Shoes, Glorious Shoes!
Why do I have so many damn pairs of shoes!?! This thought occurred to me as I was preparing for work on a random Wednesday night. I had an event planned for the following evening where I would be meeting and greeting some people in a grip and grin that is sometimes required in my line of work. To get geared up for the event I wanted to make sure my shoes were freshly shined. They had gotten a bit gross through the wear and tear resulting from all the salt and snow that had recently fallen.
When I was grabbing my shoes to begin the shining process I looked down at my rack of shoes and couldn't help but be amazed at the number of shoes I own. I wear most of them on a regular basis so it's not like I purchased a pair of shoes that still have the tags on them but I was still surprised by how many pairs of shoes I own.
Let me share the list:
- Sandals for everyday wear. Most often worn in the summer but I'm naturally warm so they get some winter work.
- Casual brown shoes
- Black dress shoes
- Brown dress shoes
- Hiking/Walking/All Purpose shoes
- House slippers
- Running shoes
And those are just the shoes that are in the everyday rotation. That doesn't include my special event shoes like the purple Converse All-Stars that I had custom made for my wedding, my black tuxedo shoes (which I no longer have a tux to wear with it because the tux is too big), and the blue "denim" shoes I bought once for $3.00 because I thought I wanted to dress like a hipster.
All of these pairs of shoes and I'm not even close to being a shoe hoarder. There is no easier joke to make than the joke than "Women! They be buying shoes!" (sexist, right?). I'm confident in estimating that 95-98% of all situational comedies and 85-90% of all dramas that have been on television in the last 30 years have included a joke/reference to the fact that women have way too many shoes. A pair of shoes to match my little black dress, but only if I'm wearing my little black dress on a Saturday during the summer when it is raining. Otherwise, I have to wear the other pair of shoes that goes with my little black dress when it is a Friday and sunny. And of course I have the pair of calf high boots that look so great when I tuck my skinny jeans into them and wear my brown turtleneck sweater. They are so cute but I can barely walk after 7 minutes of wearing them because the store didn't have just the right size so instead of the size 8 I had to get the size 7 which means my toes ache and my heals are warn raw but I just had to have them.
See, writing jokes about women having too many pairs of shoes is easy. The thing is that I could write jokes about nearly every American that is at lease lower-middle class and higher. Do you think George Washington was standing around thinking "Hmmm, should I wear the black leather shoes with the silver toe buckle or the black leather shoes with the gold toe buckle?" "Perhaps I go with the riding boots with the white trim instead of the riding boots with the maroon trim?"
OK, so perhaps using George Washington in this case was a bad example as he was the first President of the United States under the Constitution (ninth overall, but that is a different story) and he was very concerned about not only the government of the United States but the appearance of the President. But I can't imagine that the average man or woman in 1850 had 9 pairs of shoes to wear everyday (I understand that George Washington and 1850 don't match up in the flow of the discussion but I don't care I just picked a date from a long time ago).
I wish I could just own one or two pairs of shoes; one for going to work and one for everything else. It seems that the same pair of shoes I wear to go running should be useful for wearing out and about on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It doesn't seem so out of line for me to be able to wear the same pair of shoes to work with a suit and with jeans to the bar. Maybe one day I'll figure out a way to have one pair of shoes for all day and all night. That will, of course, require me to change the entire fashion industry and cultural norms of not only the United States but most of Asia, Europe, Africa, South American, North America, and Australia. That doesn't seem like too big of a challenge. I'll get started right away.
But first, I have to go to the shoe store. I need a new pair of running shoes.