Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Footwear Musings

So here is an interesting story. This past weekend, I braved the Mall of America, a.k.a. the Hellmouth, to meet up with some of my lovely friends for lunch and light shopping. This location was chosen mainly based on the fact that it is air conditioned and the outdoor temperature and humidity were beyond our tolerability index.

After a very good lunch at our “usual” restaurant (we’ve been going to it since high school), we decided to brave the crowds and tour some shops. One of our first stops was a shoe store. I know, it is cliché, girls like shoes, whatever. While I do enjoy shoe shopping, I generally only engage in the activity when I have a specific purpose in mind. For example, when I was asked to be in my best friend’s wedding last year I initiated a search for a pair of dressy yet comfortable heels. Mission accomplished.

At present, my shoe needs are pretty minimal. I have sturdy and reliable enough summer shoes to get me through the last couple of warm months left, and I still have my basic black and brown mules and clogs to get me through the winter. I may perhaps need to invest in a new pair of winter boots, but I prefer not to think about that right now.

With this in mind, I entered the shoe store. I was not looking for anything, and more importantly I did not NEED anything. This might seem like the ideal situation for not spending money, but sadly, it is often the opposite. I mindlessly wandered through the aisles, glancing here and there at everything from the conservative to the risqué fashions of feminine footwear.

I was just about ready to seek out my friends and move on, when I spotted an interesting specimen. For the record, I am not typically a stiletto/ultra high-heel kind of gal. Sure, I like to wear shoes with some height, but I also need to hold my balance. In my overall experience, high heels can only be worn on special occasions that do not require me to be on my feet for more than five minutes at a time. I realize that high heels are fun, sexy and can be a real attention-getter, but it’s really not worth having my feet go completely numb.

However, every once in a while my logic brain misfires. My eye is captivated by some novelty piece of apparel, and I simply must have it. It does not help when my friends catch me trying on said piece of apparel and offer highly positive feedback. Happily, I do not share the footwear propensity of Carrie Bradshaw, so my options are far lower in price than her $400-500 range.

My temporary insanity combined with my friends’ encouragement along with the excellent price point pushed me past the point of no return. I bought the shoes. Oddly, I experienced no buyer’s remorse over my purchase. I have never owned a pair of zebra-print shoes before, and I likely never will again. When I arrived at my parents’ house with my purchase, my mother was anxious to see what I found. Like my friends, my mother was suitably impressed with not only the print but the height of the heels.

I have now owned the shoes for two days, and I decided this morning that today I would try them out in the workplace. As I dashed out of the house, I paused to grab a pair of flip flop sandals just in case driving proved perilous in my new heels. It turns out that this was a wise decision, not only for driving, but for some of the running around I have to do in the morning at work as we prepare for the day.

Only time will tell if this was indeed a wise or frivolous purchase. Actually, I can already predict that it will be a little bit of both. It is wise because I really need to improve my wardrobe and make my look a bit more noticeable. It is frivolous because the shoes are purely for aesthetic enjoyment and offer no arch support whatsoever. I guess it is just a sacrifice for the sake of fashion.

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