Kimberley's Shoes

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Shoes, Glorious Shoes!

First of all, see my Blog (Diary) if you want more serious topics, like my thoughts on why I think the 'transgender adults' writing workshop by Write Around Portland is a cool, and even necessary, thing. Okay, on with the topic of shoes!

As Oliver might have said if he were a shoe-lover like me: Shoes, glorious shoes! I have about 100 pairs of shoes (as of May 10, 2008). Yes, 100.

One hundred shoes is, I must say, too many to actually find and wear given our family size and the size of our house. Our house is average-sized (1800 square feet). Well, average sized 20 years ago, according to the U.S. Census statistics I found (opens a new window with a PDF format file).

So, anyway, at my partner's suggestion, I laid out all my shoes on the stairs. Okay, not all my shoes. All but about 40 of them for round 1. It was staggering, and a bit depressing, to see all the shoes I had. Why? I'd never worn some, I'd kept shoes that were no longer in style or no longer wearable. My eBay purchases that were never worn, not comfortable, and that I might have even paid a premium for. I mean, who cares if they're designer (e.g. DKNY, Yanko, Ferragamo, Hallston) if they're not something I'm ever going to wear?

So here's what they looked like, with all but about 40 pairs laid out:

Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #1 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #1 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #2 & 3 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #4 & 5 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #6 & 7 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #8 & 9 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #10 & 11 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair #12 & 13 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair top landing #1 Kim McNelis Shoe Collection, Stair top landing #2 (32 more pairs)

Here's the basket of shoes after I had thinned out; shoes to go to charity (or friends):

Kim McNelis Shoe Collection laundry basket of shoes to go to charity

Pretty... well,... overwhelming? Silly? Fun? Sad? I'm not sure what adjectives to ascribe to the fact that I own about 100 pairs of shoes. It will be less after I give the laundry basket full of shoes away... I haven't counted yet.

I realize that I'm very fortunate to be able to afford these shoes. That's why it's a bit painful to see how many I have; at least when I realize the number of them I've never worn, or have worn maybe once or twice. There are people that would be happy to have a few pairs of nice shoes, I think. In fact, there are people happy to have shoes, but I won't digress there too long...

I have a friend who spends on average about $500 or so per pair of shoes, maybe more. So she has 10-15 pairs she loves that she spent about $5000 buying. I have 100 pairs of shoes, of which I love 15-30 and spent $250-$500 on. Of course, I spent about $1500-$2000 for the 100 pairs of shoes, and could have spent quite a bit less if I only bought shoes I love and will get good use out of. I'm also probably underestimating my cost... This is an expensive 'hobby' that I have.

Okay, well now I'm feeling guilty writing about something so frivolous as shoes. I mean, I love shoes and particularly cute, sexy, well-made, or even pratical shoes. It's a topic of some worth and weight. I remember a "Sex and the City" episode titled "A woman's right to shoes" (vs. a woman's right to choose). It was about how Carrie had the right to her Manolo Blahnik's and her lifestyle. She wasn't spending money on children, and a hubby, and that life. She had a pair of shoes stolen at a party, and a friend blew it off as unimportant. So she decided to have a wedding-type ceremony, where people brought her gifts, I think. It was a long time ago that I saw the episode. It was kind of about the choices we make, and the right to have the lifestyle we choose; and to spend our money how we see fit. At least it was to me. :)

Back on topic about shoes and frivolity though... my editorial comment would be that people, particularly Americans, need to start only spending the money they have, vs. the money they can borrow through credit cards. Buy another pair shoes, sure. Only if you can afford it. As in paying cash (or paying off your credit card at the end of the month). The only major debt one should have is a house; and maybe a car for a fraction of the time one owns it.

I will hasten to add that my thoughts above are on those that are making above the minimum wage. Perhaps more specifically, those in the middle class and above. I realize there are people that are struggling to make ends meet in our society, and are having to borrow sometimes to buy basic food and shelter.

So, anyway, I do have the money to spend on shoes, and that's sometimes how I choose to spend it. I don't go into debt doing so. I do feel bad that I've over-indulged sometimes, and I will certainly make my loss someone else's gain by giving away some shoes. Maybe not the kind of gain the original money could have had, and I'll continue to give money to charity on top of some new or very gently used shoes now and then.


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