Most of my friends know me as a person who lives in britches or jeans and her trusted, well worn, Ariat boots. My Ariats are now 14 years old. Since most of my free time is spent in a barn I basically live in those Ariats. I am in denial that they are starting to finally give in to old age. The newer Ariats are made in China. Although I have several rather expensive pairs of the newer ones, the quality and fit is not the same.
I have always been one of those people who is more than happy to reply to the question,"whaddaya live in a barn?" to: "why yes, as a matter of fact, I do."
It's a funny thing about those Ariats. When I am not in the barn I am rather a shoe whore. Last year I finally consented and cleared out a closet. The fact is that after years of standing up to ten hours a day while cutting hair, your feet spread...a lot. I went from a respectable narrow size 8 with high arches to a size 10 and a rather flat foot. I had to finally say goodbye to close to 80 pairs of shoes and boots that I had accumulated over the years. The sad fact is, no matter how hard this sister tried to shove her feet in to a fabulous pair of Bandolinos from 1990, her feet were no longer Cinderella's size.
I have visions of someone walking out with sloppy jeans and a fabulous pair of size 8 Steve Maddens from the Goodwill store where I dropped the shoes off. No matter what the outfit, you add some fabulous shoes and *bam* you are dressed to kill.
So, times are tight. I don't have that kind of cash like I used to. The hairdressing, as well as the equine industry, is taking a hit. My love of shoes has taken me to a *gasp* practical turn. I now mainly buy shoes that are strictly comfortable and suitable for standing long hours at work. My closet is pathetically void of wall to wall shoes. Most have lower heels and are "practical" meaning they will go with several outfits. This is opposed to the days when I would drop several hundred dollars on a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes that were just too fabulous not to own. I would find the outfit to go with the shoes.
The sad fact is, between horses and shoes I blew a lot of money over the years. Now that the economy sucks I am left with the fact I am now horse-less and buying discount warehouse shoes, acknowledging the fact that I have no savings or retirement thanks to Jimmy Choo and the love of anything equine.
Yesterday I went to DSW discount shoes. I am trying to find a discounted pair of Merrell sandals for work. As I wandered up and down the vast rows of shoes in every shape and size I began to feel the familiar rush. And then I saw them. From across another aisle I kept glancing as I wandered over to where they were. A fabulous pair of Marc Jacobs towering high platform sandals. They even had my size. They even felt nice when I put them on. Nice for about ten seconds. I knew there would be no way I could work in them. God, they looked fabulous. They even made my feet look smaller and face it...high heels make even the heaviest woman have a great pair of sticks. I started the familiar," these are so fabulous I could find an outfit for them...they would even look great with jeans...I could wear them out at night..."
As I stood there in front of the mirror admiring how great my feet were looking, it hit me. These types of shoes are like men. You know the ones. The bad boy who is not really good for you but he is so sexy you will sleep with him anyway. You will talk yourself in to the fact that you won't get attached and you are only doing it for fun. Like the glam pump that makes you look and feel fabulously sexy for a night but then you wake up the next day with aching arches and blisters to go with the hangover.
I thought about what I was thinking all those years ago. That those expensive and impractical shoes would last me forever. I didn't count on things like the shoes not fitting anymore. Or, as in the case of my beloved Ariats, they will cost you the same to replace them, it's now just shoddy workmanship and lesser quality. I didn't count on that when I bought such an essential part of my wardrobe, as well as my life.
I made my decision. I had realized that the time and money you spent wasting on the glamour shoe, the truly comfortable one that would make your day easier and more comfortable passed you by.
I finally found the pair of Merrells I was looking for. Sure enough they had my size. I now accept the fact that when I walk in to a room with such practical shoes the bad boys may not be scoping me out.
When I met friends for dinner last night I had the complement of, "hey! I love those shoes. Are they comfortable?"
Which I could honestly reply," thank you, and yes, they are very comfortable."
Very comfortable indeed.
FIRE UPDATE 12.9.17
1 month ago