Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The walk of shame

I have made a startling discovery about myself: I am a shoe whore.

I'm not sure why this comes as a shock to me, because I am the woman who had to give away 20 pairs of shoes that didn't fit after Graceful was born. 20 pairs. Mostly black. In the ensuing eight years, I have made up for the loss by buying more shoes. In my closet I currently have ... Hmm...Let me count on my fingers... Okay, I don't have enough fingers and toes, so I'm going upstairs to count. While I'm gone, entertain yourself. Play solitaire on the computer, converse with the voices in your head, take a nap, whatever. I'll be right back.

I'm back.

Damn. I have 26 pairs of shoes, largely in black. And I bought them all in the past eight years. AND that doesn't count those shoes that I've bought and already gotten rid of -- at least six pairs that I can think of, plus others I can't even remember anymore. I'm like a drug addict with some serious holes in my memory.

Wow, I really am a shoe whore. I go through shoes like Paris Hilton goes through men. Although I at least usually keep it to one pair of shoes per day.

How did this happen? Why am I such a slut for shoes? And, it's not even like it's ALL shoes. I don't covet Manolo Blahnik or Prada. In fact, I shun spiky uncomfortable shoes like that. Why spend the my children's college fund on shoes that are ungodly uncomfortable and will probably cause me to twist my ankle? Plus they'd look really stupid at Sam's Club. Like Imelda Marcos slumming it.

On the other end of the spectrum, I'm not picking up cutsie little leopard print ballet flats at Target or fabulous floral flip flops at Walmart. Even though they're cheap, I still don't find them to be comfortable.

And that's the issue. I like comfortable shoes. Shoes I can walk in. Shoes I can stride in. Shoes I can keep up with children in.

Dankso, Keen, Crocs -- shoes that are comfy like sneakers without actually being sneakers. Because who wants to look like an American in Europe? And I like my shoes in a variety of colors so as to match my many moods. I currently own Crocs in four colors (black, light blue, iris purple, and grass green) and I'm actually planning to buy a minimum of two more pairs this spring. The company has come out with new styles and I must, must, must have them. I need me some red Mary Jane Crocs real bad. And probably the Crocs ballet flats in black. Yeah, definitely those.

As for Danskos, I already have the purple felted wool professional clogs. (And I'd like to mention right here that they are usually $120 and I got them for less than $85, including shipping. Yes, I rock.) I have an almost unholy love for those shoes and wear them all the time, even though they're almost impossible to match with outfits, so I don't even bother. But the purple Dansko clogs aren't enough. I want them in leather in sky blue, possibly red, and even plain old black. L.L. Bean makes a similar shoe that comes in a variety of colors, including a rather fetching spring green, which I think would look terrific on my tootsies.

I wore the purple clogs to my father's chemo appointment last week. Four nurses were wearing Danskos too and we all compared our shoes. One nurse had on some really cute black wool ones with pastel ribbons of color all over them. Sort of like Jackson Pollock had a hand (and paint brush) in the design process. I wanted to just wrestle her to the ground and steal her shoes from her. But I restrained myself. After all, I am an adult. Plus she wears a smaller size than I do.

My friend Melissa seems to bring me good luck. When we go shopping, we find some amazing deals. Last fall she helped me find beaded satin mules for a nice dinner I had to attend -- and they were marked down to less than $20. Last week we found some Keen sandals that are normally $60. I got them for $15. Yes, that's 75% off. On the same day, we found those great sequined shoes for Elegant for only $15. Melissa and I are the Dynamic Duo of Shoe Shopping. Kapow! Bam! Whammo!

Last week I wrote about Elegant and her love of fashion and her need for accessories. I wondered where she gets it from. Well hell, it's obviously my fault. I created a Shoe Whore In Training. So what does that make me for facilitating her habit? A Shoe Pimp?

Pete of course doesn't get it. The man owns approximately five pairs of shoes. That's it. Apparently he doesn't feel the need to accessorize. He just puts on his shoes and goes. He has questioned why I have so many black shoes and I explained to him the differences between shoes for winter and shoes for summer, casual shoes and dressy shoes, shoes for different pants lengths. He didn't get it. Never has, probably never will.

So what's a shoe whore to do? Seek therapy and try to recover? Swear to get rid of one old pair of shoes for every new pair purchased? Naw, I don't think that's the answer to my addiction. I need to get this out of my system. Give in to the urge. After all, I can quit at any time. :-)

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