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by Abigail Van Buren

Canceled Wedding Raises Question of Returning Gifts

DEAR ABBY: I would like to respond to "Not Very Graceful in Provo, Utah," who asked how women in high heels could walk so gracefully.

When I went through modeling school in the 1950s, we were taught to walk in high heels by:

(1) Placing the toe area down first, followed very quickly by the heel, so the whole foot was down at the same time.

(2) Walking with knees slightly flexed.

(3) Pulling our ribs "out of the abdomen" (figuratively speaking) without doing anything special with the shoulders, not to lean back, and most important, standing up straight.

If she follows these instructions, she will walk smoothly. Balancing a book on top of the head can be added later. I'm sure models are still taught these techniques. -- DEIRDRE MADDEN, MEDINA, OHIO

DEAR DEIRDRE: May I be frank? Thank you for the input, but it seems like a lot to remember just to make it from point A to point B. I also heard from a foot specialist who asked me to remind women that more important than walking gracefully in high heels is to wear shoes that fit properly. An entire industry (bunion removal) was spawned by the popularity of ill-fitting, spike-heeled shoes.