I am a woman, so imagine how heartbreaking it must be for me to say that what I least look forward to doing in life is shoe shopping. Yes, you heard me right, a woman who hates to shop for shoes! I promise though, there is a good reason for my hatred.
You see, I was born to a race of giants that stealthily hide their presence through a series of slouching postures and some great camouflage clothing techniques. Okay, fine! That's not true at all. I was however, born with genes that while giving me very long legs have also given me very large feet. What does that have to do with my hatred of shoe shopping? In a word, everything!
Let me take you back to high school, and prom season. I never really liked prom for various reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I could have more money to party with that weekend if I wasn't buying a dress, shoes, etc. Senior year I chose to party with friends at the beach instead of sweating my ass off in an expensive dress. We had a blast getting our Zima drunk on. Yes, Zima! I know, it wasn't my proudest moment!
My junior year, however, I was talked into going to the prom with friends. So, I borrowed a dress from someone at the last minute, but I obviously wasn't going to borrow a pair of shoes, not with my bozo the clown feet. My mom did the only thing she knew to do. She took me to the closest large city and we went to about 15 different shoe stores, and many tears, before I settled for a hideous pair of white shoes. That's the best description I can give for them. (see photo below) Hideous and white. Beggars can't be choosers though. Sadly, for a girl with a shoe fetish, this was the beginning of a devastating love/hate relationship with footwear.
For the longest time I gave up on women's shoes. Before I had children I was a size 10. That was bad enough back then. After having children, my feet have taken on a life of their own. I am currently residing in a woman's size 12 shoe or a man's 10 1/2. Yes, I could hear your audible gasp at that, along with the comments, "that's a big bitch!" "Look out Sasquatch coming through!" Very funny! har har
So, as I was saying, I gave up on women's shoes for a long time and just relegated myself to shopping for skater punk shoes or hiking boots in the men's department, because they were at least somewhat cool. Oh, I would torture myself and meander over to the size 7-9 isle of women's footwear and drool over the latest and greatest fashions. Once in a while I would get fed up and go harass poor, unsuspecting, store clerks about their purchasing practices.
Eventually, I started wearing women's shoes again. What caused the turn around? I lived in Key West for three years. Key West has a huge drag queen population and one perk of working in an adult store that sold costumes was getting to know said drag queens! I found myself jealous of their footwear and then it hit me. "Wait," I said one day, "where in hell's name did you get those shoes?" Oh, the smiles I procured from the very proud queens with that question. "Dragqueen.com darling!" This is the point where I smack myself in the head and berate myself for weeks on end for not remembering that you can get anything online!
While I received a renewed sense of hope for my shoe shopping love from those wonderful drag queens, I still get pissed off when I walk into a shoe store and see maybe two decent shoes in my size while there are racks upon racks of amazing shoes in size 7!
I went shoe shopping yesterday, can you tell? When I walked in the clerk asked with a sweet smile on her face, "is there anything I can help you find?" I felt like I should answer back, "Look out, bozo the clown coming through! What do you have in size gargantuan?" But I held my tongue and politely and quietly told her, "just looking." I slunk over to the men's department where they keep the inhumanly large women's shoes and I started the long stare. You know the one, where you really look through the wall of shoes because they are all so ugly. Okay, so maybe you can't relate! I did manage to find a pair of tennis shoes that I desperately needed, but there was nothing "cute." At least, not until I rounded the bend and found myself in shoe heaven - or hell in my case! You know that saying, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride!" I felt like that yesterday as I glanced down at my tennis shoe purchase, "always the tennis shoe, never the pump!" SIGH