Distress at DSW

I don’t know why I ever go shoe shopping. It never goes well. It’s always a painful process, and every single time I go through an identity crisis. Shoes are just such a powerful article of clothing. They can transform any outfit.

Despite my best efforts, no matter how many times I repeat the mantra of “I am just here to buy flats, I am just here to buy flats, I am just here to buy flats,” I always feel the gravitational pull of a pair of pumps. I tell myself there is no harm in just trying them on. Just for fun. There’s no way I would ever buy ANOTHER pair of heels.

No matter what, I will always underestimate the power of a pair of pretty heels. There’s just this indescribable feeling that happens when you slip on a pair of shoes that A: makes you taller, B: makes your legs look like they go on for miles, C: makes your ass look fantastic without doing a single lunge, D: makes your entire outfit look 1000X more put together. That is some Harry Potter grade magical shit right there.

For some reason, wearing heels always makes me want to spin. Maybe it’s the whole standing on tip-toes thing that makes me want to twirl like a fucking ballerina. Maybe the high-fashion of pumps makes me feel like I’m on a runway, and I need to do the dramatic turn at the end of the catwalk before strutting back from whence I came. Maybe it’s just an irrational side effect of whatever pixie dust it is that makes me feel so fabulous in heels. Regardless of the reason, whenever I go shoe shopping, without fail I end up sitting on the floor, frowning, surrounded by open shoe boxes and a very unhappy fiance, and yesterday was no different.

All I needed was a pair of black flats for my new office job, but, in case you didn’t already know, shopping for plain black flats is boring as hell. It’s like going out to a really nice steak house and just ordering a salad. Nobody wants to, but some people do, because they tell themselves they have to. Whether it’s a self-conscious person trying to make a good impression on a first date or someone who desperately wants to stick to their diet, they can’t help, but stare enviously at those around them that didn’t have to self-deprive as they did. So although Jake found the most interesting flats in the whole store, I was not satisfied. Scallop laser-cut. lace up, zipper back flats just weren’t enough to curb my shoe shopping appetite.

First, it was a pair of wingtip, block heel booties that I just had to try on. Then, a pair of burgundy pumps caught my eye. Finally, it was a pair of suede, crescent heeled, tie-at-the-ankle heels that did me in. I have DREAMED of owning a pair of heels that tied in a bow at my ankles. Nothing says class like tying a ribbon around your ankles. As if I needed more convincing, they were on sale for $12. I died inside. I all but literally died.

However, stories that begin at DSW never end without some conflict.

Inevitably that internal crisis kicked in. Suddenly I was torn. Should I buy these heels? No one else at the office wears heels. Would they judge me if I wore these to work? Would they dislike me for overdressing? Would they think I was trying to act “above” them? My boss doesn’t even wear heels to work! Will she feel threatened by my bold choice in footwear? Honestly, I don’t need another pair of beautiful shoes rotting in my closet, just because I never have an occasion to wear them. Jake and I only go out for a fancy date about three times a year: my birthday, his birthday, and our anniversary. Not that we can afford to go out anymore than that. Just earlier that day I had been calculating the costs of grad school, saving for a wedding, and still sustaining ourselves in the meantime, and on my current salary, things didn’t look too bright. Honestly, I shouldn’t even be buying these $12 shoes that I don’t really need. I came here for black flats, and I’m going to leave here with black flats. Nothing else.

I sat down to take off the drop-dead gorgeous pair of shoes I was wearing, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even though those shoes didn’t fit into my current life working as a program assistant in a business casual office (emphasis on the casual), they still fit into how I want to look. Screw the other bitches at the office. I don’t care if my supervisor comes into work wearing light wash jeans and a t-shirt everyday. If I want to wear a pencil skirt, blazer, and heels to work, I will goddamnit! I live by the adage, “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want to have.” Based off of my current wardrobe, I guess I have quite a few glass ceilings to shatter…

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