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Do You Really Need Another Pair Of Shoes?

Saturday 11 September 2010
Words Spindle

Though many may see ‘need’ and ‘want’ as two completely different things, I believe to want is to need.  If another pair of shoes may brighten up my somewhat monotonous day then yes, I really do need them. In fact I will go as far to say as long as I have good shoes on, the rest of my outfit can, standard wise, be on par with that of a bin bag.

I have made a glorious string of, what I like to call ‘intellectual’ excuses about why my shoe rack actually takes up more room than my kitchen – if only to avoid portraying the stereotype of a ditsy girl obsessed with Sex in the City, hankering after SJP’s Manolo Blahnik’s. These reasonings may at times sound like I’m clutching at straws but delusion is a simple pleasure and if it means I get another pair of beautiful shoes out of it, I am more than happy to brainwash myself:

Excuse 1: History:  As human beings it is in our nature to collect; The 18th C saw the Enlightenment era where taxonomy was a sign of one being laden with culture, it was a rite of passage for a young adult man to travel Europe on the Grand Tours and collect things such as gems/ bronzes/ marbles etc. In the main this experience was unavailable to women. The 21st century has seen ladies around the world making up for lost time; we have become fashion collector extraordinaires!

I am proud to say my ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ contains up to 200 pairs of shoes.

Excuse 2:  Literature: Whilst struggling to maintain a double life: The poor student juxtaposed against the shopaholic in me, I adopted an Oscar Wilde quote to help me through the so often felt emotion that is GUILT when out on a spending spree: ‘Those who live within their means suffer from a lack of imagination’.  This quote encourages me to believe that it is an absolute necessity to expend money I don’t have or else resign myself to the fact I lack frivolity (Never!). These are the words of the literary genius Wilde after all! They must be true!

Excuse 3: Society:  I am a victim of 21st century media culture. As we all know, throughout history Western civilization is often blamed for the corruption of human nature. We now expect so much from life that greed and materialism are inevitable; our happiness appears to depend on it. Our television screens project beauty but with a monetary catch. This means I cannot help but buy as many shoes as possible – it is the fault of our forefathers:  Capitalism and Cheryl Cole.

Excuse 4: Mental Wellbeing: It has been medically proven that stress is bad for the heart and when I’m sad it’s generally shopping that makes me glad! It may not fill the hole permanently but it sure does a fantastic job of trying.

Excuse 5: Genetics: Growing up, my Mother always had a mountain of shoes stacked inordinately high in the corner of her bedroom. It was in this pile I first laid eyes on stiletto heels and thus my fixation began. Nature and nurture were working together here to lay the basis of an utterly unbreakable bond between obsession and obsessor.

Excuse 6: Location:  After I have successfully encouraged myself, my boyfriend and my parents into donating more money to the ‘happy feet’ cause, it is usually to vintage shops I skulk; this is where my passion/ weakness lies. Living in Brighton, a place which has gained national notoriety for its decadent, retro shops has turned me into a serious fashion junkie and shoe hoarder.  Here in lies my last and most stupid excuse:

Excuse 7: Sheer stubbornness: I have size seven feet and as all vintage lovers know, most second hand shoes are a tad on the dainty size; my feet have gone through all sorts of self inflicted trauma, having been violently squeezed into shoes two sizes too small (not a hobby I recommend unless you are a sadistic type who revels in popping blisters). Like the ugly sisters in Cinderella these shoes never quite fit and after about two months they literally crumble from my feet, leaving me with an unquenchable thirst to find replacements. I go through vintage shoes as fast as I do bog roll.

Ultimately though, I don’t really need to find excuses for my consistent shoe buying, not when it puts a smile on my face and allows me to feel a million dollars when in truth, I only have ten pounds to my name.  Poverty awaits as high heels call…