Never have I ever enjoyed shoe shopping. I realize this statement is like a foreign language to most women out there, but before you judge, hang on. I have my reasons.
First, I don’t like feet. Not just the ugly ones, but ALL of them. They are shaped weird and are smelly and look creepy. I think this dates back to when I danced as a wee thing, back when it was thought that my gracefulness and elegance were just hiding from public view, waiting to be coaxed out with pirouettes and arabesques. (Only to learn, after years of despising ballet, that these characteristics were not hiding; they simply failed to be there in the first place.) Anyways, when we gawked at the real-life advanced high school dancers in the company who did solo shows and got scholarships and such, they always had bloody stumps as feet. Honestly, if someone tells you they are an accomplished dancer, looks south. If you almost can’t stomach what you see when you are looking at where their feet should be, they aren’t lying. Most of their toes won’t have any nails on them, and if they do they are a purple-y green-y mess. Sometimes they puss. Sometimes they don’t. But every single day, those things bleed.
Second, since the day I understood the fine English language, my mother has been referring to my feet as Flintstone feet. Flat as can be, my feet are more shaped like paddles best suited to drive cars with wheels made of rocks than the feet one sees in your standard shoe apparel advertisements. I have no arch to speak of. You and I ever hang poolside together and I’ll show you the footprints I leave behind. Like a brick with five little circles on top.
Third, my feet are little. Like, little kid little. When I look at the clearance rack for tennis shoes in my size sometimes they have cartoon heads on the sides. Or they light up on the sole. All the available dress shoes are those appalling “kitten” heels (because that is really as slutty as a 12-year-old should go).
Finally, we have width. Yes, the clincher, ladies and gentleman is the fact that my feet are barely longer than they are wide. Part of the problem is from a cheerleading debacle in 8th grade, but what it really boils down to is that shoe shopping is a nightmare.
I have fallen in love with a pair of knee-high boots. It all started with a catalogue I got in the mail. It was addressed to the previous tenant, who I’m pretty sure had to move out to do inpatient treatment for a shopping addiction. Every week, I get four or five catalogues in her name. While this is impressive in volume alone, I am even more so impressed in this time of living green….you’re lucky to even get a catalogue at Christmas anymore!!!
So I found these awesome boots randomly flipping through someone else’s mail. I have been on the lookout for knee-high boots for nearly two years. The problem with boots is that they usually looked too country for me. I am a bona fide city girl. Country is not my thing. I do not want my boots with a side of flair, be it in the fringe, some sort of turquoise embellishment, or in a severly pointed toe best reserved for prodding your horse.
But these boots were none of these things, and I HAD to have them. Unfortunately, in light of issues stated above, I do not buy things that need to be mailed to me. I need to see and try things on in the flesh.
I found a store at the Mall of America that carried the boots, to which I promptly visited. (How locals feel about the Mall of America will be addressed another day.)
My plan was to try on the shoes in the store, get a sense of how they fit and what size I would need, and then order them from the catalogue. Why? The shoes in the catalogue were $89. I can handle that. The shoes in the store were $140. I was feeling pretty smart. I sure showed them.
Here’s the weird part….
Rather than actually make this known, I tell Saleslady that I am trying on the boots for my sister in Idaho who has no Steve Madden store around her. (Disclaimer: I do not have a sister who needs boots tried on for her. I don’t even have a sister. And if I did, I sure as hell would not let her move to Idaho.)
WHY did I do this? WHAT was the point? It was like I felt bad that she had to go in the back and get me these boots that I knew I wasn’t going to buy. Even though that’s her job. Was it because she was so nice? Catholic guilt? Pity? What issue am I repressing? Do I need a therapist?!?!?
Anyways, Saleslady and I are really hitting it off, so she asks it I would like to see the black label version. Not knowing what this all entails, I stupidly nod my head.
You know how parents say that they did not know “actual” love until they had kids of their own? I just gave birth at Steve Madden.
These boots were richer in color, the softest leather I had ever felt, smelled amazing, and were hand sewn by Romanians. (That’s what Saleslady told me. If it was a lie just to sell them, then now I guess we’re even.) I had to have them. I ignored the price tag, because that $140 for the other pair? That was a bargain.
A newfound love for shoes? This could be the beginning of dangerous things.