Sunday, July 10, 2005

It Was Shoe Love at First Sight

I. Love. Shoes.

In fact, in searching back through my blog to find an appropriate post to link about my deep adoration of shoes, I discovered the absolutely appalling fact that I have not devoted an entire post solely to my shoes! Everyone who knows me will find this amazing. I actually have an entire spreadsheet devoted to my shoes so I can sort them by color or style or maker. I had to install industrial shelving for my shoe collection because it fell on my head when I tried to get to one of the boxes near the bottom of the stack.

And yet, somehow, in my blog, I have only mentioned my shoes in passing, in relation to other stories. The horror! So just to put it out there:

I. Love. Shoes.

I have closing in on 80 pairs. My shoe acquisitions have actually slowed down in recent years because, really, there is a point at which buying more shoes simply becomes silly. I have not yet reached that point, but I'm hovering pretty close, I think, so I want to only buy really really great shoes. (I also, in doing my spreadsheet, discovered I owned no less than 11 pairs of black strappy sandals, and I thought maybe it was just possible I had gone a little overboard.) And I did recently donate two pairs of shoes to charity. Because clearly charity wants my snazzy gold-toned multi-colored-neon-print-soled pumps that I wore for an 80s costume party. Clearly.

Anyway, I have a relationship with my shoes. With all shoes, really - the ones I don't own I love from afar - but with my shoes in particular. Some pairs of shoes are meant to wear out, and that's all right, though I'm sometimes tempted to bury them decently rather than simply disposing of them. But some pairs of shoes are just too fabulous to be allowed to wear out, like these awesome black strappy heeled sandals with subtle eggshell counterstitching and an adorable anklestrap that feel like a dream and look like a million bucks - two crucial qualities in shoes (comfort and style) that are sadly too often incompatible.

So you will understand that I was devastated when my awesome black strappy heeled sandals with subtle eggshell counterstitching and an adorable anklestrap that feel like a dream and look like a million bucks wore out. The inner sole came unglued from the outer sole. (And with just a couple typos, that would look like a way more profound statement than a discussion of shoe anatomy.) Too many years of wearing them everywhere in the heat and damp of the summer had left my little shoes coming apart at the seams.

I sought out my friendly neighborhood cobbler. That's right - cobbler. There aren't very many of them left, because sneakers aren't all that repairable and far too few people know you can get shoes fixed. I mean, if you buy a crappy pair of $10 shoes at a discount store, of course you don't care enough to fix them when they break. (Your feet also hurt and your shoes are ugly, but that's really your personal decision.) But if you buy a $100 pair of Evan Piccones, even if you got them at a fabulous sale for less than half their regular retail cost, and the leather is like butter and you religiously treat the leather twice a year - you're going to get that shoe fixed.

Well. I went to a little shop called Fred's Shoe Repair that happened to be not too far out of the way of my errands for the day. (There are only five shoe repair listings in the local Yellow Pages.) Fred would be cooler if he was called "Fred the Cobbler," but people have such a hard time conceiving of the fact that shoes can be repaired that I can't quite imagine what kind of weirdos would wander into a shop called "Fred the Cobbler."

I showed Fred my sad little shoe, and he whisked it right off into the back and glued it back together, wham-bang, while I waited. Such a job usually costs a buck or two, as long as it's just glue and there's no structural damage to the shoe. He returned my now better-than-new shoe to me and, as I reached in my purse to pay, said, "No charge."

"Really?"

"Oh, it was right quick. Can't charge you for something that easy."

Fred. Fred, my newly-beloved cobbler. The name is like music to my ears: Fred.

He not only fixed my favorite black strappy sandals, but he did it for free!

I don't know, though. Fred may have seen a good thing going here. Some of us shoe gals have a look about us, a sort of gleam in our eyes when in shoe stores and cobbler shops - the look religious fanatics get when they're at shrines where amazing visitations occurred. Fred may have seen the glint of shoe-zeal in my eye, and realized that here across the counter stood his ticket to a retirement in Aruba. He might have been a shoe-glue pusher, getting me hooked on his product so he could soak me.

Or really, he could have been (and was, I think) one of the old breed of businessmen, who does a good job and takes pride in it. Which is why you should go get your shoes fixed at Fred's. Not those ugly $10 ones. The $100 ones you have now been inspired by my blog to go buy. On sale, of course.

1 comment:

Lizy said...

Good post..Buying shoes at discounts does'nt have life..they get worn out very soon..thats why prefer always branded shoes like Timberland shoes.