Wings on my heels

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
I have, of late, remembered that I have a superpower that I have under-utilised for the last decade or so, writes columnist Liz Breslin.

Liz Breslin
Liz Breslin
You'll never guess it, so I'll come right out and tell you. I am exceptional at running in heels. There isn't a lot of call for that sort of thing in Hawea Flat, so it feels strange and mysterious to be reunited with this important and exemplary talent.

For this to technically count as a superpower, of course, I have to be either capable of plausibly attaining the status of global hegemony (which is a big call for anything footwear-related), or simply way better than average. We'll go with definition two. Because believe me. I am. I can sprint, in heels, with bags, at top speed. No sweat. No swearing, even. Pure, concentrated brilliance. It's practically an artform.

(And it is by far preferable to other powers I have that I could supersize. Bad Photoshopping. Cooking with leftovers. Everyday martyrdom. That last one especially could get kind of exhausting, and also, when you think about it, the costume opportunities for supermartyrs aren't exactly inspiring.)

True, running in heels, while express and admirable in action, may not save the world in any spectacular fashion. But since it's mine to own as a superpower, I'm going to have to shine it up and live with it. I have friends with much more impressive superpowers: card-sharkery, green thumbs, compassion, selfie-taking at the right angles, perfection at mood lighting, gravitas, encyclopaedic musical knowledge, lipstick application, birthday cake creativity, kind hands, lightning-speed gif-ability, poet voice, making positive environmental choices without making other people feel guilty, eating Marmite sandwiches while jogging, subtly and suitably peppering conversations with literary quotes. These are important contributions to society. But give us all a pair of heels and I'm going to be the one ahead of the pack, holding the bus door open, yelling get on it. Just saying.

Running in heels does not make it on to the top 10 most wanted superpowers of all time. According to most surveys of such important things as what superpower would you like if you could choose one? Invisibility comes in first. Why, though? Presumably, when you're invisible, straight off, you're going to go and spy on people you know. And presumably at some point you're not going to like what you see or hear. Which, presumably, leaves you with two options. Blow your cover or seethe and simmer. Neither very attractive options. Guaranteed to leave you feeling not that super after all. Wouldn't you rather just have a Marmite sandwich and jog on? Also, invisible spying is plain creepy. And yes. There's quite a lot of presumption in that train of thought. But that's how we presumptuous superheros in heels roll.

In one Canadian survey, 100% of the respondents who said they'd like the superpower of speed were women. In the UK, more people wanted to be able to fly than wanted to be able to teleport. A 2018 State of the Kid survey showed that 26% of kids would use their superpowers to their own advantage and 17% to change things and help people. Ah. Superaltruism. Next we'll be going for Supermindfullness. Great. Still. There are no up-to-date New Zealand Most Wanted Superpowers lists. I wonder if they could add it to the census?

Communicating with animals always comes way down the list. If I didn't have the burden of living with my own superpower, that's definitely one I would choose. How better to appreciate the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals. That's Shakespeare. As was ``I have, of late ...'' and ``express and admirable in action''. Hamlet, actually. Clearly, I'm aspiring to upskill to the superpower of subtly and suitably peppering my conversations with literary quotes. How am I going with that?




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