Thursday, April 03, 2014

Shoe Envy.

I actually don't envy anyone's shoes because I have a quite fabulous shoe collection myself.
My problem is with the people who name the shoes.
Currently, in my "bag" (the little slice of internet where your shoes wait for you to pay for them and supply a shipping address) I have the Cosette and the Enetta. Every shoe must have a name. They can't just be the blue ones, or even the shiny blue ones with the straps and the buckles. They must be named. Proper names. Usually women's names. Some are very specific, depending on the designer. A quick glance at my shoe box collection shows I already own Carries. Ginnies. Oksanas. And Mary Janes, of course.

Designers now have to cast their nets so far and wide that even Samantaa has a shoe. And Lissa. Chantel.
Bonita! Phyllis comes in black and white OR nude and orange! Phyllis!

Of course you've already guessed there aren't any Jamies (and certainly not Jays). I know, I have an ugly name. It's not my fault. I didn't pick it. I've hated it more or less my whole life. I may have made peace with it now, but I'll still insist you call me Jay. So when a designer is devouring the baby name book like a woman with a 16 week old in one hand and a blank birth certificate in the other, and it comes down to Jamie or Phyllis because everything else (and all of their possible alternative spellings) is taken, you know they're not going with Jamie.

In the many, many years of my shoeddiction, I have not once come across a Jamie. Not even a plastic jelly sandal has been a Jamie. And to prove myself right, I've even googled it. And proven myself wrong.

But still mostly right, actually. Because the one Jamie shoe in existence is made by Dr. Scholl.  I mean, better they were dirt rags! Described variously as "laidback", "durable", "airy", and "sensible", they're everything you'd expect from a shoe that comes with a prescription! They're absolutely hideous of course, but get this - you get the convenience of a slide-on shoe with the look of a lace-up! Nurses have given them the thumbs up, as have sons buying them for their be-bunioned elderly mothers.  According to reviews, they are both "comfy" yet still require breaking in. One rave reviewer likened them to "a mound of chubby bunnies", which I have never actually stepped on, and I'm hoping to keep it that way - fingers crossed!

Frankly, my shoes tend to be more "torturous but sexy".  Right after giving me salivating compliments, my coworker likes to characterize them as "likely to induce hemorrhoids" and believe me, she doesn't mean that in the good way.  People often wonder how someone in so much pain can manage to walk around in heels that put me within kissing range of my 6 and a half foot tall husband. And the answer is: when your hand's in the fire, you barely feel the mosquito bite. Sometimes when you feel your worst on the inside, you want to look your best on the outside.

My grandmother, for as long as I knew her anyway, wore orthopedic shoes. Ugly, soul crushing things. Kleenex boxes would have been less obvious. And always in the same hue of "orthotic beige". And, as a terrible sufferer of flat feet, I have sometimes wondered what a pair of plain Janes would do for me as opposed to the Marys that I prefer. Was she a happier person because of her shoes? I doubt it.  Actually it makes me a bit sad. My grandfather would often make pointed remarks about the women he saw in church - well-appointed in a hat and heels. That, to him, was a woman. And that my grandmother could never be.  I'm not sure how necessary orthotics even are to a woman who spent much of her life at the kitchen table peeling potatoes like they were going out of style.  That's not me. I may sacrifice in comfort, but I am a person who strives to make the world a more beautiful place, and if I don't start with myself, from my head down to my toes, then I'm doing it wrong.


Jude said...

I used to LIVE in heels, the higher the better for someone only 5'2" like me. In my older years however, I go for comfort only, especially when I work on my feet all day. I haven't had to resort to anything like your grandmother's shoes though, at least not yet, LOL

Jude said...

Oh and by the way I didn't know you hated your name and prefer to be called "Jay".... boy am I glad I've always called you Jay! :-P

Jay said...

Yes you have! Some people persist in calling me Jamie (namely, my mother) and I tend to let them. Someone once asked if my husband ever called me Jamie and I said...well, not to my face!!

Martini said...

Bet you didn't think I'd be able to relate to a shoe post eh? Well, I'm a victim of ugly ortho shoes too. Instead of nice black or brown dress shoes, I have to wear ugly runners to work. I change into a nicer pair at work because it's easier to drive in the rummers. I'm an 80 year old trapped in a 30-something's body.

Jay said...

Poor Martini.
Although lots of people wear different shoes to work and make the change...I can't drive in 6 inch heels, they don't fit under the pedal, so I have to bring something else for that!!!