When did it become such a chore?
I love shoes. My closet can attest to that. And I’m not alone: ShopSmart magazine conducted a poll of 1,009 women in the U.S. age 18 and older and found that they own an average of 17 pairs of shoes. As reported by PR Newswire:
Over half of women (51%) own more than 10 pairs and 13 percent have over 30 pairs (not including athletic shoes). “Shoes never make your butt look big, you don’t have to worry about squeezing into them if you’ve put on a couple of pounds, and they can instantly make you feel sexier. Maybe that’s why, despite the economy, we’re still buying shoes,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart.
But lately, as I get older and super-cranky if my feet hurt, shoe shopping has lost its thrill. What once titillated now depresses and even frightens me. The shoe no longer fits: It’s too tight, too high, too pointy, too uncomfortable. I hate to admit it, but here goes: Shoe Shopping is the New Bathing Suit Shopping. It’s fraught with anxiety, dread…and eventual disappointment.
In my quest for a pair of decent looking dress shoes to wear to a slew of upcoming weddings – suddenly all my friend’s children have decided to tie the knot – I recently visited a Manhattan department store that boasts a shoe department so large that it HAS ITS OWN ZIP CODE. Oh, and its own dedicated elevator, too, to quickly whisk you up so you don’t waste time stopping on all the other floors, lest you spend your money on something else.
Shoe shopping is one serious business.
The displays were overwhelming; a sea of merchandise taking up every available inch. I started to perspire ever-so-slightly; hyperventilating was not far behind. I decided I’d go about the job strategically, borrowing what I’ve learned about shopping in a supermarket. Walk the perimeter first.
In no time, I was circling the floor madly, attempting to find something – anything – to try on. I finally grabbed a stiletto, turning it over and over, admiring its sexy lines, supple leather and its breathtaking beauty. And then just as quickly, I set it back down. Stilettos? Me? I’m terrified I’ll lose my balance and fall.
How about the pointy-toed, sleek pump…maybe that would be better? Nah, I should know better; years of squeezing my feet into shoes like those gave me the chronic neuroma I’m plagued with today; the one that makes every step feel like I’m walking on rocks (unless I’m wearing sneakers, of course). On and on I ventured, becoming more pessimistic and less enamored with every passing minute.
When I glanced at my watch, a full hour had passed. I had not tried on one blasted pair. My stomach was growling and my spirits were just as wanting. The only thing I could use on that floor…was the restroom.
I’m still searching for that perfect pair of shoes. You know the ones I mean; they’re the perfect blend of beautiful, sexy and comfy. But I’m tired of tolerating pain for the sake of fashion, although I can’t say I’m quite ready to tolerate frumpiness for comfort.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention this: That same poll that found the average woman owns 17 pairs of shoes? It also found that this woman only typically wears three of those on a regular basis.
Could it be that the other 14 pairs are just too damned UNCOMFORTABLE?