You know the tired routine that ladies be shopping and buying shoes and need whole closets just for their shoes. How many feet you got, woman? Damn. I’m paraphrasing, of course (right?).
I hate shopping for shoes. I get the premise that shoe shopping is supposedly easier than clothes shopping. Shoe shopping allows a bit of fantasy. Clothes shopping, specifically trying on selections, forces you to confront your body issues. Unfortunate lumps and bulges. That extra bit of fluctuating puffiness that wasn’t there yesterday and won’t be around tomorrow. Fluorescent lighting that reveals burgeoning blemishes, which were not there when you left the house. How have we not all just given up and adopted the official uniforms of the Fuck-Its (pajama jeans, genie bra, Snuggie, and a college sweatshirt)? Think of how productive we could be if we didn’t have to waste time trying to impress other people by picking outfits and wearing fancy underwear and bathing.
Ah, but shoe shopping. The worst you might have to deal with is cankles or calf stubble. You can try on any style of footwear and whisk yourself away into another world. You can be a princess, a sexpot, a biker chick, a fitness guru, a no-nonsense businesswoman who can still bring a bit of glamour to the workplace, a grown woman whose biggest chore of the day involves going to the local drugstore for vitamins and shampoo.
Unless you are me. My feet and I argue constantly over shoes. We endlessly battle over comfort versus catwalk, stability versus style, practical versus pretty, man feet versus lady feet. Judging by my shoe collection, the feet always win. I’ve managed to sneak in a few heels but we never wear them. No one taught me how to walk in high heels and I’ve managed just fine in the gentleman companion department without tottering about in pumps. Still, it feels like something I should be able to do. Every attempt feels like playing dress up, that I will be outed as a poser. True ladies hiss amongst themselves that I’m fooling myself. And they’re right.
And so I bear the burden of never wearing pretty shoes. I live in my FitFlop clogs. For five months of the year I’m stuck in my Crocs winter boots. Which, for Crocs, are surprisingly attractive. The rest of the year is spent sighing dejectedly at my existing collection and poking dejectedly around shoe stores. Style versus comfort versus cost.
My feet are lazy, cranky perpetual five-year-olds. Whiny little bitches at the end of my legs. “Ooowww, this pinches. These toes keep rubbing together and making blisters on meeeeee. I’m tired. Can we go home now? I hate you forever! Stop standing on me, fat lady. I like fuzzy socks. These nylons are suffocating meeeeeeeee!” The random lower back pain doesn’t help matters. Nor does the weather. Nor does my fast-walking boyfriend. Or the 15-minute walk to the subway.
So I wear clunky, ugly, practical shoes. Life be unfair. Damn.