Why did I think it would be a good idea to wear my high-heeled boots to my husband’s Christmas gathering in downtown Chicago?

The boots seemed perfect when I bought them: The tall black boots with my knee-length skirt. Not too dressy, not too casual.

Of course that was BEFORE the temperature dropped 20 degrees in one day. It was before the snow started and the rain turned to sleet.

But at that point, I wasn’t going to change my plan. You see, if a girl has her outfit picked out and ready to go, there’s no time to switch plans. A girl has to make a little sacrifice in the name of fashion.

Besides. I had already made one huge concession due to the fact I’m only months away from middle age now. (Yes, I will be mentioning that several times over the next five months.) I tried on two different pairs of boots and one pair was miniscule-y cuter than the other. However, the ever-so-slightly, barely-detectably cuter pair kind of hurt my toes. And for the first time in my LIFE, I actually chose comfort over cute.

But practical over cute? Never! (At least not until I’m 50.)

I mean it was my first time meeting the women from the L.A. office of my husband’s company. They actually left their warm, sunny and beautiful surroundings that I can only dream of in December and CHOSE to fly to Chicago during our first winter storm of the season for the company Christmas party. And you KNOW how those L.A. people are??

They are always dressed better than those of us here in the midwest. I was certain none of THEM would abandon their previously-planned high-heeled boots just because of a little snow and ice. Or even a lot of snow and ice.

But no. They arrived in their practical shoes with traction to walk all over Michigan Avenue in the wonderful windy, icy, snowy, blustery, frigid (have I mentioned I DESPISE winter and want nothing more in life than to live in a warm climate???) weather. They wore ever-so-practical long pants as one should when visiting the tundra in the heart of winter. And I would bet money they even had sleek long-underwear on under the pants.

Me? Looking sharp.

Never mind that I have broken each of my arms TWICE. Never mind that I usually break my arms simply by falling down while walking. Never mind that I tried to get the mail earlier in the day but started sliding down the driveway in my boots and had to cling to the minvan and pull myself back up to the garage door so I could get myself off the ski slope in front of our house.

No. Never mind all of that because those boots looked good with that skirt, darn it.

I was honestly thinking that everyone in our group would be shuffling along the sidewalk, as I was, because they had no traction. I thought that if I actually did have to get down on my hands and knees and crawl on the ice that it would be OK because everyone would be in the same boat.

But no.

They all walked along merrily (and quite briskly, I should add), letting out little gasps of delight at the beautiful lights and store windows all decorated for Christmas.

I scooted along, holding on tight to my husband’s arm for dear life. I carefully watched the ice forming on the sidewalk and tried to dodge the grates that were yearning to suck up the heels of my boots with one wrong step. I kept my nose to the ground to avoid the whipping wind and ice spitting from the sky.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” they would ask, gazing into the windows at Bloomingdales.

“Oh, yes,” I thought, not daring to look up. “THEY are beautiful.” My beloved new boots.

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