Seventy-one pairs of shoes. That’s the answer to one of my most frequently asked questions (The others: “If my husband’s grandfather’s dog’s sister’s auntie was a ginger, but I have black hair, do you think my children will be gingers too, and can I drown them in a sack if they are?” “Will those boots you wrote about in 2007 fit me, do you think?” and “Can I buy three of these dresses, please?”). It’s usually followed almost instantly with, “And what do you actually DO with all those shoes?” To which I always answer, “I thread them all onto a piece of string and wear them around my neck, obviously, what do other people do with shoes?”
I bring this up because I’ve been asked The Question a couple of times recently, and only found out the answer myself last night, when I decided to actually count the damn things. (Counting shoes: not as interesting as you might think, kids! Bit like counting sheep, actually…) Seventy-one pairs, not counting running shoes, and wellingtons, and those ancient ballet flats I really should throw out, but God, they’re so comfortable, maybe I’ll just give ’em another week. I’ll be honest: I thought the magic number would be higher than that, and my first reaction was “Wow, that’s hardly any! I’m really letting the shoe-blogging side down, here, must buy some more!”, but of course, seventy-one pairs of shoes IS quite a few, I suppose. Well, a few more than “a few”, hmmm?
I just realised this post sounds like it’s building up to some kind of dramatic “I’m giving up shoes for Lent!” type of declaration. But, er, it isn’t. For one thing, being a complete and utter heathen means I don’t have to give up ANYTHING for Lent (which is awesome, especially when other people give up chocolate. It leaves more of it for me.), and for another thing: AS IF. So I’m not giving up buying shoes. I am, however, going to start trying to wear them all more often, rather than just that same pair of tan peep toes (summer) and black boots (winter) all the time. Then I will …well, then I will probably buy some more.
“Why shoes?” is always the next question in this particular conversation. To which I say: why not? I can’t claim that shoes are the answer to world peace, or that they have shown me the meaning of life, or anything deep like that: I just like them. Always have, right from the moment I slipped on a pair of those toy “high heels” once childhood Christmas, and probably always will. Shoes are fun. You never have to worry about whether they’ll make you look fat, or clash with your hair. They last for years (many of the pairs in my collection are pensioners in shoe-years), you don’t ever have to iron them, and they’re good to look at. What’s not to like?
Anyway, hopefully this answers the burning question on at least two people’s lips this week. And I have to admit, it’s nice to get a question I can actually answer for once, rather than the usual stuff about “ginger” babies…