Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Patent Leather Shoes

Patent leather shoes make me happy. For that matter, so do patent leather hand bags. I have 3 pair of patent leather shoes--boots, open back shoe boots, and loafers. I have one patent leather tote bag, and 2 patent leather purses.

I don't know where my love of patent leather comes from. I think, like any little girl, I must have had standard issue Easter shoes: patent leather Mary Janes in white or black. Yet I can't pinpoint a particular childhood memory that has given rise to my adult love of shiny shoes and bags that make me smile. I do, however, have memories associated with some of my current shiny items. With one pair in particular.

My open back shoes were an acquisition after a long bout with chronic foot pain during which time I could hardly find shoes to fit. Pretty wasn't the goal then. My needs and desires were far more basic. Criteria for shoes at that time in my life were: Can you get them on your feet? Can you walk in them? The fall after my surgery, just months after I walked the streets of London and Florence and Rome--without pain, but mainly in sandals-- I went shopping for new shoes. And there they were: sleek and sexy and stylish. They're pointy, on a stacked heal. From a "Western couture" collection. Expensive, but worth it. Certainly not meant for a wall flower. They represented all the shoes I couldn't have before and the new freedom I had to walk in style, without limping. They said, look at me. Look at my shoes. Look at me go. I have worn them now for 5 years, and they are getting a little beat up. I can't imagine not having them to slip my feet in--to wear with dress pants or jeans, anytime my outfit needs a little something extra, anytime my spirits need a boost.

There will be other pretty shoes, but none will be these and so I will keep them. Even after they are beaten beyond repair and no longer make a positive impression, I will keep them. I will tuck them away in their special felt bag, in their original box. As I reach for other shoes to wear, I will see them and remember how far I've come.

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