Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Taming Of The Shoe

As soon as we had decided to move house, Other Half immediately laid down some ground rules. She's still traumatised by the time we moved into this house, because her parents helped her move her reasonable amount of possessions with one car trip, and as they all stood about, drinking tea and wondering what the hell was taking me and my parents so long, we pulled up in a massive van. My dad jumped out, walked to the back of the van - which was coincidentally right next to the living room window where Other Half was standing, saucer-eyed - and opened it. The van was piled from ceiling to floor with stuff. And we had to make two trips. 

Even though I like to think I've become somewhat of a minimalist now with Other Half's influence (I have about a third of the stuff now that I had when I moved in here) she still likes to prod me occasionally to make sure I don't get lax and, say, hang on to a pair of socks with holes in the heels because look, how cute, they have dinosaurs on them. But I tend to put my foot down, both literally and metaphorically, when it comes to my shoes. I need shoes. People need shoes. It is, in my opinion, totally acceptable to own more than a couple of pairs of shoes. Let's face it, you need a comfortable pair of trainers, a pair of boots for rainy/snowy weather and a pair of strappy heels for special occasions. That's three important basic pairs right there. And say instead you might have a couple of pairs of trainers, and two or three pairs of boots, and a few strappy shoes... well hey. Why not? Life is short. Indulge yourself a little.

So it didn't come as much of a shock when I looked up from the Lakeland catalogue (go browse through it - it is like an orgy of bakeware and I didn't know whether to salivate, cry tears of sweet futurefood joy or just rub my face on the page. I may in fact have been doing one or more of these when Other Half walked in) to find Other Half towering over me, looking impatient.


Other Half: Do you know how many pairs of shoes you have?

Me: A few? Look, non-stick pans! And egg poachers! It's like a brochure for miracles!

Other Half: I think you should get rid of some of your shoes before we move.

Me: (pausing, and putting the catalogue down very slowly) What did you just say?

Other Half: Look, seriously, you have like a million pairs. Nobody needs that many shoes.

Me: But I accessorize with them.

Other Half: But you don't need that many.

Me: I don't have THAT many.

Other Half: You do.

Me: I don't! I'll show you!

For the next two hours I went through every cupboard we have, piling the shoes into a collective heap on the bedroom floor. It grew. I kept finding more shoes. The pile grew. Shoes turned up from everywhere - under the bed, behind the couch, inexplicably in tupperware boxes. The pile grew further. Shoes seemed to be appearing from every angle. It was like a zombie shoe invasion. The flow seemed endless. Eventually, after manipulating Roland carefully to make him let go of one of my trainers and returning it to the pile, I had a complete collection. I stared across what can only be described as a landscape of shoes. It was carnage. 

Other Half: (entering bedroom) See! I said you had too many...

She trailed off, surveying the mountain of footwear.

Other Half: Okay, so which ones are you going to throw out?

Me: I don't want to throw any of them out! They're my babies!

Other Half: I thought the cats were your babies.

Me: Yeah, but you can't wear cats.

Other Half: Can you see how this might look like an addiction to some people?

I glared at her. She glared back. We both glared at the shoe pile.

Me: Fine, I'll give some of them away to charity.

Other Half: (pulling a bin bag from her pocket and looking triumphant) Well, I came prepared.

I made sure to give her a particularly wounded look before sighing and taking the bag. After only two pairs, I was ready to stop but Other Half was watching me, and the look on her face brooked no arguments.. After five pairs, I couldn't take it any more. I clutched a pair of red converse to my chest and looked at Other Half imploringly.

Me: (wailing) This is awfull! This is like Sophie's Choice!

Other Half: (rolls eyes) For the love of sweet baby Jesus just put the shoes in the bag.

I reminisced about each pair as we parted ways, explaining in great detail to Other Half where I'd got each pair and how long I'd had them for. She glazed over about thirty seconds into this, so I held my own little shoe memory funeral. I suppose it's for the best. I couldn't give them all the same love and attention I give my ten or so favourite pairs. They've gone to a better place now. It's called Barnados.


  1. Oh, I can so relate... with your Other Half! I actually get a high, similar to what I would imagine a shopaholic would experience, everytime I purge stuff from my closet, cupboards, drawers, you name it, and get to pile them into bags and drop them off at the nearest Goodwill center. When I come home and see my space, my heart leaps;)

  2. It seems I've divided people with the shoe debate! Some, like yourself are with Other Half, some are on my side.

    I like a purge too, but only if I can fill up the space with new items :) I'm guessing you have the willpower to stop, but I'm just not that strong *sniffs sadly*