Monday, February 20, 2006

Dating the shoe

Do you remember that episode in “Sex and the City” when Carrie is going out with Big again before he returns to California? the scene in which she’s walking down the street chatting away with Samantha, and then she stops abruptly in front of a store window featuring a gorgeous hot pink Christian Louboutins sandals with 4” stiletto heels and she purrs, in her smokiest bedroom voice, “Hello, lover!”

And in the middle of the carriage ride Miranda calls because she’s in labor and Carrie has to leave Big and then Miranda’s water breaks all over the pink ruffles of her new shoes.

I guess my point is that we often approach shoes like we approach lovers. First, there’s the first sighting of the shoe, which sparkles at the very least curiosity, and usually some sort of moderate to extreme lust. If you’re a little on the shy side, like me, you plan your strategy of dating the shoe. You gaze intently and pretend to look away when it looks back. You ask the shoe salesperson about its behavior. What’s it made of? What’s its name? What do its parents do? Does it go with this dress? Does it drink or smoke? More importantly: does it fit in the all important places? And even more importantly: is it on sale? Depending on the answers, I date the shoe for a while. And if the combination [lust] + [sale factor] + [current size of wallet] + [real/imaginary need justification] + [impulsivity] hits all the right places, you’re damn right I’ll pop the question. “Can I have it in a 10, please?”

Of course, some more seasoned fashionistas, such as Carrie herself, would have it in bed within 5 minutes of the moment her first lustful gaze landed on the precious heel.

I dated a pair of MiuMiu once for a few months. Every time I passed by the Joan Shepp boutique (really the only high-end couture boutique in center Philadelphia), there they were, in all their glory, and in several color schemes.
But! $360! I’m a woman on a budget. $360 seemed like an unwarranted extravaganza. It’s not like I needed them or anything.

And then one fateful day the sale sign came up. 50% off everything. Just like that. The 10 was tight but the 10.5 fit really well, and they looked so damn good on me, I was out of there in 5 minutes, clutching the precious package, and stoically resisting the attempts of the salesman to push a matching purse.

I haven’t had a chance to wear them yet, as winter has been rather unforgiving lately. But I’ve taken the liberty of dating several other shoes in the meantime, also dreaming of warmer climates. I'm a convinced polygamist in that regard. However, I’ve had my heart broken over several of those romances. First I hesitated over a pair of pretty Marc Jacobs green patent flats with a cream bow. The price was right (60% off!), the shoe was a bit too pointy to be trusted in that size, I delayed by a day or two, and poof, they were gone.

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, my auction for what was to be my first ever pair of Taryn Rose sandals (the Mattea), took a wrong turn at the very last second. I mean it.
These grey watersnake heels were supposed to be, you know, stylish and comfortable, my personal Holy Grail in matters of shoes. And just so you know where I stand, I don’t find all Taryn Rose styles that beautiful. Some are really dowdy and clunky, in my opinion. But this one was acceptable, and I was willing to try it at that price. I’d been eyeing for days, noting with satisfaction the lack of bidding activity. Finally, with two hours left, I offered the asking price. Alas, in the last 3 minutes of my winning bid, someone snuck up on me, and although I feverishly started to outbid him/her, I lost by 15 seconds or so. Darn.

Now, to mend my broken heart, I compulsively pressed the “Buy Now” button for a pair of Casadei flats. If I’m giving up high heels, at least I should do it in style, right? I’ll tell you later if the $50 bucks I paid for them (and you know how low THAT is) were worth it.


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