For the Love of Shoes

Shiny metallic gold snakeskin heels. Black satin straps with gold piping that fiendishly cross the toes. Hot pink perfectly arched soles. As I pull the shoes out of the leopard print tissue paper, I squeal like a four-year-old on Christmas morning. It’s love at first sight. The only thing better than these shoes is sex in these shoes. I put them on, even if they don’t match my vintage Egyptian-style green dress, and parade around in them for the rest of the dinner party.

“Are you going to sleep in those?” My dad inquires as I head up to bed.

“Maybe,” I reply. I ponder the idea of sleeping in the most glorious shoes that have graced my feet and decide against it when I remember how much my feet hurt the morning after I had slept in my black pointy dominatrix heels in college. Shoes as special as these should only be worn for very special occasions. Like next weekend’s wedding!

Fast forward to the wedding and it’s showtime for the shoes. Is it a bad idea to debut a new pair of unbroken-in shoes at an event that requires dancing late into the night? Probably, but I could always return to my hotel room and change into the tried and true, trusty old vinyl-strapped Prada sandals. I make sure to get lots of pictures of the shoes and me in them. The night, the wedding, and the shoes are all equally fabulous.

The following morning’s hangover? Not so fabulous.

As I stream in and out of consciousness, my head pounding so hard I fear it may burst, I hear the words of my sister, “K, where are your shoes? I’m trying to pack up all our stuff and I cant find them anywhere.” Under the bed, check under the bed, I think, but can’t manage to say.

Later that day we leave the hotel with all of our stuff — minus one pair of shoes.

The next morning, fully recovered from the nasty hangover, panic takes over my entire being. I call my sister, my mother, anyone who was at the wedding with me and witnessed me take of the shoes. I call the hotel three times in two days. The shoes have vanished. Panic is replace by guilt: the shoes were a gift for my 25th birthday from a dear friend, how could I tell him that I lost the shoes the first time I wore them in a drunken stupor? I havn’t been this upset over the loss of a material possession since I lost the most fabulous Dior cuff at the 2003 Kappa Kappa Gamma Moulin Rogue Invitational. There’s only one solution: purchase the exact same pair of shoes myself. I call Betsey Johnson in the city to see if they have any pairs left. They sold out months ago. I call Bloomingdales and Nordstroms, neither of which have them. Macy’s has them but only in size 8 or 6, not in size 7. Wait, Macy’s has them in size 7!!! Am I really going to purchase the exact same shoes I received as a gift?

My sister advises me to give the hotel lost and found one more phone call before purchasing the new pair. Claracita, the lady in charge, takes down my number and promises to return my call, after she has looked for the shoes. She doesn’t call me back. I dial Macy’s number and am put on hold. While holding, I receive another call and click over. Claracita? Sandals. Black and Gold. Pink soles. I have them here in my hands, she says. Thank god! This is what it must feel like to find your lost child at an amusement park. We arrange for her to send them to me as the hotel is hours away from my home. I’ve found the shoes, they are coming back to me.

Relief floods through my body and I cant help wonder if I over reacted maybe a little: I mean they are just shoes. It’s not like my life would come to a crashing halt without them safe and sound in their hot pink box in my second closet. I have always been a clothes horse, a fashion-obsessed, trend-chowing, credit card-breaking shopaholic. I probably have enough clothing to last me a lifetime, so why do I feel like I always need more? After all, newness is a novelty, not a necessity. My life will continue on even if I don’t buy the latest Earnest Sewn skinny jeans. The fact that fast fashion is constantly accessible whether it is from H&M or Net-a-Porter doesn’t decrease my impulses to shop. Websites keeping my credit card information on file does not aide me in my addiction. I fantasize about Chanel quilted purses and daydream about Marc Jacobs jackets. I spend hours online looking at Roberto Cavalli dresses and Yves Saint Laurent tunics — both of which I can’t possibly afford. This can’t be normal or healthy. Perhaps I should be clinically diagnosed for OSD: obsessive shopaholic disorder. Maybe there is some sort of support group for girls like me. Maybe I should start some sort of support group for girls like me: SA. Shopaholics Anonymous. The first step to overcoming ones addictions is to admitting them and by writing this article I’m taking the first step.  Although I may be the queen of excess when it comes to fashion, there is a certain point when too much is too much and it looks like, by loosing and finding a pair of shoes, I have exceeded my monthly limit. Ugh! Examining one’s inner demons never is very fun. Think I’ll go read the new Vogue to cheer me up.

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