✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIAAfter being okay with the fact that I have emotional attachment to pairs of shoes, I put on each of the shoes pictured here and re-enacted the opening scene of Footloose. (Click it—you’ll want to do it, too.)
I, as you can maybe tell, am not one to take delicate care of my footwear, but I think that the scuffs and the rips and the dead shoelaces show how much I love the shoes? I use them so much because I love them. It… makes sense. And now I’m talking about loving shoes, and I’m sure I’m starting to sound like a materialistic monster, so I’ll stop and share my love stories with these shoes.
1. Even though I got these shoes only last summer, these are clearly abused—they’re dirty, and even though you can’t tell, they’re scuffed with orange at the toes from all the times I’ve tripped on the track at our school. Every time I see these shoes, I feel like donning a coral sleeveless button down with high-waisted shorts and lounging on my front lawn. I’ve worn them for two weeks straight, and once I almost came close to writing on them, but I wanted to keep the
clean white-ish look as long as possible.
2. As wrong and terrible as it probably sounds, I would probably cry if anything ever happened to my black Converse. Yeah, I know, those suckers used to be black. I’ve had those since 7th grade. I’ve worn those shoes for four years now, and they still fit me! Just a bit tighter than before, of course, but they’re not unbearable. As you can see, the little metal rings that let the shoelaces go through them have popped off in three places in the right shoe and once in the left. Since I sit cross-legged most of the time, the sides of the heel part of the shoe have been completely rubbed off. The canvas fabric has come off and all that’s left is the white part underneath the shoe. The day that they are obviously too torn to use will be the saddest day of my life. I’ve even written on them! They’re like babies now.
3. I don’t know how to tell this story without sounding like the aforementioned materialistic monster, but I’ll try. You know that once faithful day, the first day you actually dress yourself without your mom’s help? That day… happened too late for me. Not that I needed my mother’s help, she just felt the need to help me quite a lot in the clothing styles I had. She was an avid Target and Wal-Mart shopper, and, not that there’s anything wrong with Target—most of my clothes are still from there, anyway—but I just didn’t want to wear a plain t-shirt and Mossimo shorts with black slippers to church again. So, on one tragic Sunday morning, I told my mother I wanted to dress myself. She pretended she was hurt and didn’t want to speak to me for the rest of the day, but mostly she was afraid of what I’d come up with. There wasn’t too much to be afraid of, because I didn’t have much variety to choose from, but I still came up with a strange combination of an old Celine Dion t-shirt that finally fit me, with a hot pink tulle skirt, and purple poolside flip-flops (this was my unfortunate seventh grade “color-blocking” phase). She, of course, didn’t let me go out like this, and she reminded me repeatedly that she didn’t like the way I dressed.
Then my freshman and sophomore year I decided I wanted to try a girly menswear approach to clothes—black pants, button-downs, plaid, and whole butt-load of oxfords. My mother was fine with the button-downs and the whole “classy” idea I had of how I wanted to dress… but she didn’t like the idea of Oxfords, or wanting to look guy-ish, or my really long hair, or my sudden interest in make-up. In her words, it was “really confusing, too quickly”. This spawned many arguments and disagreements on completely irrelevant things—we fought over anything because I felt suffocated, and as if I couldn’t be myself.
On my sixteenth birthday, however, my mother got me the pair of shoes above. She didn’t explain much as to why she got me the shoes, but she kept eyeing me as I tore them out of the box. I kept squealing like a child, because here was what seemed like a peace offering—she was okay with the way I wanted to dress, she was letting me have these shoes to dress myself with them the way I wanted to dress myself, she was okay with letting me express myself. And the quiet message she was getting across made me tear up a bit in the car, and she didn’t say anything, but I still appreciated it.
It was a small thing, but I appreciated it, and her, and of course, the shoes.
4. The shoes above are the first heels I’ve ever owned. When I first got them, I wondered why I had never owned any before, considering I’m 4’11, and I should really circle my life around the quest to make myself seem taller at all times, but then I remembered that ah-ha, ha ha ha, I don’t know how to walk in heels. I used to try with my my mom’s heels every time I sneaked into her magical walk-in closet, but I’d always end up twisting my ankles, or awkwardly toppling onto my knees, or doing the strange locked-knees walk. I tried watching YouTube tutorials (I swear to you, those exist) on how to walk in high-heels, but I still wouldn’t get it. I made a post before on my terrible posture, and my dad used the opportunity of my new heels to teach me how to walk properly in heels while maintaining a “lady’s posture”. I still don’t know how to properly walk in heels, but it’s on my to-do list. Those look so shiny and glossy, I need to wear them in public soon.
5. If these look like they’ve been in a bar fight… well, that’s because they haven’t, but I’ve worn them to death (which, er, is almost the same. Not that I’ve ever witnessed a bar fight, but, you know, one can imagine). They’ve been almost everywhere—and by everywhere, I mean completely cliché instances that belong in a movie with Zooey Deschanel in it. I took them to the beach (I know) and they got sand all inside them, and when I went home, I dumped all the sand inside them into a an old candle jar and labeled it “Pirates Booty” (get it because pirates remind me of beaches and sand and they have booty—both monetary and bodily—and booty resembles the word boots and I completely spelled the joke out for you, but do you get it). They’ve been in rainstorms, I’ve run away from people in them, and a girl in a Mohawk told me they were “naaaaayce”. I request to be buried in these.
6. These shoes are the closest things I’ll ever have to saddle shoes, I think, but I still love them nonetheless. I’ve spilled coffee on them (which pair haven’t I already), as you can see, but that’s not why I love these shoes oh so much. I lament not remembering how I styled my hair that day, but these shoes are special to me because I remember that I wore these shoes on the day where I woke up, got ready for school, and looked at myself in the mirror and told myself, for the first time, that I felt pretty that day. I don’t mean to get gushy or pity party-esque, but I remember that I wore those shoes with a dress I’ve been meaning to look for (it was also the first time I wore a dress to school), and I saw myself in the mirror and I told myself that I felt pretty that day, and even if I didn’t feel pretty tomorrow, didn’t mean I changed physically (unless I got hit in the face with something, I don’t know), but I didn’t have to be reminded by everyone else—it wasn’t important.
I don’t mean to emphasize that maybe it was the shoes that made me feel pretty, but it was nice to remember that they were there, and that I really liked the energy that surged through me that day, and the way it made me walk. (Plus, the shoes are nice!)