I have an unhealthy addiction to shoes. In the past, when faced with a choice between shoes and food, I have chosen shoes at least 75% of the time. When these stretches of starvation are accompianied by constant trips to the mall or South Street, it's a wonder that I was never forced into some sort of eating disorder program. Case in point: my freshman year of college, I lost 10-15 pounds. For the average freshman entering school, you'd think this is a good thing, since it is, in effect, the anti-freshman fifteen. Unfortunately for me, this means I ended that year under 100 pounds. But it was worth it.
That school year I accumulated at least 20 pairs of shoes.
People often wonder what it is about shoes that I love, and in all honesty, I'm not really sure. What mostly confuses people is the type of shoes that I enjoy. Most girls are into the whole heels thing (a la Carrie Bradshaw). They do not float my boat. Yes, I do own a couple pairs of heels, but these are only worn when absolutely necessary. If I could wear Dunks to a wedding, I would; if I could get away with Air Forces at job interviews, there would be no other option for me. I would feel a sadness the likes of which the world has never seen if my shoes were somehow taken away from me. (I've designated which shoes are coming out with me in case of a fire.) The real question, or at least the question of the moment, is: Why do I love shoes so much?
Personally, I think it stems from the fact that my mom was a big fan of the Payless when I was a kid. I hated it. I thought their shoes were ugly, but couldn't exactly explain why, so I could never convince my mom to not get me shoes from there. I now realize that Payless simply holds the market for shitty fake-me-out shoes. Until I started high school, I was forced to subside on Payless shoes, and I am still bitter about it. Perhaps the reason for this bitterness is connected to the fact that I've gone to Catholic school since the first grade. Catholic school equals uniforms. The only thing unique about your uniform was your shoes. At my particular elementary/middle school, the rule was girls had white sneakers, and boys were to wear black ones. When my classmates all had the new Air Tempos, I had some horrible Payless knockoffs of Asics. I was deeply ashamed of my god awful shoes. And then I got to high school.
Again, in Catholic school, the most freedom we were allowed in dressing ourselves was via footwear. Unfortunately, sneakers were only allowed when the Fall/Spring uniform was in effect (August-September, April-June), but I used this time to its full potential. The summer before school started, I acquired my first pair of Nikes,* and an addiction to nourish through the ages was born. I was hopelessly anal about these shoes. If anyone so much as touched them, I would flip the fuck out. Few things would annoy me more than seeing someone else wearing the same shoes as me, but instead of them being well cared for, they would be in shambles. It made my heart cry. What matters is since the age of 14, I have never stopped loving shoes.
Everything else is a distant second.
* Brownie points if you can pick them out.