I knew the moment I saw them that they were coming home with me as long as the shoe Gods had a pair in my size. Fingers tightly crossed, a hope and a prayer and the mad search begins. As I walked closer, I saw a half size too large, a half size too small and the exact size. I'm serious about my shoes, so I went with what I thought was the perfect size. The moment comes when I need to try it on. Inhale in, exhale out! This is the moment of truth folks. Either my day is about to be ruined or in approximately 36 seconds I'll be skipping through the store like a kid whose mom just allowed them to get another pair of light up sneakers.
After years of trying on shoes, breaking in shoes, loving and hating shoes, I know a thing or two about what works and what doesn't. The fit has to be just right and if my toes are out I usually go a half size down. No overlapping of the toes either, and if I can fit a finger in the back of the heel it's just not going to work. Suede doesn't give very much so the size has to be on point. Leather will stretch over time and that gives me a little wiggle room. There is a fine art to this, so I gotta get it right in order to rock out an amazing pair of shoes. Now that the shoes are all mine, what in the world am I going to wear with them?
It never seems to matter how many pairs of shoes I own, a new pair makes me forget about all the others. My focus at this point is to find the perfect outfit and purse to accompany this fine work of art. I carefully add them to my closet inventory and induct them into my secret society of shoes. The others welcome them and assure the newbie they will be well taken care of. Yes, this is quite comical, but don't laugh, serious business going on here! Truly doesn't matter if I have the perfect outfit to accompany them, I will eventually. But there is no rush, I will wear them when the time is right. It's like my security blanket, I pull them out when necessary.
A new pair of shoes releases a feeling within me called 'happiness'. I'm sure you thought I was going to drop a really complicated sounding word but it's pretty simple. I've never purchased a new pair and walked around mad for the remainder of the day. Well, wait a minute, never mind, that's another story for another time. Something so simple that brings such joy, it's no wonder I have a room full of shoes. I love the impulse to just go for it and not think about it so much. I questioned myself. I said, 'Self, where in the world are you going in the midst of semi-quarantine???' I basically told myself to shut-up and be happy with the shoes.
So many different styles of shoes, I have lost count of all of them, but I'll revisit some of my all time favorites. Let's see, there have been the platform years, the stiletto era, everything peep toe for what seemed to be decades, Mary Janes, wedges for life, patent leather, fake leather, chunky heels, studded, leopard everything, thigh highs, a few flats, and the list goes on and on. About 10 years ago I decided to take pictures of my shoes and tape them to the sides of the box. I was tired of ransacking my closet looking for the perfect pair of shoes every time I was headed out. Keeping shoes in the original box helps to preserve them and it prevents scuffs in the closet, however the only problem is remembering exactly what's inside the box. Memory fades over time and this is a fun way to play dress up and try on shoes you have forgotten you own.
Budgeting is important if this is going to be a constant way of treating yourself, but that's easy. Add up the amount of money spent on items you can do without. Eating out, accessories for different things, or maybe even household items that you don't need to have. If a new pair of shoes is the way to a smile on your face, then make it happen and make it work for what you can afford.
I haven't been out in a while but I'll get out eventually, and the night I do I'm wearing these shoes. I like to be optimistic for things to come. Nights of dancing, rooms filled with laughter and the smell of sweet wine and wax dripping from the slow burning candles, followed by next day claims that I'll never wear these shoes again because they hurt my feet all night. If I told you this vision flashed before me as I looked at these shoes, I would not be telling a tale. The world is different, that is a fact, but the possibilities are endless. Can't allow life to get in the way of dreams to come.
So yeah, get those shoes girl!
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman