The Girl Who Owned No Shoes

It was all the boots' fault. Their uncanny resemblance to the pair of lace-up boots I'd wanted when I was fourteen and never had the money to buy, their ability to stay perfectly black and shiny through any amount of abuse, the fact that I could get away with pairing them with a little black dress or a pair of jeans and still look like I was aiming for some sort of style.

I put on the boots, and I didn't go shoe shopping for three years.

It was wonderful. Suddenly, my shoes weren't piling up under my desk and/or launching unexpected suicide attacks on my ankles as I tried to step around their hiding places on the bedroom floor. There was room at the bottom of my closet for the violently green Happy Bunny flip-flops I wore when I was too lazy to look for a pair of socks, and there was room for my beloved black combat boots to stand at attention next to the door. When I tried on a pair of shoes, I immediately felt ill-at-ease. I mean, those sneakers had left my ankles naked to the world (GASP!), and they still forced me to wear socks.

So I decided to swear off the silly things. Shoes? Who needs 'em? It's a conspiracy! A conspiracy by the sock people! It's the pair of ten-dollar heels I bought trying to get another chance to break in the middle of a crowded bookstore! It's my size ten feet laughing at the thought of me ever fitting into a pair of conventional women's shoes!

Dramatics aside, the problem is that combat boots are not considered professional wear outside a few select careers. Nor do they play nicely with formalwear. I'm not getting invited to the Oscars any time soon, but even I can foresee the problem with pairing big clumsy boots with a strapless black prom gown at someone's Black and White Ball. But nothing worked. A hastily acquired pair of slippers fell off my feet with every step. Heels mysteriously disappeared, in spite of the fact that I'd tried to keep them in the original shoebox. I was taunted by fluffy pink slippers and shower sandals.

I was finally rescued from my dilemma by a pair of Chinese Mary Janes. Thanks to them and the stretchy, why-yes-I'll-mold-to-your-foot fabric they're made of, I'm relearning the joy of shoes.

Just not enough to buy more pairs.
Demoiselle Demoiselle
18-21, F
Jul 27, 2010