Hi, I’m Steph, and I’m a shoeaholic.
It’s true, I own a lot of shoes. And every now and then I’ll apologise for buying something new and mention that I feel a little guilty for buying YET ANOTHER PAIR. I did it just yesterday in this post in fact. But do you want to know a secret? I’m lying. I don’t. I realised just recently that I only say that because I feel like I should feel guilty, because people are always telling me how silly and frivolous my habit is and I don’t really understand why it bothers people so much. I get that some people are generally offended by any display of blatant materialistic behaviour, but pretty much anyone I’ve ever met is incredulous when they find out about the size of my collection, and in this day and age – where a foreign holiday is commonly considered an entitlement rather than a luxury and perfectly good iPhones are discarded frequently just to ensure the owner has the most up to date model – it strikes me as more than a little hypocritical. I’ve had all sorts of comments over the years, so much so that I have a well rehearsed routine of laughing it off with a practised response and it largely doesn’t bother me so much any more. But on the odd occasion it gets to me, so here are some of the comments that tend to get under my skin….
‘I can’t believe you have more than xx pairs of shoes…!!’
This one amuses me rather than irritates me actually, because it’s funny how different people will have a very different yet exact number in their heads for what constitutes ‘too many’. For some people it is anything that falls into double figures, for others it’s a specific number, like 50, or 70. It’s always struck me as odd, the way people attach numbers like that, as though 99 pairs of shoes would be acceptable, but 101 becomes ridiculous! Surely the point it becomes silly should be driven by something practical, like the point where there are no crannies to store them in anymore, or if you start buying shoes you can’t physically wear. But no – it’s always a number. I often wonder if they apply that number to other things, or if it’s just shoes they deem in need of a maximum upper limit. Is there a number of DVDs that becomes too many for example, or mugs, or books, or plants? Does the number differ according to the item? So many questions….
‘Do you wear heels all the time?’ or ‘Do you even own trainers?’
Why, yes, yes I do wear heels all the time. I wear them to work, to the shops, to walk the dog. I even sleep in them. I hiked up a snowy mountain in them once and I wouldn’t be caught dead running in anything other than Louboutins! Of course I blinkin’ own trainers! As well as a vast array of flats, flip flops, and two pairs of wellies, if you must know! Do people genuinely think I’m a crazy lady? I have a normal life I have to get on with and funnily enough that often involves activities where high heels are not appropriate, and since I’m not brain dead, that isn’t really a problem for me!
‘Can you walk in them?’
Ugh. Please see above. Yes I can walk in them. Granted, some are more comfortable than others and after a long time standing in them they’re bound to make your feet ache a little, but guess what? I’m not an idiot, so I don’t buy shoes I can’t manage and I always make sure they fit properly. I also tend to have a pair of flats handy if I think I might have to walk for more than a few minutes in high heels, such as on the commute to work for example, so it’s really just a case of using your brain and choosing footwear that suits the occasion. I may be a shopaholic, but I’m also a chronic bargain hunter and am always looking for value, so believe me, I would not be willing to part with my hard earned cash for something I couldn’t wear!
‘How did you afford them all??’
Well, here’s the thing. I didn’t nip to the shops yesterday and come back with 100 pairs of shoes!! My collection is something I’ve built up over a long period of time, with some of my favourite pairs as old as 10 years. As I mentioned, despite my passion for fashion I’m actually very thrifty, and am very proud of the fact that not one of these pairs of shoes has been purchased with a store or credit card, and the vast majority were actually very cheap. I have a few pricy brands in there – obviously my Louboutins cost a few bob and I have quite a lot of Ted Baker, Carvela, Kurt Geiger and so on – but these were often gifts, and where they weren’t they were most likely bought in the sale or second hand on eBay. I’m a firm believer in not living beyond your means, and as a result have become an expert at sniffing out a good deal. Everything I’ve bought has been done so with hard earned cash, which makes it all the more annoying when I’m told off for being so extravagant as to own more than a handful of shoes! It’s not as though I’m forgoing food or utilities to feed my habit, I would never dream of buying something I couldn’t afford!
‘But you can only wear one pair at once!’
This one really irks me, because it’s such flawed logic! You only wear one pair of knickers at once, but no-one is going to tell me off for having multiple pairs of those are they?! My response to this is normally, ‘True, but there are 365 days in the year, so if anything I’m short a few…..’
‘You’ll have to get rid of them all when you have kids….’
Um, why? Are shoes some kind of child hazard that I wasn’t aware of? Are they poisonous or something? Or is it just that the idea of a mum daring to get dressed up every once in a while that is so preposterous? I’m sure the rate of expansion will certainly slow down, and I probably won’t be wearing them as much as I used to, but I can see no possible reason why I would have to get rid of all my shoes just because I’ve had a baby! Can anyone out there explain this to one to me?
And finally – the most irritating one of all….
‘You do know you’re perpetuating a sexist agenda….blah blah blah’
Oh please shut up. I’ve actually written a whole post dedicated to this insulting and patronising view some people seem to have of women who like to wear heels – you can find it here – so I’m not even going to try to list all the reasons why this pisses me off so much. The fact is, I don’t wear heels for any reason other than because I want to, and last time I checked Feminism was about equal rights for women – including the right to wear what they want without being deemed a lesser person for it.
How about you lot? Any stupid comments to add to the list?