I was on the train this week and I saw the cutest little girl. She had on pretty white stockings with multicolor stars on them and a sweet pair of patent mary janes. She had on a skirt and you could tell she was lovin’ her outfit, she was swinging from side to side to see her skirt move and dancing around a little. My first thought was that I wanted her stockings. Then suddenly memories came rushing back…
As a kid I always wanted a pair of cute patent leather shoes. ALWAYS. Did I say wanted? That’s not right. Longed for, craved, coveted, NEEDED. They were the little girl version of high heels and I had to have them. I’m not sure where this longing came from. While my mom shares my obsession with shoes, when I was growing up she wasn’t the shoe queen that she is today. So yeah, I needed those shoes. BUT, we were poor and I was cursed with Wide Feet. Triple E to be exact. So I had to shop at the ugly shoes section and get practical shit. We didn’t have the budget to get me special shoes which would have cost a mint to get them in wider sizes I was told (not convinced today of the accuracy of that statement but whatever). So I was stuck with practical shoes. Not cute. Not shiny. No pretty heels that made clicking sounds when I walked. Flexible, stretchy, comfortable, boring shoes. *sigh*
As I grew and grew I never got the cute shoes I longed for. In fact, I didn’t get store-bought clothes either. My mom sewed all my outfits and her sense of fashion was not always au courant if you know what I mean. My party dresses were more in line with Laura Ingalls Wilder than 80s Madonna. I tried to make do but it wasn’t always easy.
After my father’s death my mom slowly reclaimed her fabulousness. Shoes were part of that process as I saw it. Gradually her shoe collection grew until she had the perfect aquamarine wedges to match her outfit. And suddenly my feet were no longer freakishly wide (still not convinced they ever were). I could buy shoes. And I did. From the weird bowling shoes that I then proceeded to paint in fabulous designs to the treasured suede cowgirl boots (with heels, thank you very much). From the lime green pumps on discount for two dollars because who needs lime green shoes, well I DO of course, to the beautiful black fuck me pumps.
I love shoes. When clothing sizes are an issue because if you are size 16 or over you either want to wear disney characters on your clothing or brightly colored tents, I know that I can always find solace in the shoe section where the perfect pair of 71/2 or 8 shoes are just waiting for me to slide on in. When budget is an issue I can always find cheap shoes. Just picked up some red shoes with white polka dots for a buck fifty at the thrift store by my work. There are times when I base my entire outfit on my shoes.
Mind you, I’m not a high maintenance shoes whore. I don’t think I’d ever want a pair of manolos. I like quality but I like reasonable. I would pay obscene amounts for shoes if I could, but they would be fetish shoes and not some designer fetish either. I don’t buy at payless only because their shoes disintegrate and I want mah shit to last. But I’m an equal opportunity shoe queen. Luv luv luv. I luv ugly shoes, the ones with character that you have to have pizzaz to pull off. I luv sexy shoes. I luv sassy shoes. I luv dancing all night shoes and I luv I-can’t-walk-in-these-but-I’ll-wear-’em-while-we-fuck shoes.
There was a period of time when mobility was an issue for me because of my fms and I had to use a cane. I hated giving up cute shoes. HATED it!
Now I have to modify my shoe choices because of budget and transportation. I walk a lot and while I am capable of walking Very Long Distances in Very High Heels, it’s not good for the shoes… or my body.
Watching that little girl in her party shoes took me back and made me realize my shoe obsession must have been an innate thing. Possibly hereditary. Someday they might discover the gene. And what a fabulous thing that would be!