Buy The Damn Shoes

Yesterday I posted about a pair of Betsey Johnson, ruby red, rhinestone-bedazzled, four-inch heeled pumps. My son spotted them and pointed them out to me while we were in DSW looking for summer shoes for our upcoming cruise. I tried them on because I had to. I mean, is it even possible to walk past these stunners without at least being curious if they could change your life or transport you to Kansas if you click your heels three times? Oh…and did I mention they also come in silver (and green and blue too)? Fabulous.

As a rule, I do not blog about things like shoes because I am not exactly a fashionista. I fall solidly in the fashion category “trying not to dress like my grandma but definitely not wearing crop tops either.” So it’s surprising that I am writing about shoes two days in a row. But I got a lot of feedback from friends and fellow bloggers about these shoes today. All the comments said I should “buy the shoes.”

So, I think I will take some time to go back to DSW and try them out again. If I get them, they would be a splurge on something that will mostly live on a shelf in my closet. They won’t be alone, though. They will join these lovelies, both of which have been worn a couple times at most. I can’t bring myself to part with them because they make me happy and remind me that I am (or at least have been on occasion) a little more than a typical suburban housewife. Sometimes I am a little sassy.

Is it silly to spend money on something you will hardly use? If it is, I have a house full of silly things. I rarely use the Pottery Barn appetizer plates with 1960s cocktail recipes on them that we received as a gift from friends years ago, but I still like them and so they live in our cupboard. We have an Instapot that has only ever cooked eggs, maybe three times. We have a collection of 1980s-era beverage glasses from Burger King with Star Wars characters on them too, but I am not parting with those. If I got rid of everything in our home that is not used daily or even regularly, we could downsize to a 1000 square foot apartment with two-bedrooms (I need the extra closet for my awesome shoes). So, what would be the harm in buying a pair of ruby slippers that make me smile and feel a little feisty? Worst case scenario is that someday I pass them along in pristine condition to some other woman who would get to live out her Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz magic.

Sometimes I think too much. Sometimes it’s best to stop thinking and buy the damn shoes.

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

I went shopping for shoes for my son and myself today. He bought a pair of running shoes and a pair of flip flops. I bought nothing because I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for (cute, comfy espadrille sandals), but Joe spied these glittery, rhinestone, ruby red shoes and pointed them out to me. I have no reason to purchase these shoes, but I did have to try them on because, well, Dorothy shoes.

When I got home, I started wondering if I should have bought them. I mean, I have literally no place to wear shoes such as these given that my usual attire is as pictured, denim and Converse. On the other hand, shouldn’t every woman have a pair of shoes like these? Does it matter if all I do in them is wash dishes? How fabulous would I be rolling the trash can to the curb on Monday morning?

I might have to go back to DSW tomorrow.

Photos, Plimsolls, and Paybacks

Image 1
My most flattering photo. Ever.

Sometimes people (especially my mother) tell me that I share too many personal things about my husband in this blog. They think he must be some kind of saint for tolerating what I write here. I don’t agree because everyone who knows a writer should be well aware that they should be careful of what they say lest they wind up as blog or book fodder. It comes with the territory. The reason I don’t feel bad writing about my husband is because he’s a photographer. He’s always walking around with his camera, snapping unwanted photos, and calling it “art.” Just tonight, after I’d crawled into bed after washing my face, hair still up and sans makeup, he thought it might be fun to snap a photo of me despite my specifically asking him to do no such thing. For this action, he received the look of death, a look which he of course captured with his fancy camera. He then had the nerve to show it to me and wax rhapsodic about how great the camera is in low light. Evil.

There's a glass slipper in there somewhere, I'm sure.
There’s a glass slipper in there somewhere. You just know there has to be.

In retribution for this unfair photo, I give you a photo and a story of my own. This is a photo of a small portion of my husband’s shoe collection, the portion that is currently in residence on the floor on his side of the bed. He also has shoes stored in our closet and in the laundry room. I understand there are splinter sects of his shoes hiding throughout our house like rebels in caves in Afghanistan. Yes. My husband owns a lot of shoes. He owns more pairs of shoes than most other men I know. He probably owns more shoes than many women I know as well. In fact, for a man who has such a difficult time selecting a pair of shoes to purchase (he once spent about 1.5 hours picking out a pair of Birkenstock sandals, which he promptly rethought and then returned the next day for a different pair), it’s borderline miraculous that he could ever have found the time to purchase so many pairs. I make no claims as to the quality of his shoe collection, but the quantity is impressive.

I have friends who are married to men who might be casually referred to as a guy’s guy. These men spend their weekends watching sports. They know how to fix things around their home. They wouldn’t be caught dead sipping white wine. They don’t buy copies of Real Simple. They don’t know the difference between a Mary Jane and a peep toe. These friends often bemoan living with their more caveman-like husbands. They tell me they wish their husbands were more like Steve. By that, I assume they mean more interested in shoes. I tell them to be careful what they wish for. A husband like Steve may be able to tell you which pump looks best with your pencil skirt, but this knowledge comes with a price. A man who is knowledgeable about shoes will require a lot more closet space, and you’ll still have to live with a mound of man shoes next to your bed.

Note To Self: Always Make Sure You’re Wearing The Right Shoes

Taking a spin with the boys

Tonight we went to a local Steamboat Springs park with the kids. This park has a merry-go-round. Remember merry-go-rounds? Those super fun, completely terrifying metal playground fixtures from our childhoods? I have always loved them. I like to spin. I love to get dizzy. Twirling on a tire swing until I can’t see straight makes me happy. Tilt-a-Whirl? My favorite amusement park ride. I will lay flat on my back in the center of the merry-go-round and watch the clouds rotate until I think I can’t stand it anymore. Then, when I get finally get off and fall over I will get right back on and do it again. I never get tired of it. My children, like their mother, love to spin, so to the park we went.

The four boys ran straight to the merry-go-round. The adults followed. Being the only one of the four adults who tolerates spinning, I hopped on with the boys. I smiled like crazy as the force of the movement tossed me around. I spun with the boys for several minutes before deciding it was my turn to push. I hopped off to give it the Old Mom Power-Up Push. I soon realized I was wearing the wrong shoes to be tearing around on wood chips, though, because when I went to jump on this time at Mom Warp Speed I slipped a bit and instead of jumping on I fell onto the unforgiving metal with my very soft left shin. It hurt, but I managed to pull myself onto the spinning base without falling off. I braced myself on one of the metal stands and checked out my leg. A raised bruise was already forming. Lovely. This is probably why you don’t find many merry-go-rounds in modern playgrounds. My friend had seen my fall and asked me if I was okay. I assured her I was as I sat back again, watched the clouds fly by, ignored the throbbing in my leg, and enjoyed the spin.

You would think that would have been enough injury to convince me that perhaps this 44 year old body should not be jumping onto merry-go-rounds…at least not in super cute but completely impractical merry-go-round-running sandals. You would be wrong. Did I mention that I love to spin? When the ride stopped, I hopped off again and offered to push. This time, I spun it in the other direction, as if that was what kept me from making the platform full on the first time. (Yes. I am blonde. And your point is?) This time, my right shin took the beating. My shoe got caught as I attempted to jump on and as my leg hit the platform it was dragged mercilessly across the coarse metal. I knew immediately and without looking that this was a worse injury than the last one. Once I was settled and could safely glance at my wound, I noticed an inch-long flap of skin had been pulled back, the white skin underneath was exposed and already beaded with blood. Crap. I hate it when that happens.

I stayed seated until the ride came to a full and complete stop, jumped off with resignation, and asked if we could head home so I could bandage up my wound, which was now full-on bleeding down my leg. Once home, I doctored myself up, took a couple Advil, plunked down on the couch, propped my legs up, and put some ice on the rapidly rising bruises on both shins. Hubby inspected the damage thoughtfully.

“It was the shoes,” I said. “I was wearing the wrong shoes. You just can’t run and jump on a revolving merry-go-round in cute sandals like those,” I told him, justifying my injuries.

He smiled at me and said nothing because he’s super smart that way.

Statistically speaking, the swings record the highest incidence of playground injury, 22% to only a paltry 1% for my pal the merry-go-round. I stand by the assertion that it was incorrect footwear that resulted in my bruised and battered shins and not user error, the inability of white women to jump, or old age. If life is about the ride, my ride is a spinning one. Next time I decide to jump on an already revolving merry-go-round, I’ll simply make sure I’m wearing more appropriate shoes. And maybe some shin guards.