We've all heard about Imelda Marcos and her fascination with shoes. Well, lots of us have, if we're over the age of 30 ;o) and I don't remember too much about the whole story, except that here was a woman who had so many shoes that there was never going to be the possibility that she could wear them all, even if she only wore each pair one time in her entire life! Or something like that. At least, Mrs. Marcos owned thousands of pairs of shoes. Why? What is it about shoes that causes women to spend their last dime to purchase yet another pair of shoes? What is our fascination with our feet?
And when you look at the gazillions of different shoes designs, it almost makes your mind go numb. Who would think that there could be SOOOOO many angles and visions of glorious gorgeousness for something that we put on our feet, for goodness sake! I think that the original intent of shoes was simply a covering and protection for those overworked, under-appreciated little tootsies of the cave men and women. You know, animal skins sewn together with strips of tree bark, or perhaps slabs of ancient wood strapped on to those prehistoric piggies with lengths of goat hide. Who knows for sure, but we've come a very long way, baby, from those days of practical, if imperfect, footwear.
Now, I've never been much of a fashion diva, having come from a background where clothing was for the purpose of modesty, safety, and occasionally warmth. However, I've always had this "thing" for shoes. Where did that come from? So, when I began to notice that I am finding more and more beautiful vintage and "almost vintage" shoes while out and about on my treasure hunting expeditions, I started to think about my own fascination with shoes. As I was out in the studio the other day, meticulously snipping lace and stitching embellishments to my latest pair of decorated shoes, I suddenly recalled a time from long ago. It was a memory surrounding my shoes (or in this particular case, the lack thereof) that helped me connect some of the dots about my obsession with shoes.
Sometimes it is a good thing to think about who you are and how you got to be who you are . . . . . and examine some of the memories that might have triggered your little idiosyncracies. You know you have them. We all do. Kind of like the time the therapist told me, "The good news is, you're not psychotic." Whew! That was a relief! Here all along I thought I was the Wild-Eyed Wacko Woman Pretending to be Someone's Mother, when all along I'm just normal. Well, sort of. Then he said, "But the bad news is, your ARE neurotic." Uh-oh! "Now what am I going to do?" I thought. But then he cleared it right up for me: "Yep, you are neurotic, but so is everyone else!" I AM normal, after all! That was a great day in the life of this Wild-Eyed Wacko Woman Who Really IS Someone's Mother. Whether they claim me, or not. It's a done deal.
So . . . . . back to the shoe fetish thing. I remembered the time, when I was about 10 or 11, that I had this great pair of loafers. I know, that was a long time ago. Just stay with me here. You know, those beautiful brown penny loafers, with a little slot on the front where you really could slide in a penny. They had just the perfect flat heel, so they were very comfy, and the front of the loafers had this magnificent stitching all around the toes, attaching the top of the shoe to the sides. That stitching was so amazing! And I really loved those shoes! I probably really did have another pair of shoes somewhere, or I certainly could have gotten another pair at the local thrift shop for .25 or .50 . . . . but that didn't matter to me at the time. For all I could care, those penny loafers were the ONLY pair of shoes I owned.
So, every afternoon I would come home from school, take off my loafers and run around the house in my stocking-feet. Made my mom nuts, because I ruined so many pair of socks, but what's a kid supposed to do? I guesss I could have put on house slippers, like my mom did, but what the heck! I was a kid ;o) And every night, before I went to bed, I took a needle and thread, doubled up for durability of course, and stitched up those penny loafers. Because, once the original stitching wore out, the thread I was using wasn't very strong, and they would inevitably come undone throughout the course of the school day. I remember stitching up those wonderful penny loafers for a long time. Because I just LOVED those shoes!
Ever since I was a little girl, for some reason shoes have held quite a fascination for me. I wonder if it is because I didn't have many beautiful shoes when I was younger. But maybe not, because there are millions of women who have an obsession with shoes, and they've had more gorgeous shoes than they will ever wear in a lifetime of plodding through the ancient remains of prehistoric caves while wearing boots made of animal skins tied together with strips of bark . . . . and still the shoe fetish remains. What the heck is that all about, anyway? If you have any clues, I'm open to suggestions!
If you have a fascination with fun, funky, dramatic, romantic, and just generally unique shoes, please visit my Etsy shop to see my collection of gorgeously embellished vintage and "almost vintage" shoes: I promise, you won't be disappointed in all of the gorgeous shoes you will find there! Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and remember to be grateful for what you HAVE and don't let yourself focus on what you DON'T have. It's a waste of time . . . . that you could be spending on finding another pair of amazing shoes! Maybe a pair of vintage penny loafers . . . . . .