I am in a shoe store, trying to replace the Ugliest Shoes in the World.
I have written about these beauties in this blog before (which leaves them in a three-way tie for first place in the Blog Citation Index with my now-defunct waffle iron and my husband, Steve). I've had them for seven or eight years and they get scruffier all the time. Every so often I try to upgrade -- I'm an accomplished professional woman, in the prime of life. I should wear decent-looking shoes, right? Shoes that tell the world that I've got some panache, maybe even a bit of gravitas---that's what I'm looking for.
Oooh....look at these Merrells:
No, no, no. They are identical to the Ugliest Shoes in the World, only new.
Hmmmm....shiny brown croc skin loafers? Super-comfy....
Perhaps not the personal fashion statement that I was seeking.
Very relieved that the $365 pair doesn't fit at ALL:
But here's a pair, on the sale rack, in my own rather hard-to-find size. They fit great -- and they're not bad-looking, right?
And such a deal!
So they come home with me (deep discount; final sale). And I proudly show them to my sixteen-year-old daughter. "Look!" I say. "I have finally replaced the Ugliest Shoes in the World! And they were a deal! Aren't they nice??"
She pauses for a long time. And because I've apparently raised her to be a very nice person, she says, "Mom, if you think they're comfortable, then that's really great."
Fine. I have now bought the Second Ugliest Shoes in the World. Even I must admit that they lack both gravitas and panache.
What really confounds me this time of year is the sock problem. In the summer I can wear flats or sandals with bare feet. In the winter a reasonable pair of boots is always a spiffy choice. But it's early spring: too nippy for bare feet, way too warm for boots. The weather demands socks.
But it's hard to make socks look good. They bunch up; they roll down. Panache and gravitas are incompatible with bunchy, baggy socks. And God forbid I should cross my legs -- then everyone will see my monkeys!
OK. I see your point. I am a middle-aged professional woman aspiring to panache and gravitas, and these socks do not make a meaningful contribution to either. At my stage of life I do not need to wear monkey socks. True enough.
I do, however, need to wear these:
They were a gift from my daughter, whom I adore; and anyway I have a thing for veggies. Now if I could just find the shoes to complement them.
It's not that I don't know stylish footwear when I see it. I did, after all, purchase these honeys:
Nice little heel, spunky design; SO fun. I took a step ahead for fashion when I bought these. Walked the talk. Voted with my feet, at least for panache, if not gravitas.
Problem is, while I regularly vote with my feet, my feet do not always vote with me. I have worn these spunky sandals....let me count....zero times. They have been in my closet for four years, but my feet have not voted for them once. What my feet vote for, time and time again, are the Ugliest Shoes in the World.
And maybe those shoes are not so awful-looking after all. They do kind of bring out the chestnut color in my sock monkeys. Which gives the monkeys a bit of panache, maybe even gravitas -- don't you think?