Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Shoe for a Shoe

There used to be a rule in my house, imposed by my fella: If I bring home a pair of shoes, I have to get rid of a pair I already have. This has been a point of controversy among my friends, all of whom shudder with fear at the thought of throwing out shoes. I defend my man, like any good girl--his reasoning was sound, being that I have so many pairs of shoes I never wear or that he dislikes. And if he doesn't like them, it's not worth his bellyaching for me to put them on, and those shoes tend not to be my favorites either.

It was quite an upheaval, then, when he came home the other day to discover that I had brought home two new pairs of shoes from an unbelievable sale at the Steven store near my workplace. First he insisted that I didn't tell him about the purchases, which I insisted with equal vehemence that I did (I did!), and when I reminded him that he can't even remember what movie we watched two nights ago he kind of gave that one up. But next he pulled out all of my shoes from my closet, and asked which ones I was going to kick to the curb outside our building for someone else to take.

We went back and forth on this for a while, and the gist was ultimately that I felt that I shouldn't have to throw out any more shoes because both of us like all the shoes I currently own in addition to the ones I just purchased, I wear all of them with some degree of regularity, I pay for them with money that I earn, and they reside in my closet instead of his. He came back with a moving monologue about how much he hates accumulating random things into ever-expanding piles of stuff, and I got so frustrated I almost started crying. "But why does it have to be the shoes?" I pleaded. "Can't I get rid of something else instead? And what about your five kinds of mustard and salsa in the refrigerator?"

In the end, the argument was resolved when I said that I would clear out all of my spring dresses I don't really like, all of my underwear that expired ages ago, and all of the t-shirts that haven't seen the light of day since the college bar crawl for which they were created. For his part, he agreed to lay off the shoes and that, before going grocery shopping, he would seriously evaluate whether another condiment was needed.

I bore you with my relationship details only because there is moral to this story, which is: Keep your closet fresh. Often times, we hold onto things because we have attached some sentimental value to them, or because we hate throwing things out, or because we don't want to spend the money to replace things, or because we delude ourselves into believing that all things last forever. To all of those thoughts I say: It's only a t-shirt, get over it, sell your old clothes, and they don't. If you have things you don't wear anymore, give them to someone else who will wear them as lovingly as if they if they were brand new. Get crafty and use the material to make something new, anything as long as it means you're re-evaluating your look and your own sense of style. Vintage, classic pieces are always in fashion, but not if they don't keep up with you as a person.


doll said...

I have the one pair in, one pair out rule for myself. It seems to work, there is always a pair that i have outgrown or that really isn't comfortable to wear. I guess it may become a problem when every pair is delightful and there are none left that in reality were a mistake buy.

I am training the men in my life to accept it as a natural right for a woman to buy and own shoes.

Kitty du Vert said...

More than that, it's a natural right for every woman to buy and own fabulous shoes! Everyone, male or female, needs them and it's great not to sacrifice beauty for function.

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