So I bought another pair of black pumps today...and I anticipate that the husband (if he notices) will pose the inevitable question: how many pairs of shoes does a woman need?
Of course, every woman knows that is a rhetorical question. In fact, rumor is that was the original riddle of the Sphinx.
The BBW has a lot of shoes because I need to have options. Like most women, I have specific categories of shoes that serve different purposes. There are athletic shoes, casual shoes, dressy shoes for work, special occasions shoes, sandals and boots. If I were to estimate how many pairs, I would put the number at 40...with a caveat to give or take five pairs (not including flip flops, dance shoes and bedroom slippers). Compared to a lot of women I know, I am barely competitive.
But I do have a lot of shoes, and after a drought of a few years when I was in a "comfortable" phase, my recent buying spree is all about catching up. A few years ago, I experienced some issues with my feet related to dance injuries and running the marble hallways of Congress after my boss in heels. Thus, I was forced to to sacrifice style for function, lest I end up in a wheelchair by the age of 40. And I might have been doomed to wear clunky "sensible" shoes for the rest of my life, but then something wonderful happened--a whole lot of other women were developing the same foot ailments and were demanding that shoemakers incorporate more comfort into their designs.
OK, perhaps it is not so wonderful that almost every woman in America was suffering from tendonitis and/or plantar fasciitis, but apparently some enterprising genius finally realized that the same technology used to ensure comfort and functionality in athletic shoes, flip flops and clogs could be adapted for heels, sandals and boots. Heck, even flip flops have been re-designed to exercise our legs and butts. And this expanded set of style and comfort options, coupled with the proliferation of online shoe retailers and discount shoe warehouses means that I have only begun to shop!
Back to the original question: how many shoes does one woman need? Well, let's see if an answer can be found in assessing my need for different pairs of black shoes. Today, I bought a pair of peep-toe heels for Spring. Last month I bought a pair of plain black heels, which were intended to replace another pair of black heels that I had bought a couple of years ago, but because these new heels are three inches high, I have rethought my decision to ditch the older shoes. Then I have a pair of black suede bootie heels that I absolutely LOVE, but now that Spring is here, they have to be put away until the Fall. I also have another pair of black ankle boots that I wear with dress slacks and pantsuits. Then there is the special pair of black t-strap spectators that I do not wear very often, except with a particular matching suit. I have two pairs of black evening shoes and two pairs of dressy black flats for seasonal purposes. Then I have a pair of black casual lace-ups that look like bowling shoes that I've had for years, and which I still love despite the fact that the bowling shoe trend is so over...
And again, those are just the black shoes that I will be keeping this year (four pairs, including my beloved black boots are headed to charity). In terms of a deal I struck with the husband--a shoe buying moratorium of sorts wherein I agreed not to purchase any additional pairs of shoes unless I was willing to give away the same number of pairs to charity each year...so far, I am off track by about six or more pairs.
But as you can see, I need every bloody pair!