Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shoe Addiction

Is there treatment for shoe addiction? Because I will enroll post-haste if someone alerts me to a program. It just can't cost a whole lot of money, because that would cut into my shoe-buying.

I can tell I'm an addict because I'm in total denial. I own a LOT of shoes. I probably shouldn't publish this, just in case a potential employer reads it and decides to calculate the potential cost in therapy, benefits, and employee absence of my shoe addiction, but I own something like 30 pairs of shoes. And these aren't cute little sassy shoes, either, which are a socially acceptable addiction. Most of them are "sensible" or even clompy shoes.

I have no idea why I'm a shoe addict. I like my feet, despite their arbitrarily long toes and their tendency to form bizarre gestures (e.g., the Vulcan live-long-and-prosper sign), as though they're trying to communicate independently. But that's not it, because a lot these shoes expressly hide my feet (not that I don't have sexy strappy black sandals, funky beaded sandals, flashy heeled sandals, plain brown sandals, and embroidered purple flip-flops). I have Chuck Taylors (not the new ones made in sweat shops, but the old ones made in America by cute little old ladies). I have Merrells. I have Eccos.

I have a walk (extra loud, eminently unladylike, and heavy on the left foot, as though I have a clubfoot or an iron shoe) that should dismiss me instantly from any shoe department in disgrace. In "Young Frankenstein," when Igor asks Victor to "Walk this way," I have to suppress the urge to cheer. In heels, I sound like nothing so much as a lopsided horse. But none of that seems to slow me down.

The very nadir of my shoe addiction (and the epitome of my addiction denial) is that I told myself on Sunday that it was okay to buy two new pairs of shoes as long as I got rid of two pairs of shoes. I disposed of an unworn pair of Skechers (we had creative differences--they're moving on to better things) and my much-beloved Supergirl sneakers from Payless, which have now served twice their mandatory one-summer term. And as I threw the Supergirl sneakers away, I had this twinge of horror, and I thought, "if I washed them with colorsafe bleach, maybe I could get away with another summer."

Goodbye, Supergirl sneakers. I miss you already, but I hereby promise, in the presence of the internet, not to fish you out of the dumpster and resurrect you.

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