Shoes. I've been thinking about shoes. Such potential for fetishizing, and you know how I love a good object of fetish (oh please, won't I ever shut up about my fetishes?)
I wrote many months ago about my favorite clothes through the years. I thought I'd add an endnote to that post, about the shoes that have held special meaning for me.
Here are the ten seminal pairs of shoes from my personal Shoe Canon:
1. The orthopedic shoes of my childhood. I got to choose every year until I was seven or eight from the three colors available: navy, burgundy, and brown. Simply dreadful. Why orthopedic shoes? I was quite pigeon-toed. And guess what! I still am. I like to think of it as a delightful quirk.
2. My aunt's black suede grommeted platform shoes. She had tiny feet, so I could play dress-up in them without falling over. I think the contrast between my clunky orthopedics and these marvels of glamor made me think that life, or at least shoes, would not always be so drab and defeating...
3. Patent leather tap shoes with wide grosgrain ribbon ties. I adored my tap instructor, George. He was about a million years old and had been in vaudeville, and could still tap the hell out of a floor.
4. Ballet slippers. I remember the excitement of sewing the little pieces of elastic across the instep.
5. Black Capezio character shoes, my first heels. Same now as they were in 1983. Let's be honest, they really don't look all that thrilling, do they? It's hard to imagine what I saw in them, but back then the faux leather and ingenue heel screamed possibility.
6. Macdougal Alley Skimmers. When I just googled them, what did I find? The only reference online seems to be a comment I made ages ago on someone else's blog: "The '80s for me are typified by a quintessentially NYC fashion: the MacDougal Alley Skimmer. Capezio flats in about eighty colors; many girls I knew collected them like girls in the '50s collected cashmere sweaters." My one lone pair was electric blue.
7. Steel-toed motorcycle boots. In college, I thought they made me look tough and sexy. Who knows, maybe they did, but it's up for debate. Though I could certainly kick frat boy ass if I needed to...
8. The hiking boots that I wore every day in Israel, when I wasn't wearing sandals. Those boots took me across deserts and up Masada. I absolutely destroyed them that year.
9. Sarge's army boots: when we first fell in love, he was a drill sergeant in the Army Reserves. Once a month, he'd leave college to do a drill weekend at the nearby Fort. I loved to watch him polish those boots in preparation; he was a brilliant, meticulous, patient, and dextrous polisher. I knew it was a very good sign.
10. Hedgehog's first shoes: Irish linen slippers with a linen button on each. So ridiculously expensive, so difficult to tuck her fat little feet into them properly. So lovely.
I asked you about clothes in my old post, let me ask now about shoes, about the special, meaningful pair in your personal history.