My name is Annette and I am an addict. I just went into my closet and counted fifty-nine pairs of shoes, not counting house shoes and slippers. My addiction is very organized as well. Frequently worn pairs are on a floor rack, with boots (six pair, including snow boots worn in Iceland) neatly stacked beside. The remaining pairs are in individual boxes stacked on the shelves above my clothes racks. Each box is labeled with color, description and height of heel. I have nine pairs of black pumps. Why, you ask? Why does any addict feed an obsession? I could tell you that I spent years dressing in business suits every day, many of them Trade Show days when I stayed on my feet for hours. My feet hurt at the end of the day, so the next day I had to have a different pair of shoes to wear so that, at the end of this day, my feet hurt in different places. And so the rationalizing goes.
There were early signs. Like most kids I had "school shoes," "church shoes" and "play shoes." I was a normal kid. Normal, that is, until third grade. Then it happened -- white gogo boots. Girls in my class started wearing them. I yearned for white gogo boots, I pleaded for white gogo boots and finally I got white gogo boots. I remember the lining was red with yellow polka dots. I loved those shoes and wore them every day. My mother bought white shoe polish when they started looking scuffed and worn. "You wanted them, you polish them," she said. It was the first time I experienced the thrill of rejuvenating something with just a "new coat of paint." I learned to use the black edging renewal as well, carefully keeping to the sides and heels without getting any on the white boots. (Although I didn't have much heel; third grade, remember?) I even loved the smell of shoe polish; probably an early warning sign of addictive behavior. This internet photo shows the closest to what I remember my boots looked like. Mine were just a little higher on the leg, somewhere between knee and ankle. I wish I still had them.
Shoe addiction runs rampant in my family. My mother had very small feet, the same size the shoe stores put on display. Her "pusher" gave her big discounts on the display shoes at the end of the season. My oldest sister has the gene as well, often aiding my habit by helping me find the perfect shoe to go with my outfit. Once she found me a gorgeous pair of blue, sharkskin style pumps to match a blue silk pantsuit. She even re-hemmed the pants for me to fit the shoes while we were in the car, on the way to the event. I remember on her daughter's wedding day, the bride sent me in to deal with her mother because she was "freaking out" over the fact that her dyed-to-match shoes did NOT match her dress perfectly. It was touch and go, but she made it down the aisle.
The years continued and, as my income grew, my shoe stash grew. At least I don't buy designer shoes, spending thousands of dollars. (Another rationalization.) However I finally learned that you get what you pay for in shoes and I do buy nice ones (a hundred or so, but not thousands.) They say the first step on the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, I'm not there yet. I love my shoes and will keep buying and wearing them as long as I can. Like my Aunt LaVerne, who was in her mid-eighties at the time and wore three inch pumps to church said, "I'm not going to wear old woman shoes." I may wear muumuus and knee highs, but I'll still have on my heels. So there.
Thanks for stopping by today. I've got to get dressed and go to Book Club. I wonder what shoes I'll wear . . . .