I Have a Shoe Problem, But It’s Not What You Think

I hate buying shoes.

I say this to clarify my new board on Pinterest.  My problem isn’t a typical shoe problem—too many shoes, too much money spent on shoes.  No I just really don’t like buying shoes.

An Anecdote

In June I had an interview for a new job, and as I put together my most professional outfit, I realized I was missing an essential piece of womanly wardrobe—black heels.

I had black open-toed sling backs—my most faithful, comfortable and, consequently, most worn dress shoes.  I had strappy silver shoes from a wedding three years ago.  I had an even older pair of chunky black heels from high school that are on the cusp of being stylish again.

None of these shoes worked with my classic pencil skirt.  I could have been sartorially honest and worn the black flats that I actually planned to wear to work every day, but I knew it was time to actually get some black heels.

I went to the shoe store an hour before my interview, which is not the best way to end up with good shoes.  In fact it’s not even a good way to buy shoes, but see sentence one.

I knew I probably (definitely) wouldn’t find a pair of “perfect” shoes; I was just hoping to find something to get me through the interview.

Why I Have This Problem

Once I started browsing at the shoe store, I realized why I hate buying shoes.  I was able to find shoes I needed, and I was even able to find shoes that I wanted.

They just weren’t the same shoes.

I wanted to buy the boat shoes—all of them.  If I could wear Sperry’s for the rest of my life, I would be happy.

Leather ones?  Yes.

Canvas ones?  Of course.

Yellow ones?  Heck yeah.

Blue and white stripes?  Yes.

With anchors?  You bet.

In “fill in the blank color/pattern/material”?  Yes, yes and yes.

I have never seen a pair that I didn’t love, and I would wear them every day.  Maybe it’s because they are the embodiment of summer and the beach.  I’m pretty sure if the verb form of “summer” took on a physical shape, it would look like a Sperry.

I don’t actually own lots of boat shoes.  Just two pairs—tan leather ones and plaid canvas ones.  My problem isn’t with how many shoes I own.  My problem is that the shoes I want and the shoes I need are never the same shoes.

I never actually need more boat shoes.  I need the kind of shoes I don’t actually enjoy wearing, which makes shoe buying no fun.  What I need are heels; what I want are comfy shoes.

The problem with heels—or is it the point?

I realize that heels look great.  In the box and on the foot they are amazing.  But having to wear them SUCKS!  It is ridiculous how terrible they feel and how good they look.

I realize that heels look better and are more adult and tie outfits together and make you look amazing and blah blah blah, but really they are the worst.

When I’m wearing heels, I want to kick people who are obliviously wearing comfortable shoes in the shins.  I would probably lose my balance and miss and fall over because I’m no good at walking, much less kicking, in heels.  So I don’t do that.

Growing up

When I left the shoe store for my interview, I only had one pair of shoes.  They were black and had a three inch heel.  They are a thing of terrible beauty.

Being grown up is about buying the things you need, not the things you want.  (A fact that will go into my book A Million Misconceptions I Had about Adulthood as a Child.)

I wore them to the interview, and I got the job.  Whether because of the shoes or not is hard to say.  All I can say is that I’m wearing flats to work.

*Photo Credit:  Picture is from Macy’s via my Pinterest board.

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