Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What's the deal with shoe fashions?

First off, let me say that I HATE shopping for shoes. I feel a little strange admitting that since many of the women I know use it as therapy... as in "I'm feeling a little down today. I think I'll go shoe shopping." I have always avoided the experience whenever possible. My tendency is to grab and run, finding a servicable pair and getting the hell out of the store as fast as possible. So, when I found a wonderful pair of simple black espadrilles last summer I was in heaven. They went with everything, were comfortable and actually looked very chic on my ugly feet. I could wear them without stockings or socks and my feet could stay relatively cool. They were the next best thing to going barefoot (my real preference in the summer).

Enter Isla, the demon dog. As the human she has bonded to most closely, my essence is her perfume. My shoes become an absolute intoxicant to her canine nose, sending her into a frenzy of delight in my absence. (You know where this is going...) About a month ago I emerged from the shower to discover my wonderful black espadrilles lovingly but thoroughly chewed, rendering them completely unwearable. I realized to my horror that my summer shoe wardrobe had now been reduced to two pairs of sneakers and a single pair of uncomfortable slides. Damn!

I set out to replace the beloved black espadrilles. First stop: the local shoe stores. Here's where things get ugly.

Flip-flops are EVERYWHERE. I haven't felt comfortable in flip-flops since the days of the $3 rubber jobs that came from Woolworths. I am not the most graceful of people and flip-flops are simply an invitation to a face plant. The slapping sound they make drives me crazy and I truly have a couple of the world's ugliest feet so showcasing them is not a pleasant prospect.

The next most frequent style I see is Slides, aptly named because that is exactly what I do when I wear them: slide right out of them, usually in an extremely high-visibility location, such as crossing a busy street in front of high volumes of traffic. Some of them have heel heights that would put me so high I'd risk a nosebleed!

Wandering the aisles of the stores proves an exercise in complete frustration so I beat a hasty retreat home to check out on-line possibilities. A google search using the word "espadrilles" yields a bizarre array of choices, none of which bear ANY resemblance to my beloved simple black fabric zapatos. I see shoes with monster heels, ridiculous frou-frou embroidery and other crap. And everywhere there loom those infernal flip-flops, now re-named thongs. (Aside: I always thought of thongs as underwear with a built-in wedgie. How did they ever become shoes?) And the prices -- Holy Crap! What kind of idiot would pay $356 for a pair of f***ing flip-flops. The world has truly gone mad!

Who decides on these shoe styles anyway? I envision a group of sadistic old men sitting around fashion designer's offices plotting ways for women to throw obscene amounts of money at them for the privilege of looking ridiculous and destroying their feet. Foot doctors around the world are salivating at the prospect of years of surgery for hammer toes and bunions caused by feet jammed into pointy toe shoes. Orthopedic surgeons and chiropractors are planning house expansions and in-ground pools from the revenue supplied by the endless supply of women needing spine and hip re-alignments caused by three inch (and higher) heels.

And then there is the Fugly Factor. Some of these shoes are so ugly I wouldn't even use them to take out a yowling cat in an alley.

Like this one:

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($328, by the way.)

or these:

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Who decided that we choose between wearing skimpy little nothing shoes covered in ridiculous doodads or concrete blocks sure to send us flat on our asses? I want to meet these Shoe Police and bludgeon them to death with a sassy little t-strap equipped with a killer spike heel!

All I need is a simple pair of classic but sturdy espadrilles that I won't need a bank loan to purchase. I promise to lock them away from the canine chewing factory.

Maybe the barefoot option isn't such a bad idea after all.

1 comment:

townie girl said...

Ha. This was fun to read. I know what you mean about shoes! I hate the slapping sound, too! I didn't know that they were calling them thongs again! That is what we used to call them a lonnnng time ago. If I see anything that resembles your black esp. I'll let you know!

p.s. Bad doggie!