Have you looked down lately? What is that you're wearing? An over-65 friend of mine recently told me that as a child, she had admired her aunt's shoes -- those two-to-three inch heeled numbers that laced. You've seen them. If you haven't, look in a shoe store this week, because they're back. I knew just what she meant. I remember my grandmother's suede open-toed summer wedgies - the ones with air holes and a buckle on the front. They're back too. I saw them in a fashionable shop in Greenwich Village last week.

Well, OK -- I bought those wedgies last Spring and wore them proudly just yesterday. I also own a pair of lace-up heels that look exactly like something I wore to marches in the 70s. And several pairs of what my grandmother would have called "sensible" shoes.

My friends tend to fall into one of two camps. One group is still in stilettos or the occasional very stylish flat. (O has a stylish display of striped ballet flats this month). The other group sports a variety of running shoes, Mephistos and their ilk and the occasional pair of Birkenstocks. The first group contends that women of a certain age need to be seen in stylish shoes. The other asserts that comfort rules.

This sudden return to styles first made popular in the 1940s and 50s gave me hope that there was a compromise afoot (sorry -- couldn't help it). We could have comfort AND style. I wore my "old lady" shoes proudly, feeling young and stylish. There's just one teeny tiny problem. These shoes may be a fashion statement on a twenty-something. Although I still feel like I'm in my teens, my birth certificate certainly belies that. Technically, I'm an old lady. Not so sure these shoes are quite the ironic fashion statement I'd hoped for.

What do your shoes say about you?