Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shoes, Beautiful Shoes

Once upon a time, I loved shoes. Brown shoes, black shoes, blue shoes, tan shoes, even white shoes (but only between memorial Day and Labor Day of course). I loved shoes with pointy toes and high heels, and I happily traipsed around NYC for hours on end in those high heels, refusing to put on the commuter sneakers. My shoe obsession almost kept my husband from marrying me as he was unclear where we would keep all the shoes after co-mingling closets.

Since I gave up the working world, the opportunities to wear all those beautiful shoes have been somewhat limited. But in the next several months we have several VERY IMPORTANT occasions which will require footwear other than clogs or sneakers, so last night I happily dusted off my shoes boxes and began searching for just the right pair. Unfortunately, my joy at seeing my old friends quickly turned to horror as I realized that my feet, they have a grown. Not a single pair of my dressy shoes fit me.

I quickly picked myself up and dusted myself off with the happy thought that at least I could now justify a trip to the shoe store. Even M the shoe hater would have to agree that I could not be expected to attend all these festive events in shoes that were a size too small. And since I was going to be at the shoe store looking for a black pair of heels, I might as well buy a brown, and maybe a blue, as one never knows when I might have sudden need for such things. My despair quickly turned to manic glee.

As I entered the shoe store this morning, my feet gave a little wiggle of joy. Rows upon rows of gorgeous new shoes, just waiting to be taken home. I quickly grabbed boxes of shoes and tottered over to an empty seat, ready to indulge. I tried on the first pair. "Hmm. Not very comfortable." The second. "My big toe feels constrained." The third. "My ankles hurt when I walk." As I tried pair after pair on, the obvious became clearer and clearer. I could no longer wear a 2 and 1/2 inch heel.

"That's OK," I told myself. "I've been told that the high heel is out and the flat is in. I'll be trendy." But as I began to search the isles more seriously, I became more and more confused. What, exactly, IS in these days? Is it a plain shoe, a pointy toe, a sling back? My decadent shopping trip quickly became filled with self doubt. I couldn't find a single shoe that I was confident enough in to exclaim "THIS is the shoe for me." I tried eyeballing what the women around me were purchasing, but quickly realized that if they were out shoe shopping at 11 o'clock on a Wednesday morning, they were probably as equally out of the style loop as I. Finally, I went with my trick for finding good wine, find the bin that is almost empty. If enough people have bought the item that the store can't keep up with the restocking, it's a good bet that it's worth purchasing.

For your inspection, here are my newest babies:

Manolo Blahnik's they are not. But they fit, and at least they have pointy(ish) toes.