Four generations of stiletto loving women PDF Print E-mail
Written by OHmommy   
Monday, 15 March 2010 00:00

Apolonia was a teenager during WWII and lived in an area of Poland where two countries occupied her hometown, at separate times.  Both the Germans and the Russians prohibited many things that once brought her much happiness.  After the war she had no choice but to marry my grandfather Stanislaw as arranged by her family in order to provide for them.  In the midst of stifling socialism she lovingly birthed four children and learned to accept a life of constant compliance.  Apolonia played out her days at 10 Rocky Lane, never tasting a life full of choices.


Today at 86 years young, she finds herself in America.  And in need of new shoes.


My mother guided Apolonia to the sensible shoe section that ladies her age deem comfortable.  They never made it to that far corner of the store and instead focused on the newest spring line.  Six inch platform sandals found themselves in the wrinkled hands of a woman that remembered a similar style she wore before the war.  Pink open toed pumps with a leather flower detail made her giggle like a school girl.  A zebra stripped stiletto was deemed beautiful enough to be displayed in an art gallery. Shoe after shoe, each choice better than the first, Apolonia asked to sit down.


The sales lady carried boxes stacked on boxes of shoes that Apolonia begged to try on.  Although each shoe was beyond perfect in the mind of a woman who refused to age in spirit, nothing fit correctly on her aging foot.  When the associate recommended she try something with less of a heel and more for a woman nearing ninety Apolonia spat, "I wear nothing less then three inches."  When the associate revealed the contents of one box that might be good for her bunions Apolonia spat, "I'd rather die now then walk a day in those."  The scene continued and Apolonia stubbornly grew more realistic.


"Now that I have so many choices, my feet don't agree."



Four generations of stiletto-loving Karwowski women.


Giveaway here.

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 March 2010 22:17


# Rachel 2010-03-14 21:44
# Rachel 2010-03-14 21:45
Okay.. that's NOT the whole comment that I wrote???!!

I wrote that I
# Jill 2010-03-14 21:45
What a beautiful group of women. I'm sure you all have equally as beautiful footwear.
# Jill 2010-03-14 21:48
Simply gorgeous family. Love that Apolonia... she's a woman after my own heart.
# Marinka 2010-03-14 21:54
Putting the WOW in Karwowski!
# Tara R. 2010-03-14 21:56
A wonderful family portrait! The Karwowski women are indeed Classy.
# Anns Rants 2010-03-14 21:57
1. My grandmother wore heels until the bitter end (93 in her case). ALWAYS Heels.

2. That is a beautiful story and picture

3. There is an amazing memoir called "A Woman in Amber" about a girl growing up in Latvia during WWII--about the persecution from both Russians and Germans. The author is Agate Nesaule. It is a beautiful book.
# mamabirddiaries 2010-03-14 21:57
What a great photo of all you beautiful women!
# ClassyFabSarah 2010-03-14 21:58
Could you all BE any more gorgeous?? Holy smokes!
# Loukia 2010-03-14 21:58
Aww. That is an amazing picture, P!
# Sherry 2010-03-14 22:33
WOW, 4 generations of beautiful women. That's a gorgeous pic you have there!
# Kasia 2010-03-14 23:18
Thank you SO much for organizing such a beautiful event. Best.Placecards.Ever.
# dysfunctional mom 2010-03-15 00:05
That is one GORGEOUS family. I love the story of Apolonia. Did she ever find stilettos that fit?
# tyne 2010-03-15 00:31
Oh I was sooooo hoping there would be a picture at the end of that post! Not that you weren't an eloquent storyteller- you always are- but I was dying to see your Apolonia in some stiletos! What a gorgeous group of ladies.
# Keyona 2010-03-15 00:41
A woman knows what she matter her age. Good for her!
# DE Heather 2010-03-15 07:28
what a lovely photo.
# Laura 2010-03-15 08:23
Frame this!!! Such classy ladies..
# Sherry 2010-03-15 08:23
all of you are true beauties!! from head to toe!! love Apolonia! love her!
# The Divas Thoughts 2010-03-15 09:31
What a beautiful story and a beautiful picture.
# traci 2010-03-15 09:46
Sweet Apolonia. Her family is stunningly gorgeous!
# Kate Coveny Hood 2010-03-15 11:25
Beautiful story and beautiful picture. AND beautiful dresses on your girls. I fear that Eleanor would refuse to wear one since it's not pink or spangled...I'm really questioning her taste level these days...
# allison 2010-03-15 12:13
she rocks.
# Rachel 2010-03-15 15:14
That made me cry. I love Apolonia -- she rocks. And that picture is beautiful.
# Karen MEG 2010-03-15 16:49
Gorgeous photo Pauline- you come from a long line of lovely women (and your girls are such dolls!)

And power to Apolonia - rock those stilettos! I just wish I could still
# Rima 2010-03-15 18:12
It makes me infinitely sad that Apolonia cannot take advantage of our American bounty. There has GOT to be a pair of Manolos out there with her name on them!!!
# Krystyn 2010-03-15 18:25
What a beautiful group of womena.

So, what did she decide on?
# Jeni Hill Ertmer 2010-03-15 18:52
Your Grandmother, Apolonia, has almost 25 years on me and I gave up on the spike heels, high platform shoes, oh about five-six years ago! Much as I always loved neat shoes, comfort is all I tend to consider now!
# Elaine 2010-03-15 19:07
I wanna be like Apolina when I grow up!

What a gorgeous photo - Wow!!
# Vicki 2010-03-15 19:32
Let's see the szpilki!
# Jennifer 2010-03-15 19:48
I love this post and your photo...gorgeous! If only we had a photo of the shoes on your feet. Oh, and the details on your daughter's dress...tdf!
# tracey 2010-03-15 20:27
Some things really suck about getting older. I'm sure she found some that looked nice and felt great. Besides, remind her that we aren't looking at her feet, but at her beautiful eyes and family that surrounds her. I'm so jealous of your photo. Wish that I had 4 generations to capture...
# Lisa 2010-03-15 23:45
Beautiful picture, Pauline! One you will cherish forever, I'm sure.
PS - where did you get Lola & Fifi's dresses? LOVE them!
# clarkinfestedwaters 2010-03-16 06:29
Generation photos are my favorite, and what a beautiful photo this is. I so enjoy reading about Apolonia, her spirit, and in this case, her love of shoes. Many women today could learn a lot from young Apolonia.
# Crystal D 2010-03-16 16:09
My grandmother ALWAYS wore heels. Even when she her Parkinson's made her shuffle more than walk she still preferred her shoe to have at least an inch of a heel.
When I was little she would take me shopping at department stores for shoes. I never wore discount shoes. She would buy me Etienne Aigner sandals and tell me they were the only shoe that fit me properly. She was, by far, not a wealthy woman, but she valued a good shoe.
After shoe shopping we would go to the department store tea room for lunch. There were always white linen napkin lunches following our shoe shopping trips. No one else in the family loved shopping as much as we did so it was always very special for us. I love this memory of her.
# Kaci 2010-03-16 17:42
Gorgeous!!! XOXO
# Carabee 2010-03-16 21:43
I want to be that alive and feisty when I am 89. Such a beautiful portrait!

PS - Love the girl's gray dresses! Do tell?
# Emmy 2010-03-16 23:08
That story is awesome!! So much spunk for an 89 year old, how absolutely wonderful. I wish they worked with her feet
# Paige Wright 2010-03-17 14:51
Beautiful family!!! Where did you get your girls dresses? My daughter is getting married in June and I am looking for a flower girl dress for my youngest daughter, these are great!
# JulieBouf 2010-03-17 20:32
I think that is the picture you should use for the cover of your future book, "Stilettos"...about the strong women of your family.
# Maryann Wohlwend 2010-03-18 22:48
fab photo, Pauline, thanks for sharing! The ladies in our line have 5 generations of Dove soap moisturizing our Sicilian skin...would anyone want to see a close up of that??? Smiles to U!
# Tiaras & Tantrums 2010-03-27 01:03
look at all those gorgeous women!!!
# Al_Pal 2010-05-01 20:59
What a great photo, and so awesome to have 4 generations--my family doesn't have that. ;p

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Pauline Karwowski.

Is a self proclaimed globe trotting, minivan driving, SAHM stiletto ho.

Happily married mother to 3 Cleveland natives: Jay the son, Lola the daughter, and Fifi the banshee.

Now in Chicago, IL.

The content on this blog is the opinion of the blogger.


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