These boots are made for walkin’
That’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots
Are gonna walk all over you
– Jessica Simpson
My apologies for taking a short hiatus, however, my absence was not in vein.
Wednesday, August 22 started a 10-day migraine from hell. Numerous over the counter tablets, West Nile virus inquiries, two different types of prescribed migraine medications, narcotics, blood work, multiple trips to the doctor, blood pressure pills, and an MRI were involved… it all got pretty dramatic.
Nevertheless, aside from being a 24-year-old with high blood pressure and debilitating migraines, all my tests came back normal. And I do have to admit, it was refreshing to hear that the MRI results were normal… validation that I am not crazy (Trust me, “You need to get your head checked,” will most certainly be used now during a heated spat with Mr. Big.).
Moving on, as part of my special sick girlfriend treatment, Big took me on a Monday night date to Carrabba’s for my fave rigatoni. I had just taken my doctor’s second stab at migraine relief when he asked, “So, have you written your blog yet?”
Really? I had been disoriented, nauseous, dizzy, and sedated for the last six days and this kid wanted to know if I had found time to write. By this point, the Phrenilin had started to numb my head. Even if I could write I was not sure I could focus well enough to pick a topic.
“No. I’m not sure what to write about.” From time to time, we have these conversations. “What about shoes?” he suggested. “I’ve already did that. The self-righteous, buy what I want, ‘I am woman’ piece… remember.” Mr. Big was not very fond of When I’m Gone, he claims that it sounded like I was gloating and throwing my money around (figuratively, of course). “Yeah, but you could tell stories about specific ones. You know, where you wore them and what you did in them.”
I was intrigued…
I have always said, “I wish I had a profitable hobby.” Sure, I love to write but it is hard to get into the book, magazine, and editorial industry. Even this small blog has cost me a considerable amount of time and money. And the only other things I would rather be doing require money as well. However, the biggest hit to my checking account is, by far, the change I put away on shoes.
If I were to keep a log of each article of clothing I wear for the rest of the year (excluding jewelry), you would be surprised to see how much I bargain for clothes. Shoes on the other hand…
When I first went permanent at Big Blue Box we had to take a trip to our distribution center. The warehouse itself spans over 1,000,000 sq. feet. We were told to dress comfortably.
As I stepped out of the house that morning I looked down and realized I was wearing a $5.00 shirt, a $15.00 pair of jeans, a $25.00 Neoprene jacket, and $100.00 tennis shoes. Why do I have $100.00 tennis shoes? I do not work out, hike, run – hell, I barely even walk. So, why are my kicks more expensive than what’s covering my whoha? I cannot explain it. It is baffling.
I have door hangs and a Dad-made shoe shelf. There are stacks and stacks of shoes in boxes, out of boxes, on the floor, in bags, and lining the walls of my room. I own over 140 (yes, I have bought more since the last tally) pairs of pumps, wedges, flats, boots, stilettos, sandals, and flip flops. I’ve got more colors than the Lucky Charms dude and more styles than a hair salon.
Bubba knows most every fact, rule, player, win, year of win, and oddity about any sport you can think of. He can rattle off stats and figures like it ain’t nobody’s business. But on the very opposite end of the spectrum, I know designers, brands, style names, specific seasons, quality, and pricing of many of the shoes you can find on any department store or boutique shelf this side of the International Date Line. Walking through the mall I can tell you who makes the shoes on most people’s feet, what they paid for them (all dependent on which season is on sale in which department store), and how comfortable (or uncomfortable) they are.
Below, in my About Me section, it says, “My memories are categorized in my head by the outfit I wore.” I can remember each time I have worn whichever pair of shoes you can manage to find to quiz me on. For instance:
- The black patent leather Steve Madden ballet flats I am currently wearing… were broke in walking block after block in New York City. They have seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade and every Sex and the City hot spot a three hour tour could hit. I can even tell you how much I paid for them – $29.99 – and I bought them three years ago.
- My brown leather and lime green patent leather BCBG heels… those shook the hand of my alma mater’s chancellor as I walked across stage to grab my bachelor’s degree.
- Red Nine West four inch mules… flew me to see my father for the last time five years ago.
- My first pair of pointy-toed black patent leather Jessica Simpson pumps… landed me both of the only “grown-up” jobs I have ever had.
- The no-name black and pink sneakers I stole from Momma… rode on the back of Judy, a 30-year-old African elephant.
- Four-year-old brown Rainbows… scooped up my little nugget for the very first time on Sunday, June 8, 2008 and carried me around Walt Disney World that following New Year’s Eve.
The words, “If someone were to rob me, they better be intelligent enough to go for the shoes,” have tumbled out of my mouth a time or two. My stockpile is extensive. And although I may not have the kind of stems Carrie Bradshaw would swoon over, I still manage to maintain an impressive middle class collection.
So, after much anticipation, let me introduce you to some of the girls…
For weeks, I tried talking myself out of buying these super cute multi-colored, rhinestone embellished, thong sandals. They were way too expensive for my “they really are just fancy flip flops” budget. But I made the mistake of stopping at Carolina Place Mall on my way to see Tay one Saturday in May of last year and broke down.
I wore them for the first time the very next day while on a day date to see Fast Five (Call me lame, but I just love, love, love the Fast and the Furious franchise… see, again with the fast car thing. I told you, it’s in my blood.) with Big. The whole afternoon I stared at my feet. You know me, the flashier the classier!
These flip flops were the shoe of the summer (so much so, Steve decided to add a very similar pair to his Spring 2012 collection also). I wore them as often as I could, until… two of my bright little rhinestones went missing.
Now, if you have not picked up on it yet, I am more than slightly OCD… and a missing rhinestone drives me absolutely insane. I refused to wear them. Although I was pissed, I was more hurt that my pride and joy sandals of 20/11 were ruined!
So one day, I threw pride out the window, and did something so shameful I nearly did not even tell a soul it ever happened… but it was just so damn funny I had to.
It was a Sunday and I was wandering around the mall looking for Bubba’s 19th birthday present. I was making my normal shoe department rounds when suddenly the shoes I had been obsessing over since early spring caught my eye on a display table. It was shocking at first because I had never saw a pair of Grooom sandals locally.
But just as quickly as the shock came over me, so did my wicked plan of revenge. I had spent $85.00 on those damn flip flops and I was not about to Goodwill them over two missing stones…
So, I stole replacements out of the display pair.
Yeah, so what. I am a shoe shimmer snatching shit head and I am not above admitting it. It felt great to stick it to one of the department stores I had funneled thousands of dollars into.
It made me feel better about my purchase; it was like I had gotten them 10% off : ).
Typically, I have a tendency to buy things in bulk. If I find something (anything) I like, and I can get them for a good deal, I buy two or three in different colors. That is what happened the day I came home with a black and brown pair of leather Cheetah Jessica Simpson 5 inch Mary Janes. The black pair had a wrapped black snakeskin heel and the brown pair had a gold textured double platform. I justified getting both of them because they were sensible matte colors.
Well, as it happened, Halloween (my favorite holiday) was just around the corner. And how cute would the black ones look with the camel colored leather jacket I had bought back in spring? A group of us decided to do dinner and take a trip to a haunted trail to get in the spirit. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bust out my new heels… oh hold your balls, I packed my trusty black flats from above in my purse.
We waited for hours in line just to get to the Will Call booth to pick up our pre-paid tickets. I had drank Dos Equis all evening at the Mexican restaurant we stopped to eat at. Mostly to fend off the fear, the heavy drinking I did (in a very short amount of time) had gotten me just the right kind of tipsy to give me the courage I would need to walk through the trail. I switched into my Steve Madden flats and Mr. Big’s sweat shirt. I was ready to do the damn thing.
It was after midnight before we were lured into the forrest. I had Byerley to hold onto in front and Big to protect me in the back as we walked through the narrow indoor and outdoor maze. We were pushing, running, and tumbling all over each other. All the while, you heard my screams, “These are STEVE MADDENS! Do not ruin these shoes!”
Aside from peeing on my favorite jeans while trying to use the bathroom drunk in a pitch black Porta John, the funniest part of the hunted trail experience had to have been when I thanked each and every zombie, chainsaw chasing Chuckie, and demonic dead dude that came at me. Yes, I thanked them like, “Thanks for trying to scare me, that was really nice.” It caught them so off guard they gave up trying to scare the shit (… or piss) out of me and moved on to their next victim.
Hey, I’ve worked in the service industry. I know what it’s like to always have to wear a happy face.
Moral of the story here girls, always pack Walmart flats for a midnight trail walk. And always thank your customer service people… because everyone likes to feel appreciated.
I purchased these 5 1/2 inch black sequin and suede wedges on King St. in my favorite city. Nestled two doors down from Williams-Sonoma and right beside of Bebe in downtown Charleston, you will find a Steve Madden shop. Ahhh, love. I snatched up the Xtras and Shimmas – a sassy pair of purple satin peep-toe pumps complete with a rhinestone bow stitched to the back of each heel – and left with a smile on my face. Nothing like a good “shoe glow,” as I like to call it. Anyhow, the Xtras made their debut on Thanksgiving Eve… but most notoriously on New Year’s Eve.
Mr. Big and I had planned a long weekend to Charleston, rented a hotel downtown for NYE night (for safe keeping), and bought tickets to an all night drinking and partying bonanza at the Mad River Bar & Grille on Market Street. We spent the whole day walking around the city discussing a plan of attack to get our $200.00 worth (the tickets [$100.00 per person] included an open top-shelf bar, dinner, a midnight ballon drop, and champagne… I know, right?!) of fun.
I slipped on a sequined plum colored mini dress and my sky high wedges and we were off… to the church. No seriously, the bar we were to spend the evening getting sloshed in was an Episcopal church for centuries until it was deconsecrated in 1964. By the time we arrived, it was a little after 8:00 p.m. and the bar was already standing room only. Big and I grabbed a spot by the coat rack and started alternating trips to and from the bar. He was drinking Crown and Coke and, well, you could guess what I was drinking… Grey Goose with “a liiiiiiittle bit” of orange juice.
So, let’s be honest here guys, you all know where this is going.
Long story short, little ol’ me was drinking drink-for-drink with a 260 pound, 6 foot 6 inch, 27-year-old grown ass man. I was double fisting vodkas like it was 1999 in, what used to be, the Lord’s house. Great. Here I go again, finding myself in yet another inappropriate situation being all shameful and whatnot.
At some point, Big looked over and witnessed a small group of equally classy woman huddled around me. Somehow, a Blue Motorcycle was sloshed on me and I was not-so-successfully trying to balance on one foot to clean the other off. It was then, he made the executive decision to shuffle me out of there as fast as he could and load me into a cab.
Neither one of us even got to see the ball drop. We were back at the hotel by 11:45 p.m. and 2012 came and went without so much as a peck on the cheek.
All that planning and we got our asses kicked in just 2 1/2 hours… such bad asses.
These nautical-esque little numbers joined the collection only a few months ago. I fell in love with the vintage looking navy blue and cream strips, ankle strap, and brushed gold buckle. However, I could not ever seem to find the right dress to compliment these sweet Jessica Simpson pumps. And then, just two weeks before Labor Day, I found the perfect blue dress with a matching light brown belt.
For the past two Labor Day weekends, Mr. Big and I have went to the beach with Wes and his wife Sarah (Okay, that is a lie. Her name is not really Sarah. But she is a dead ringer for Sarah Palin… and so a nickname is born.).
Completely off topic, but one thing you need to know about me: Anytime I start to prepare for a trip (to anywhere) I fixate on something and will go to extreme lengths to go, see, or buy my temporary obsession. This time it was tigers.
Now, I know, I know. What the hell are tigers doing at Myrtle Beach, right?
There are freaking TIGERS at Myrtle. freaking. Beach!
I was so flipping excited I could have peed my self… but decided not to make a habit of it.
The only catch was trying to convince my fellow vacationers to pay a whopping $200.00 for the full experience on a preservation just a couple miles away from our beach house.
To put it nicely, the other three were not quite as “fixated” on the tigers as I was. It was either I took the cheap route – a free visit to watch a couple of select cats play behind a plexiglass wall in the middle of Barefoot Landing and they (Big, Wes, and Sarah) would watch me pay a modest $80.00 to have my picture made with one – or it was a big ixnay on the tiger play.
I took what I could get.
Just three days ago, I ripped the tags off of my new blue dress and strapped on my Simpson’s… I was going to hug a tiger.
It was not until we were in the car that it hit me, “Gosh, I hope tigers don’t shed. It would suck to have tiger hair all over this navy dress. Sonny would be pissed.”
After patrolling the area for a few minutes, we finally found the place. I carefully made my way over the uneven pavement to the animals I had planned my entire trip around.
They were beautiful. Three full grown tigers (a Siberian, Bengal, and Royal White tiger) put on a show for their audience. All four of us watched as the Bengal and Royal White tiger pounced, wrestled, and rolled around.
I “ohh”-ed, “aww”-ed, and “ahh”-ed marveling at their beauty. I snapped picture after picture and video after video (see…).
Finally, it was time to sign up for my photo. I dragged Mr. Big over to the counter, swiped my credit card for $88.73, and got in line. When the lady let us through the rope she asked for the person who planned on feeding the baby tiger a bottle to sit on the right side of the bench. I sat down quickly, ensuring my spot would be at the head of my tiger (why yes, I am also very possessive).
We were caught off guard when a man walked into the cage with us and threw a monkey on our lap. While snapping pictures, they quickly rambled off instructions on how to sit when the door separating us from the 3-month-old tiger was unlatched. I had a monkey’s butt in my hand, all I could think about was, “If this monkey shits in my hand…” And then they pulled the cat out of its cage.
Our hands went up in the air and a three-feet-long endangered animal was plopped on our laps. The photographer had to remind me to pull my non-feeding hand down from the “put your hands above your head” position. I instinctively looked up and smiled my carefully practiced camera cheese.
I was feeding a tiger!
For five whole seconds I was bottle feeding a Royal White tiger… in my lap!
I have one 8×10 of Mr. Big, myself, and my tiger baby.
It was the best $88.73 I have ever spent!
As you can tell, I could go on and on with shoe stories.
Some are funny, like the blush colored patent leather Steve Madden pumps I fell off of a bar stool in. Some are silly, like the white cork-heeled Jessica Simpson wedges I treated myself to after Sonny shit in my car for the first time (Read Ours if you haven’t already!). Some are kind of sad, like the black suede thigh-high Steve Madden boots I cried in at Christmas dinner with two of my best friends because we were missing our fourth. And some help me to remember a few of the most defining moments of my life.
I may not collect anything I could sell on eBay 43 years from now and make a fortune but I enjoy what I have. Each sole in that bedroom of mine brings a smile to my face. They aren’t just shoes, they are my memories. And that is why I cannot get rid of them. A picture may be worth a thousand words but a pair of great shoes gets you through any kind of situation life throws at you.
Remember, despite how skinny, fat, happy, sad, mad, or glad you are… shoes always fit.
So, buy on Ballas!