white toed, old laces and ankle covered
broken-in black and red high top
converse with hand painted
cities and cyborgs on the sides
waving to those who are keen of eye
and smiling enough to remember me.
squeaky on linoleum and midwestern
when worn with corduroy skirts
lime and watermelon scarves, floor length …
Read the rest of this great poem here.
The shoe gene skipped a generation in my family. My grandmother had it. I remember the neat rows on her closet floor: flats, pumps, stilettos, organized by color and style.
My mom inherited it too. Who else has red shoes, white shoes (in chalk, alabaster and bone), blue shoes – and the patriotic pantheon of pedestriosity – red, white and blue shoes? I was with her the day she discovered a pair of square toed spectators in just the right tint of burgundy – she actually squealed.
My daughter has the gene. It was obvious when she was just a tiny thing. We’d walk into Target, where most kids beg for a trip to the toy department. My girl? Before she could even talk, she would squeeze my hand, point, then go all puppy-dog-eyed as soon as we neared the shoe section. I’m not sure how large her collection has grown but I know with certainty that she owns at least 15 pairs of Chucks – and still lusts for more.
Even my son gets misty over a new pair of kicks.
Me? Not so much. My entire shoe wardrobe consists of black loafers, brown clogs, black strappy sandals, brown chunky slides, white(ish) lace up walking shoes and a tattered pair of slip on black Chucks. Period.
I think it’s pure biology. Not only did my DNA fail to replicate the shoe-love portion of the strand, it gave me weird foot bone structure too. One of my earliest memories is of the Podiatrist squishing and kneading my feet, then the trip to the “special” shoe store … and the social outcast-ed-ness that followed at pre-school the next day. Believe me, nothing shouts ‘dork’ like orthopedic shoes.
Having said all that, last week I went shopping with a friend. We played ‘What Not To Wear’ and she was my Stacey London. She dragged me to a plus-size store that she promised I would like (I did!). Even better, most everything there was on sale (sweet jeezus, how I love it when that happens!). I bought six new shirts for just over $100. Total.
Buoyed by my retail success, I hardly freaked at all when she said, “Now for the shoes,” and pointed me across the mall. I didn’t balk until we came to the entrance and I got a whiff of Footwear #9. My friend lured me in by swearing all I had to do was look, and promising a reward of pasta and Diet Pepsi to follow.
I bought a pair of shoes. Cute shoes. Cute black, flat, mary jane, slip-ons made from something akin to scuba suit material, with athletic soles, that make you feel barefoot and stylish at the same time. OMG! So this is what it’s like to love a shoe? Count me in.
If you want to see my amazing new shoes, check out our new Events Page – we’re adding more appearances all the time.
And if you’re wondering where’s the bacon? It’s right here:
Charity’s answer to the shoe dilemma? Basic black:
Like mother, like daughter