A Tale of Faithful Shoes

May 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Today I officially lay to rest a faithful pair of shoes.

The past three years of my undergraduate/graduate career I have been moving around. A lot. I’ve gotten to be a bit of a nomad and I’ve loved it. The thing about being a nomad, though, is that you have to travel light. Which means the sum of all of possession could not amount to more than what could fit into my suitcase (and, ideally, under the standard 50 pound weight limit most airlines have). As a result I have not owned more than four pairs of shoes at a time for the past three years, which means they have gone through a considerable amount of wear and tear in a short amount of time.

I bought these black ballet flats while I was in California around Christmas of 2009. I was home visiting family during the year I was living in Paris. These shoes have been with through six months in Paris, six months in North Carolina, eight months in California, and a year in New York. I wore them practically everyday because they are basic enough to go with almost anything. Then they started to rip a little, and then those rips grew, and now…you get the idea.

Truthfully I should have retired them before I moved to New York, they were in bad shape then (I did a lot of trekking across dirt roads in North Carolina and spent a lot of time in the mountains in California).  I think the only reason it took me this long to retire them is because, on some level, I am afraid of hurting their feelings. Because, even though I am a grown woman who knows better, I still think of inanimate objects of having thoughts and souls, like in The Brave Little Toaster or Toy Story. Every time I thought about replacing them it was like I could hear them say to me “…but think of all we’ve been through together!” Then I would imagine them sitting lonely and alone somewhere, singing sad songs in Sarah McLachlan’s voice.

Still, I can’t keep wearing shoes that are falling apart on the off chance that they have feelings, right? (No, seriously, I’m asking.) I will find a nice place for them in the back of my closet in an old shoe box with old letters, student ID cards, and the little odds and ends that I have managed to carry with me.


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