But then, well, here's where I guess I break from the stereotype: I don't wear any of them. I don't wear shoes. Not really. Oh, when I go to work I'll put on a pair of heels-- but typically the same pair all the time. The comfortable ones with a bit of a heel, a bit of a style, but the ones that aren't going to make it a problem for me to walk across campus and then lecture standing for another two hours. And when it comes to running errands and doing pretty much anything else it's either my one comfortable pair of sneakers (New Balance, of course) or, occasionally, my brown knit Uggs (gift Christmas of '08). In summer, it's flipflops- the $2 ones I picked up on my honeymoon in Cancun, most often, if I bother to put shoes on at all. (My husband teases me (I think he's teasing) that my feet are blacker than his.) And sure, I'll occasionally mix it up and throw on a different pair of flip flops or a pair of black leather boots for lectures, but most of the time, well, I'm a comfy shoes only type of girl. Heck, I even got married barefoot. My choices at the last minute were to either try not to slip and teeter down the pine needle-coated aisle in three inch white silk sandals (I got married outside-- we did not bring pine needles into the church) or to go shoeless, comfortable, and not have to worry about throwing myself at my husband's feet on our wedding day. You know which I chose. I'm not sure if my husband would have married me if he'd known I ditched my shoes last minute (thank goodness for long wedding dresses), but it's too late now.
The irony is that, like many, if not most, women, I have a lot of shoes. A LOT of shoes. You see, not only do I love shoes, but my HUSBAND loves shoes. Women's shoes, that is. No, not enough to wear them (perverts), but definitely enough that this is his present to me--every single holiday/ birthday/ gift occasion for the last ten years.
You see, I love to look at shoes, but knowing that I don't wear shoes, I am logical enough to not buy them for myself. Prior to meeting my husband, I may have had five pairs of shoes, and most of them were ten years old, since I don't throw shoes away. I still have a pair of Skechers from back when Skechers were the alternative kid's shoe of choice (one year in college, I think). I'm saving them for when Kayton can wear a size 8.
But when I met my husband, well, he decided to capitalize on the "my wife likes shoes, she says; I like shoes... I'll buy her shoes." And buy me shoes he did.
I haven't bought myself a pair of shoes in 10 years, and yet I have probably 100 pairs of shoes now. Here's where the problem comes in. The super hot shoes that my husband and I both love in the magazines are not, well.... let me put this another way: I can't push a grocery cart, walk a dog, and chase four children in four different directions, run up and down two flights of stairs with full laundry baskets and mow the lawn while wearing five inch platform slingback pumps. Just not possible. For me, at least. Maybe for you, but not for me. And that's all my husband buys. The sexy shoe. The hot shoe. The newest style shoe. The (dare I say it?) "stripper shoe". Not the sneaker/flipflop. Either my husband has A/ forgotten that I am a 33 year old, comfortably dressed mother of four because I'm pretty darn sexy or B/ is trying desperately to turn me from a 33 year old, comfortably dressed mother of four into something pretty darn sexy.
And while sometimes I get a little depressed at the lack of surprise in opening gifts from him-- "Happy Anniversary, Honey! More Shoes? Yeah! Oh-- these look SUPER sexy and uncomfortable. I'll definitely wear these next time you and I go out dancing all night like we did back before, well... uhm.... once..."-- other times, I appreciate his consistency.
So this past Mother's Day I decided to, at least, use the holiday to my advantage. So about a week before Mother's Day I sent an email to my husband, including a link to a pair of cutesy sandals with a flat heel but a decorative design, saying "these would look great with my jeans this summer". Be preemptive without ruining the surprise, right? And I waited.
Mother's Day arrived. My husband showed his love for me by making me coffee for the first time in our entire relationship. (I love him for trying. I didn't love the coffee.) And after receiving the variety of homemade cards and pictures and I love yous from the children, he presented me with a wrapped box and a sheepish "I got you a little something." Of course, my kids insisted I close my eyes and guess what it was as I unwrapped the box... took off the lid... and, eyes still closed, felt inside.... hmmm... rope design (good start), strappy (cute), aaaaannnndddddd... Yup. There it is. The six inch heel.
So I opened my eyes, thanked my husband effusively for super cute shoes that I absolutely loved, strapped them on, and toddled off to a soccer game, slightly too tall now to hold Micah's hand, unable to balance a cooler and a lawn chair, and convinced that each step would be my last, but looking darn good in my shoes. My husband said so.