Shoe Fetish

January 8, 2008 at 4:05 am Leave a comment

Shoe Fetish

            I think I’ve entered into a phase of a shoe fetish, which within the stereotype of Woman in Her Forties would be normal. Someone once suggested that perhaps I really did have a lot of pairs of Keens. I naturally felt defensive, but maybe an alert of the quantity I owned became evident at the Big Sur Marathon whereby the Keen rep gave me a hat and a t-shirt for selling more shoes than he could just by me standing around saying how great they were. (Ooo, those rubber toes are great for all activities. You should see the roars of excitement from six year olds in the way I can kick those playground balls with those protected toes).  I don’t really get rid of my shoes. Old shoes are always useful for something. I have stages of tennis shoes; the pairs for walking clean on the pavement, then as they get older, become the stages of beach shoes, and the last stage is I let them become prey to the crawdads and rock scrapes in the Arroyo Seco River.

            Okay, you know me: so Shoes. I must delve into the deeper significances. They really were the last items for me to hang onto of Russ’. He had his favorite TopSider boat shoes, and like me, would have a quantity of them, awaiting the cycle. He would wear them until the sole literally dissolved, and then out would come the next grouping to march through the ranks of hierarchy of activity. There was a brand new pair awaiting him in a box, and I sold it at a garage sale last summer, determined not to be negotiated on the price in honor of Russ. His sister took home a worn pair, the toes ripped out, her holding them sweetly with her tears, feeling his warmth through the indentations of where his feet once filled the space. His brother took the cowboy boots from the 70’s, beautiful boots that he wore for those concerts they sang at in Colorado. How many items do we have that hold an impression of our existence? As children, we make handprints in plaster and proudly write our misspelled names, but those were not were not used. Shoes hold our weight, the connection between us and the soil, the place we came from and end up in. They hold us upright, they serve us function, looks, and sooo many books, plays, stories revolve around shoes. Think of Cinderella, the Red Shoe, Van Gogh’s boots, magic shoes (click those babies together by the heels and you are home). So it’s not just me: we all have a shoe fascination.

            Ahh…back to my birthday. That’s when I indulged in buying the new blue frilly skirt, and when I walked down the street in Carmel, I somehow wandered into a shoe store, found a pair of very high natural leather shoes on sale. I was told they were made for me, so I believed the clerk and bought them, and when I wore them to work the next day, the secretary was in awe of them, instantly named the brand and declared that I made a smart investment. Investment? That was new to me. This was reaffirmed when I wore them in Monterey the following weekend, was followed by two young ladies who just had to tell me what beautiful shoes I was wearing. Wow. By virtue of my smart shopping, I was not only accepted, but held in deep respect by a culture group who previously would never have noticed me. Oh, for the record, those heels are Frye’s.

            Over the holidays, my nephew declared that he wanted a pair of sandals. We were in San Clemente, so I suggested we stop off at the Rainbow Sandal Outlet. That was my source for shoes in the 70’s when I was a beach girl (my podiatrist told me years later that he could tell that my feet had a lifetime of “little shoe encumberment.” I thought I was wearing shoes). Oh, my gosh: memory lane. I was instantly attracted to the giant sized sandal in front of the shop, and I immediately spun into memories of me as a teenager, wobbling slowly on my skyscraper platform of brightly colored layers of foam. (Actually, that pair was not worn all that much for exactly the reason of putting myself into a physical disability. They eventually turned into garage sale material) Oh, the days of beach beauty. I couldn’t resist: Giant Sandal and layered platform went home with me, along with memories of slipping sandy feet into new Rainbows while sitting on the wooden bench at the outlet, looking for the pairs that at least matched, and breathing that smell of rubber being cut behind the benches.

            And so it goes…I am now ready and willing to enjoy a new phase of shoe indulgences for all and any reasons. Yay. A shoe fetish. Why not?



Entry filed under: Ruminations.

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