Monday, June 30, 2008

Shoe Superiority Complex

I know all y'all expected me to be discussing my own shoe snobbery, which I freely admit - and more importantly, own - but I have a different sort of Shoe Superiority Complex on tap today. I refer, of course, to the people who think that wearing hideous fucking shoes gives them some kind of moral high ground.

I'm not even talking about the people who feel it necessary to lecture me on the nefarious plans that my heels have for my toes/back/knees/face/whatever. (Note to those people: I am 25. I have considered what I put on my feet. I know the medical travesties lurking in the shadows, and I probably know more about it than you do, but here we are anyway. Fuck off.) No, no...I refer to the Hippie Shoe People. Birkenstock wearers are the inarguable pioneers of this movement, though some sanity has been mustered and I haven't run into a good, obnoxious Birkenstock Acolyte for some time now. You know what I'm talking about...that guy who just HAS to tell you what shoes he's got on...the girl who just HAS to mention that her shoes are made only of hemp and molted dove feathers...the people sneering at your leather shoes and then saying "are those vegan," just so you have to say no. There's a way to wear any kind of shoe and not be an asshole about it, but there's an unreasonably high proportion of people wearing these hippie shoes - Toms, Earth shoes, etc. - who just cannot keep their shit in their own basket. You'll note that I am not even touching the Croc and Ugg people, who are irritating in their own right, but differently so.

The problem, I think, lies in the fact that these shoes profess to do all kinds of magical things for your body and sometimes the environment. Great, right? Except when given to people who think doing good things elevates you to sainthood, you run into trouble. TOMS shoes (in navy, below) are not only made of ugly, but they donate a pair of shoes to a third world country. Awesome! Shoelessness is an epidemic problem (I am not being snide), and that is a great cause. That being said, it makes you a nice person, rather than a shining beacon of all that is right in the world. I guess my issue is that many of these shoes are kind of hideous-on-purpose so that people can tell you about them...not unlike the red soles of Louboutins, though to me the red sole is actually a pretty stylistic choice, though it is label-flashy. It's the buying shit made of hemp more because you care about people knowing you buy shit made out of hemp than actually caring about it being a renewable resource issue, not that I don't like the shoes. Hey, if people want to wear ugly shit, they can wear ugly shit, but wearing shoes made out of nastiness and duct tape doesn't give you any moral high ground, you know?

So the reason I'm hacked off about this, besides my normal static levels of unrest, is that someone made the enormous tactical error of commenting on my shoes all "how do you wear those, oh em geeeee" after having once been a total douche about them previously (Today's heel height: four inches. I thought they were 3. How did this happen? And why are there seriously like 87 rulers in the top drawer?).

A while back, when the summer was just ramping up for some serious heat, I decided that it was long past time to return to full-time heel wearing. As you may know, when it gets really hot outside, the sealant used to patch asphalt gets all melty and gooey. If you have flats on, this is no real step on it and it skooshes out and does not adhere to your shoes. If you are wearing heels, however, physics dictates that most of your weight is concentrated on a wee little spike, which is enough to ensure your heel will dig into the goop and if not get black gunk on your shoe, at least stuck so you have to yank your foot a bit to carry on walking.

So it's the end of the day, and I'm walking out to my car across the minefield of black goop repairs (this is New England, after all), and as I go, I'm rummaging in my purse for my keys, and my phone starts ringing. Instead of stopping where I was and getting my act together, I of course just kept wandering on, oblivious to the goop, so needless to say, I plant a heel square in a patch of it, and it pulls my heel out of my shoe briefly, making me look like a weirdo who can't walk in heels. I'm sure I don't need to explain to anyone that this is not the case...I have ADD, not incompetence. Of course - OF COURSE - one of these Earth-shoe-TOMS-Birkenstock-ish people is driving past, and she feels it's necessary to roll her window down and be all "watch out, walking in those heels," with tone all over the place. I mean, that shit was pronounced with a silent "if you were wearing heinous flat shoes produced by feeding them to cows and hosing them off once they're digested and expelled you wouldn't have so many problems" on the end.

Needless to say, I spent the drive home thinking about running her down with my car.

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