TODAY'S PAPER
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Opinion

500 WORDS OR LESS

We're done. My husband and I are calling it quits. Soon,

we'll be leaving our 551-square-foot, southerly exposed studio apartment in New

York City and moving to Seattle, where we have family.

Relocating will be especially challenging for George, my pharmacist

husband. Reared in Queens, he attended the prestigious Bronx High School of

Science, graduated from Long Island University in Brooklyn and owned businesses

in Greenwich Village and Astoria. A devotee of the N Train, at age 43, he just

got his driver's license.

I was an Upper East Side resident for nearly a decade and am already

suffering from Big Apple withdrawal. How will I, a former publicist, cope

without white-gloved doormen and New York tabloids? In fact, celebrity

sightings are so pervasive in my neighborhood that in one week I saw Sean

Connery, Dan Rather and Caroline Kennedy.

Anticipating our move, I've been shredding piles of bank statements, credit

card bills and miscellaneous receipts. There's more confetti on my living-room

floor than in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Tattered business cards and

faded matchbooks also remind me that my Manhattan life is disintegrating into a

million tiny pieces. And I'm afraid I'm starting to lose it.

"You can't give that away," I snapped. "I shlepped it all the way from

Macy's at Herald Square to Duane Reade on 58th Street." George waxed

sympathetic, assuring me the leather bomber jacket I'd bought him three

Christmases ago should go to someone who really needed it.

Meanwhile, in classic New York form, I had - over the past decade - amassed

dozens of fancy shoes, collecting Stuart Weitzman pumps much the same way

young girls collect Barbie dolls. I had pairs in satin, suede and black

leather. For our wedding two years ago, I wore gold lame stilettos embellished

with metallic threads by the same designer. Unlike Gotham, Seattle is

preoccupied with kayaking and Coho salmon, not with red-carpet affairs, and

certainly not with fashion-forward pumps.

So far, we've managed to donate most of our "gently used" furniture. And

despite having unloaded mounds of clothing at the Goodwill in our neighborhood,

I couldn't bear severing ties with my back-breaking heels. What's the matter

with me, I thought?

My mother consoled me: "Honey, I still have shoes that I haven't worn since

Kennedy was president. And I refuse to give them away, especially those your

father bought for me."

I wasn't saving my pumps at the expense of my soul, after all. I realized

it's not the heels themselves that I can't part with, but rather the fond

memories they evoke: Black-tie affairs at the Plaza Hotel, special occasions at

Cipriani, concerts at Carnegie Hall and two-hour lunches at Keens Steakhouse,

where George started courting me.

I've decided to keep my stilettos. I'll need to peek back at my glittery

Manhattan past from time to time. But in Seattle, where hills are steep, I'll

be embracing the present with Pumas, not pumps.

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