Shoes Are Dumb
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

There are two ways it could have gone.

Some little girls have closets filled with shoes. New pairs replaces the old pairs the second they become a bit small. All of the colors of the rainbow wind their way through the collection and each pair serves a very special purpose. I'm not sure what happens when those little girls grow up. Do they still love to pick out all different styles and colors of shoes? Probably, I guess. Maybe those little girls grow up to be the women who ransack the clearance section and declare victory when they find a $200 pair of designer shoes marked down to $50.

Other little girls have one pair of shoes. That pair has to work for everything from gym class to church, or maybe they're lucky enough to have a pair of jelly shoes and a pair of inexpensive tennis shoes. Those little girls sometimes grow up to just not care about shoes. They are utilitarian and why would you spend money on something so boring? Why would you need a red pair of pumps? Why buy expensive running shoes when cheap ones serve the same purpose? Basic black flats work for everything. But it could go that second way. There is always the possibility that the little girl who didn't have shoes will grow up to be someone who considers shoes an investment. They buy all of the shoes and join that stranger in the clearance section.

Except it definitely didn't turn out that way. The story definitely took a turn towards utilitarian.

I can prove it. Open a closet. Any closet. You'll find that I own maybe 3 or 4 pairs of shoes (not counting $1 Old Navy flip-flops, because those absolutely don't count as shoes) and they all look basically the same. Black will do, thank you very much. It goes with everything. There is a single pair of tennis shoes that have been around the block about 4000 times even they were less than $10 because the Target clearance rack is the happiest place on earth. Cheap shoes last just as long as the good ones, you know. It makes no sense to spend real money on shoes, even if I can. There are more important things.

For real. I. Don't. Care. About. Shoes. It baffles me that I have two daughters who very much so care about shoes. I just ... don't. Where they learned to care is a mystery. Alexis has used her own money to buy $100+ Nikes, a thing I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER do. I can buy 5 or 6 pairs of shoes for that much. Easily.

Whatever. It goes both ways. Some people spend money on shoes. Others don't.

But then about a month ago I sort of spent money on a pair of shoes. I had an unexpected work outing that required tennis shoes instead of my usual basic black flats. I didn't have time to run home to grab the old ones, so I ran to a store and bought a new pair. It was definitely a thing that was way past due, so whatever. I dropped $30 on a pair of Nike tennis shoes at TJMaxx.

Which, that's a LOT. It is very literally the most I've ever spent on a pair of shoes. Seriously. It's completely crazy to me to spend that much. COMPLETELY crazy. And I still don't care about shoes.

And then Alexis borrowed said shoes. She didn't ask first - she saw them sitting unattended and thought she could sneaky wear them without me knowing. She probably could have too, except that she has smaller feet than me (though, she has outgrown the leprechaun feet thing FINALLY). They're just enough smaller that she tightened the laces to a point that I wouldn't, so I knew. I KNEW.

And I lost it. I totally and completely lost my cool because my kid touched my shoes. The most expensive shoes I've ever owned. The ones that I SWEAR I DON'T CARE ABOUT BUT MAYBE I DO BECAUSE WHY DID I FLIP OUT?


Sometimes we outgrow the world that raised us. Sometimes it stays tucked deep beneath the surface, just waiting for a pair of shoes to bring it to the surface.

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