Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Shoe Shopping Nightmare

I can't remember how many times I've ranted about my shopping woes on the blog, but yesterday just about did me in. Later this year, I'm going to be a bridesmaid for both of my college roommates. They managed to both pick the same color bridesmaid dresses, so I only had to buy one dress for both weddings. The dress is beautiful (shocking, right?), and I'll get miles of use out of it after the weddings (even better). It's a black satin tea-length strapless dress, simple and tasteful for any occasion. But finding shoes for the dress is impossible.

Let me say this once and for all: I refuse to wear uncomfortable shoes. I won't do it. My feet, knees, and back are too important for me to be wearing ill-fitting shoes. Blisters are not an option, even in dancing shoes. I will not be uncomfortable, and I will pay whatever it takes to not feel that way in shoes. No compromises. And no, I don't feel guilty or snobby about this either: it's a matter of health and peace of mind. I'm pretty much only this way about shoes and bras, and I'm okay with that.

Shoe shopping is a pain for me: I wear a size 9AAA usually. When I do buy shoes, I stick to the same brands that offer narrower widths at atrociously high prices (but they last forever and look good to the very end). Even with narrow shoes, I have to buy insoles to make the arches high enough and the shoes snug enough. It's a huge drag to go shoe shopping. I see really cute styles and fun-looking shoes, but I know they won't fit. I have twenty-four years of experience telling me that those pointy-toed spiked heels are just not going to be fun after 3 minutes.

Yesterday, my boyfriend accompanied me on the longest shoe-shopping expedition I've gone on. I was determined to find shoes for the upcoming weddings, and I was very specific in what I wanted: flats with an ankle strap (or at least mid-arch strap), black and dressy, or as close to a "Mary Jane" style as I could find. Current fashion trends, however, aren't exactly producing what I wanted, and nobody was selling the styles I was looking for. We both looked high and low, and I tried on a couple pairs, but still, no luck.

I have to hand it to Kevin: he's a real trooper when it comes to shopping. He has taken the time to try and figure out what my personal style is, and he does a damn good job helping me look for stuff. He would pick up a shoe, shake his head, and put it back down. Part of me giggled inside (out loud sometimes), and part of me couldn't get over how awesome he is to take shopping.

After countless stores in two different shopping malls, I ended up not being able to find the shoes I wanted. We ventured over to a music store for my consolation prize (hey, new piano music is an educational venture as well as a lifelong love, and that $20 will get me through next year, so screw my budget). We went home defeated.

On my drive back to Corvallis, I decided to make one more stop at a rather new store. I walked all over until I found a pair I realized I couldn't leave the store without. They're black flats, and they're dressy with just a hint of outdoorsy girlyness. They have two straps across the arch (yay!), and they were under $50. Both Emily and Rachel know what they look like, and they both agreed the shoes would be fine for the weddings (phew!). And my shoe shopping nightmare is officially over.

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