Let me start by saying, I do not have an Imelda Marcos complex, I own only 43 pairs of shoes. I am nowhere in the class of my friend Mark who stopped counting after he got to 150 something. One of the girl's in my department who, at last count, I think mentioned 300. She must have a shoe room.
I think my weird relationship with shoes stems from a childhood cruelty of having to wear Clark's Mary Janes when I really wanted to be running around in flip flops or barefoot. After all, I spent most of my time up trees, in the duck pond and other like activities. Girly shoes and clothes certainly did not fit the lifestyle. My mother, a woman surrounded by a whacking seven brothers must have had all these frustrated longings to dress up her little girl who really just wanted to be one of the boys. I suspect however my mother might have preferred this situation to have continued when I became a teenager to escape my constant whining for pretty shoes and clothes to go to parties in. Let's just say the primary school caterpillar turned into the high school social butterfly, not however the type that John Waters made movies about. I was Ally Sheedy to Lisa's Molly RIngwald.
Buying shoes started to represent independence for me or so I like to justify it. I could never have afforded the range or variety that I see my friends getting their kids now. In my day, you had school shoes, usually brown Mary Janes or later, white sneakers and going out/church shoes, some awful white things as I recall. In between there were the ever present flip flops or a pair of sandals. Quite damaging to my emerging girl psyche.
My first job didn't pay well but Ate Logo was my best friend, all kinds of real leather shoes. Who knew you could buy colours other than black/brown/white/navy blue! Oooh it was heaven. In my line of work you have to look a certain way and I do the needful but the part I really enjoy is the shoes. Some people are into fixing up their houses, some people collect cars or jewels. I like to look at my happy little collection with rainbow colours, different heel heights, styles - strappy, pumps, peep toes. Whoo hoo. This addiction to nice shoes if you will is not fattening like chocolate, depending on what I buy, not as expensive as fine art or jewellry and they make me feel good. What's not to love.