL of them.

Merlene Culp was attractive, and she had a similarly attractive older sister, and they lived with their single mom, and I’d heard they all shared clothes. So these 9th- and 10th-grade girls were wearing, “Hey, world, I’m 35 and single in 1978” clothes.

Oh, they had good stuff. High-heeled boots they tucked into their designer jeans. Satin blouses. Gold ID bracelets. I mean, the Culp sisters had it going on.

They even made up dance routines, and at dances would perform them to, say, Rapper’s Delight, and we’d all stand around and think, “If only I had a pair of Candies, I’d be cool like Merlene and Darlene Culp.”

At least that’s where I took it.

After high school, I never saw either one of them again. I think they attractive-d out of Saginaw, Michigan for life.

So I wanted Candies. In the worst way. And mom said no.

But dad said yes! I forget why. Like, in what way did I convince him that high-heeled mules were perfect for a teenage Michigan girl, where it’s 30 degrees out 9 months of the year? But I got red ones, and sexy neutral ones, and I feel like I even might’ve had the blue.

And man, did I clomp through snow and ice in those muthers. I didn’t care. I was sportin’ my Sassoon jeans and my Candies. I was ready to take on the world. Or the Fashion Square Roller Skating Rink over offa Bay Road.

If I had time, I’m certain I could find you photos of me in them. And we would toast the ’70s and a teenage girl’s ability to manipulate her parents. But I do not have time, because time has, in fact, marched on, and now I must clomp to a job in broke-toe folk festival clogs.

Candies, oh. I need you so.
June

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

55 thoughts on “Heel”

  1. I had a cool pair of mauve suede(ish) Candies. Wore them shopping with my sister one time (I’m sure it was for 10 hours too – see comment yesterday), and they almost crippled me! I can’t imagine why walking on plastic high heeled shoes for hours would hurt.

    I think I had black and tan leather ones too, but in the mid-heel height, so they were less crippling. Everybody who was anybody in school had candies.

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  2. I remember running around town in those shoes with my dark jeans and some kind of double belt that went around your waist two times and hung low on your hip. Yep, I was saying something….sigh.

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  3. Even though I am SIG-NI-FI-CANT-LY older than you, I also had Candies. And adored them. I thought they looked exactly like real-life Barbie shoes. They later became known as fuckmenow shoes, because, well, look at them. Those shoes, tight jeans (so tight you had to lie on the bed and use pliers to zip them) (no? just me? eff you), that skinny gold belt, a clingy Huk-A-Poo polyester shirt unbuttoned down to there, padded push-up bra, lip gloss and bright blue eyeshadow … I surely wasn’t heading out to do charity work, and yet only shoes got blamed.

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    1. So… we were the hooked twins? I had snakeskin Candies, White Candies, Red Patton leather, Black Suede and denim. I had skin tight Gloria Vanderbilt high waisted jeans with a good double belt and A chain mail halter that you had to wear corn pads on your nipples or they would be rubbed raw from all that disco-ing.

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  4. I was a pre-teen a little later than the Candies phase but I DID have those black platform slides with the thick elastic band. OH I wanted some so badly. The PRETTIEST girl at our church, Amy Bell (not randomly generated) had them and would wear them with jean skirts and I thought I would die if I didn’t get a pair. Fast forward to freshman year when the rest of my class got them as well and we sounded like a herd of Tennessee Walking horses clomping down the hallway. Now? Gimme some sensible flats.

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  5. We were too poor to afford Candies, so I ended up with Fandies (or whatever the faux Candies were called). But I didn’t care; I was excited as hell to slide those unforgiving pieces of plastic on my feet and clomp off to school. However, looking back, I suspect my big-boned, 6 foot in bare feet self looked a lot like a drag queen! Ahhh, youth!

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  6. “…Or anyone’s underpants.” PLUNK! That made me laugh out loud.

    I missed the Candies because I’m significantly older than Paula. I was never able to wear really high heels because of a hip problem. I limped and heels made me limp even more, so heels were not my friend, even though I did wear 2″ heels. Since hip replacement I don’t limp (they lengthened my leg, DON’T ever do that, it is horrible, like torture), anyway, now comfort is the order of the day for any shoes I wear.

    That soap! I had some of the animal soap, but I don’t recall that it grew hair.

    The only thing I could do to manipulate my parents, because they lived together, was tell Daddy, “Mama doesn’t care if you don’t care if I do blah, blah, blah.” He usually said, “ask your Mother.” I HATED that answer, because I already knew she was going to say NO. That’s why I asked Daddy.

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  7. Ps. Wonder why we wanted soap that would grow fuzz? I remember those, but I did not remember they were soap. Yuck!

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  8. In high school I had a pair of Candies with more straps so at least I could keep them on my feet. I wore them to graduation and somewhere is a picture of me, taken from a distance, where I’m walking in line into the gym for the ceremony. I am all pitched forward because I never could walk in the damn things and I look ridiculous. I am a little bit tall and was skinny in high school with long legs (I know, so shoot me) and I looked like a stork.

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  9. I wanted Candies, never got them. I also never had the “cool” clothes of the early 80s. My family was much too practical for that (you would think we were Amish).

    I LOVE Davis Monk’s little Iris! She sounds awesome.

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  10. I had the mauve Candies, and a slinky mauve wrap-around disco dress. Also a rockin’ bod. I was the shit.

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  11. I had the Candies. I wore them with daisy dukes and a halter top. Yes June, in Michigan. I can’t believe my mom let me out of the house like that. She was the ignore them long enough and they eventually move out type of mom.

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    1. Ignore them long enough and they eventually move out! June and the commenters are on fire today.

      I’m so glad I was too old for the Candies. I could clomp with the best of them even without Candies. Remind me to tell you about the time I wore new leather shoes to the library and they loudly squeaked with every step. File this under How to Embarrass a Preteen.

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  12. As much as I wanted them, for me, there were no Candies or Sassoon jeans or even the awesome stretchy black pants that simply EVERYONE was wearing. Because, hello? Condor Woman with ginormo-feet. I did, however, eventually get men’s clogs, clogs totally being a thang in my neck o’ the woods, the woods being Oregon, circa 1979. Those, paired with a tightight jeans brought all the boys to the yard. Oh, who am I kidding! I was lucky I didn’t break a leg falling off those damn things!

    Hilarious post, Coot. Hilarious comments, Pie Peeps.

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  13. I had Candies and a “sizzler” at the ripe old age of 13. There’s a picture of me standing next to my grandparents – I wonder if they were as mortified then as I am now?

    We also wore Jellies in high school – anyone remember those? Shoes made completely of rubbery plastic. Nothing can make your feet sweat like wearing rubber shoes. And talk about blisters – I still have scars on my feet from those deep, bloody wounds. So cool. I’m lucky I still have feet.

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  14. I had the Candies too but I was 19 in 1978. I don’t remember having trouble walking in them then either. Oh, to have young feet again. Open shoes worked so well for my plump feet. I have a picture of me wearing them in my pink pinstripe dress with a vest. My hair is red from henna, and you can see how dry it is. I have on the brick blush and lipstick that was all wrong for my skintone. Memories. I had lost a bunch of weight but never got the skin tight jeans with the body suit bod I so desired.

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  15. I was barely too young for Candies when they were popular. But I remember my favorite teacher of any teacher I ever had was in 6th grade. Miss Wroton had almost waist length, straight, beautiful blonde hair and she wore Candies every single day. She them in every color. She was invited to Jimmy Carter’s inauguration festivities because she was distantly related to him somehow and I thought that was the most interesting thing I’d ever heard about at my young age.

    One day she stepped on a green bean in the school cafeteria in her Candies, slipped and fell and broke her ankle. Everyone blamed her Candies.

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  16. “Trampy!” was how my mother described Candies. I was a little too young for them anyway. Same for Yo-Yos and Dr Scholl’s slip-on clod-hoppers. I didn’t know what “Trampy!” meant, but I knew the Cher song “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” and thought *whatever* that was sounded interesting! I’m sure my mother was delighted!

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  17. Aside from clogs, which were clearly the coolest 70s shoes of all time, those Candies were the bomb.

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  18. My very first pair of “grown up” shoes were a pair of Candies. I was 14 and was going to a wedding so of course I wanted to look all sophisticated. And yes, I wore them with L’Eggs pantyhose in “Suntan.” C’mon, it was 1977!

    I’m sure I wore them to parties with my skintight Jordache or Chemin de Fer jeans (zipped up by laying on the bed and slipping the handle of a hanger through the hole in the zipper tab and pulling while holding my breath) and most likely suffered because my feet hurt and I couldn’t breathe.

    Fashion, baby!

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  19. This post and every comment is hilarious, from the pliers to get the zipper up (been there done that) to the green bean. June draws the best people.

    I will not have “I see London, I see France,” singsonging in my head for the rest of the day…

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  20. Satin bomber jackets, feathered back hair secured in place at all costs, the handle of the comb sticking out of your back pocket of your levi’s ( jeans or cords) that you had to but at the GAP at the mall, Gunne Sax dresses, prairie skirts from Express, pink loves baby soft lip gloss, Bass shoes, Dr. Scholl’s wooden sole sandals…”Hotel Motel Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn
    You see, if your girl starts acting up, then you take her friend”

    I could go on and on…..

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  21. I’ve laughed so hard all the way through this post and all the comments. You have the most hilarious readers, June. Coming here each day is like going to a party. I was a mom at eighteen and chasing a toddler while wearing candies is not recommended.

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  22. Fuzzy Wuzzy soap!!!! I had those as a kid. I remember begging my mom to buy them. We had the bear and the blue dog. So cool then but now the idea horrifies me! What on earth was the fuzz? Some nasty fiber or chemical?

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  23. OK, now I see the ostriches.

    Clogs and Dr. Scholl’s! Wooden soles were THE thing when I went to college. And had a dorm room on the stairwell. Which had a nice echo. Tennessee Walking horses–Ashley C, now I’m enjoying that image!

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  24. Did anyone else wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans? The price tag was shaped like a swan and you left it on to make sure everyone knew you were wearing the RIGHT JEANS. I bought all my own clothes starting when I was a freshman in high school. My parents bought us our underwear, two pairs of shoes and a winter coat. We each got $50 to spend on the rest of our wardrobe. Needless to say, I got a job as quick as I was able and spent every dime I made on Levi’s 501 button fly jeans and cords and Dr Scholl’s wooden sandals. We bought them at the drugstore. Now they are like 80 bucks.

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      1. When my son was about 3, we dressed him up in his nicest shirt and pair of pants (cords) and took him to see The Lion King. We had to park fairly far from the theater, and once we got there he kept saying his “tush was on fire.” I thought he was being non-sensical and just being a 3-year old, so, being the stellar parent that I am, ignored him. We walked back to the car, and he was repeating the same thing over and over, “my tush, my tush, my tush is on fire”. Finally, when we got home, I took his pants off and saw that the pants must have been so uncomfortably hot, his butt and thighs were bright pink. After I accepted my Mother of The Year award, I threw those pants out.

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    1. At my high school, the pants of choice were Dittos, Jordache, Chemin de Fer, Sergio Valente and always, ALWAYS Levi shrink to fit button-fly 501s. Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein came after high school.

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  25. Older than most of you, but Dingo boots and Kork Ease sandals were right up there with the Candies. We wore them with our Nik Nik shirts and giant bell bottom pants. And paisley, so much paisley. Does anyone remember those neck kerchiefs that everyone wore?

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  26. I had both Candies and Dr. Scholl’s. There was never a pain more exquisite as when you stabbed one foot with the heel of the Candies or walked out of the Dr. Scholls. Now I just wear dorky Skechers but they are so comfortable.

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  27. I remember every item mentioned here, I swear, but NOT fuzz-growing soap. WTAF?

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  28. I did not have Candies, I did have blue Dr. Scholl’s though. And clogs. And the boots…fashion boots? My mom made me get brown, I wanted blue. She was mean. I remember trying to cram my pants bottoms into those boots and zip them up. It wasn’t easy.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  29. So I’m left with 2 thoughts but understand if you don’t feel like responding to either. I would really like to know what happened to those Culp sisters. I’ve found a lot of the “Culp” sisters from my high school days on fb and it’s interesting to me that they are regular people now. How do you get so far ahead of the pack in high school and then fall back with the rest of the herd? Is it confusing for them? A relief? I’m just curious. And secondly, in the 70s, there were not as many kids of divorce as there are today. Nearly every kid’s parents are divorced so it must seem a lot more “normal” for them (although I know it’s still really hard. My parents divorced when I was 35 and it was still sad for me!). But I’m wondering, and this is the part that I would totally understand if you didn’t feel like addressing it, what was it like for you in the 70s to be one of the pioneer (maybe like Laura Ingalls) kids of divorce. Or were there plenty of other kids in the same situation and it was no big deal?

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