I’ve been neglecting my one true love

Surprisingly, I’m not even talking about TV. Shocking, I know. I love more than just TV. Even if I do often refer to it as my boyfriend. And no, it’s not my phone. My phone had a chance but it just keeps disappointing me. And it’s not food either. Or shoes. Or strippers.

So who or what am I talking about? Let’s face it, it’s obviously a what. Of course I would never express my love for an actual person. What do you take me for, a normal human being? Clearly that’s not the case.

What is my one true love? Writing. It always has been, though we have drifted apart at certain times in my life. But I am always happy to reconnect with it.

I don’t know why I haven’t had the time lately. I don’t think I have any more of a life right now than I did at this time last year. And I feel like I was writing a lot more at this time last year. It’s hard to find a balance between life and writing about life.

It’s sad that when I do have free moments in time, other things will often win out over writing. Like watching TV. I guess it’s because TV requires no effort from me whatsoever and can be completely mindless. Not that I don’t often sit and write mindlessly, because I do, but it’s a different form of mindlessness. And I feel better about it. Unlike watching TV, writing allows me to be a part of the process, and to have accomplished something in the end. It doesn’t even matter if it’s good or if anyone reads it. All that matters is I’ve done something that’s my own.

Unlike shoe shopping, or any kind of shopping, writing costs me nothing. Except time. But I enjoy that time immensely. Some people think it’s a waste, but I don’t think anything is a waste if you enjoy it. I think it would be more of a waste for me not to write.

Advertisements

Confessions of a shoeaholic

On the weekend, I went to not one, but two shoe sales.  Well the second one was technically a boot sale.  But yeah.  Footwear sales, if you will.  I’m not going to tell you how many pairs I bought or how much money I spent.  Let’s just say I may have gone a little crazy and I may end up on a future episode of Hoarders or Intervention.

A while ago, I was thinking about how a lot of people have 365 days of blogging type blogs.  One in particular is 365 Days of Dining.  That would have been my dream job.  Except that I write more about shoes than I do about food.  I considered the possibility of writing a 365 days of shoes blog.  Each day, I would post pictures of a different pair of shoes, describe them, and maybe talk about where/when I bought them, or a memory of one of the times I’ve worn them.  I’m not sure how many pairs of shoes I own.  Not 365.  But if I run out, I could always start taking pictures of other people’s shoes, or shoes that I see in a store.

The problem is, I’ve barely had time lately to write regular posts on this blog.  And that one time I attempted to start another blog, it failed.  I mean I did start a blog where I wrote about TV shows and movies but it only lasted four months because it was just impossible to keep up.  I would imagine a shoe blog would be easier to manage, seeing as I already have the shoes so half the work is already done.

I likely won’t pursue this idea because I know I probably won’t have time for it.  Also I’m sure if I were to do it, you would judge me.  You know, even more than you already do now.  Which I’m fine with.  My friend who accompanied with me to both shoe sales doesn’t judge me because our friendship is based upon no judgement.  Although I’ve realized that can be a dangerous thing if you happen to have an addictive personality.  She’s pretty much my enabler.  If she hadn’t driven me to Army & Navy and helped me carry my bags, I would not have been able to make the purchases that I did.

boots

Boots at the Army & Navy boot sale

As I sit here now, I’m not even wearing my new shoes or boots yet.  I’m wearing my old ones.  Which I love.  But the reason I’m not wearing new ones is because a lot of them are still sitting in the trunk of her car.  Because I couldn’t bring them all into the house at once because I didn’t want my family to see them.  When you start to hide things, is that the sign of a problem?  My friend said she would start calling me Imelda Marcos now and I informed her that my dad has been calling me that for years.  I’ll just blame it on Shoe Warehouse, my second mall job, because it was when I worked there that my love for shoes emerged into the chaotic mess it is today.

My friend who doesn’t judge me almost thought of staging an intervention.  But she decided against it since that would have been a form of judgement.  I guess when someone who doesn’t judge you wants to stage an intervention, that’s the sign of a problem.  But I’m not at the acceptance stage yet.  I think I’m still just in denial.  Which is an okay place to be.  I’m not sure what rock bottom looks like.  Perhaps it’s when I start going to sales by myself and buy more than I can carry?  Or when I fall and become buried under a pile of my own shoes and can’t escape?  Or when my Visa gets declined because I’ve maxed it out on shoes?  But none of those things have happened.  Yet.

At this point, I have cut myself off.  No more shoes.  Or boots.  Especially boots.  I bought a lot of boots.  I may force myself to return a couple pairs.  I felt total judgement was upon me the entire time I was shopping, both from the employees and from the other customers.  But I didn’t care.  Nothing mattered except the good deals I was getting on my boots.  And I justified it by the fact that some people spend a few hundred dollars on one pair, while I was getting several pairs at $50 or less per pair.  That makes sense, right?

We really should have gone to Army & Navy first.  If we had, I would have bought less at the shoe sale in Burnaby.  Or probably not even have gone to it.  But I was informed about it by friends and so I attended the shopping event at Gizeh Shriners Hall.  At first, I was complaining about the lack of size 8’s.  But then I proceeded to locate every size 8 I possibly could.  Let’s just say, these were not my proudest moments.  Saturday was an expensive day.

shoes

Shoes at the Burnaby shoe sale

But yes.  I am cut off.  No more footwear.  Unless it’s socks.  I’m always in need of more socks.  And that’s not an obsession, that’s just a necessity, since I’m constantly losing pairs every time I do laundry.  And I don’t think anyone ever went into debt from buying too many socks.  Although watch me somehow be the first.  But I’m not in debt and I will pay my Visa bill on time and I will refrain from buying anymore shoes or boots for a while.  I could probably get away with not buying anymore ever.  But for now I’ll just see how long I can wait.  Anyone want to place any bets on how long I can go without buying new shoes?  I promise if I win the bet, I won’t spend the money on footwear.

I went to a shoe sale and didn’t go crazy

So on Friday after work, I went to the Designer Shoe Warehouse Sale by Petite Feet at the Richmond Olympic Oval.  I know, it was definitely too soon for me, as Army & Navy was only a couple months ago.  But whatever.  I had to at least check it out.  I’m sure people would think there was something wrong if hadn’t gone.

I thought the location of the sale was funny.  I mean it was right next to a basketball court.  Where a bunch of people were playing basketball.  I’m not sure who got more of a workout, the basketball players, or the shoe shoppers.

There seemed to be a lot of size 6s.  Everywhere.  I swear that was half the sale.  I guess because those are the sample sizes.  That’s always so upsetting.  I guess it was called the “Petite Feet” sale for a reason.

Flashbacks from the Army & Navy Shoe Sale hit me as I saw the racks.  But it really wasn’t as exciting at all.  I found the size 8 racks and looked through my options.  None of the shoes had prices on them.  And then I saw the signs which indicated them and I wasn’t too impressed.  The sandals were $50.  And then it was $60 for other ones, flats I think?  And then even higher prices for other heels and whatnot.  Boots were over $100.  At Army & Navy, each pair of shoes I bought was $39.99 or less.

You could get a free pair, but only if you bought 4 pairs first.  Forget that.  I was thinking maybe I could try and pool together some pairs with my friends and then get a free pair between us and then split it somehow.  But that idea was too complicated to pull off.

I saw these shoes on the rack and recognized them immediately.  I bought them at Army & Navy.  And here they were again, except this time more expensive.  This upset me, but also made me happier about my Army & Navy purchases.  It was funny seeing all these women scramble over the designer shoes at the Oval, when I had already found much better deals.

I threw a couple pairs in my basket and then walked over to a table.  A table filled with walking shoes.  I found this intriguing.  Mostly because they were only $15.  Now they were speaking my language.  They were interesting too.  They had these built in Dr. Scholl’s insoles.  They were all pretty much the same, but came in different colours.  I tried to see which ones looked the least like old people walking shoes.

I looked up from where I was and could see in the distance, a bunch of people on exercise equipment, like stationary bikes and treadmills working out.  I bet that from a distance, they could see a bunch of people trying on shoes.

I found a chair next to the table and sat down with my basket.  I looked down at it and thought it was rather sad.  I mean I barely even needed the basket.  Which is funny, since at the last shoe sale I attended, I was lugging around two full ones.  I guess this is a good thing?  This means that I’ve improved, right?

I didn’t really need anymore heels.  I needed something comfortable.  And built in insoles just seemed so cool.  I just needed to figure out what colour to get.  Normally I’d go with blue, but I already own a pair of blue running shoes.

I tried on other shoes anyway.  I mean you never until you try them, right?  I liked these Franco Sarto flats.  But they were $50.  Well, $40 with the VIP coupon.  Because you know I printed the shit out of those coupons.  Apparently I didn’t have to, because you get a $10 coupon just for checking into the sale on Facebook.  But I don’t check into places on Facebook anymore.

I also liked this pair of flats.  But again, did I want to pay $60, or more, or however much they cost?  I was also worried that the jewel part on the top might break off somehow.  Even if they seemed secure, count on me to find a way to cause them to break.  Because I tend to not take that great care of my things.  I love shoes, but I don’t always treat them very well.

These gold shoes were nice.  But not for my feet.  I think my toes are wider than the average person’s toes.  And as a result, pointy or narrow shoes don’t seem to work for me.  My toes were coming off of the shoe.  There was just not enough shoe there for them to rest on.  Such a pity.

I think these were Naturalizers.  So they were comfortable.  But they didn’t look good enough.  It’s also really awkward trying on shoes when they’re attached by that string thing that keeps them together.  I mean okay, it prevents you from misplacing one of the pair.  But it’s also quite annoying.  I often snap the string, accidentally on purpose, so that I can walk in the shoes properly to test them out.

These shoes were on a $30 table.  But they didn’t fit very well.  I was beginning to lose hope.  On one hand, I was upset that I’d chosen to come there and that the selection wasn’t as great as it could have been.  But on the other hand, I was grateful that I wouldn’t be wasting a lot of money there.

I kind of liked these flats.  But they were really flat.  Which yes, flats tend to be.  But I mean after a while of wearing them, I’m sure my feet would be sore from lack of support.  I didn’t really need another pair of black flats.  But the grey flower design sort of set these apart.

I sort of had my own little shoes trying on station set up at the end of the table.  It was quite efficient.  I’m really glad I found that chair and was able to claim it as my own before someone else was able to.

My friend tried on this crazy pair of heels with spikes on the back.  These killer shoes could do some serious damage.  I think they were one of the most expensive pairs there.  I guess because of the fact that they could easily double as a weapon?

In terms of support, walking shoes were the way to go.  I mean it made sense, I was at the Oval and next to a basketball court after all.  Not that I would be playing any sports or anything.  The problem with these was that, however comfortable, they were just too darn loose, even when I tightened the laces.

I opted for trying on a size 7.5 instead of an 8, which normally would be unheard of.  But for some reason, they did fit me better.  I decided to go with the purple ones.  There was also pink and red, but purple seemed best.  And the ones that were just plain white reminded me too much of old people walking shoes.

I tried on the flats again, this time with socks on.  Yes, I am aware of how ridiculous it looks.  But they were just so much more comfortable that way.  If I were able to pull off this look, I would.  But I guess after that it would be a slippery slope towards socks and sandals.

The socks weren’t as bad with the black flats.  But I guess it still just didn’t work.  Perhaps if I wore a different pair of socks?  Like plain black ones?  But then where’s the fun in that? I guess if I feel the need to wear sock with the flats, then it just wasn’t meant to be.

In the end, I spent $15.  Well $16 something after tax.  Unfortunately, the VIP coupon did not work towards the walking shoes.  I guess that’s because they were so cheap already.  What a waste that I printed out three coupons.  Oh well.  I like how they bag the shoes in plastic.  It’s as if they’re bagging them as evidence.  Evidence that you’ve spent money that you probably shouldn’t have.

I went back to Army & Navy

Don’t judge me.  Actually you know what, go ahead and judge me.  I don’t care.  I’m used to it.  Today’s reason for judgement, or one of them at least is due to the fact that I went back to Army & Navy.  Yes.  What?  I waited a week before going back.  That’s something, right?

I bought a pair of socks

It’s okay though, I didn’t just randomly go for the hell of it, I went with my friend to help her find a pair of shoes.  She’s a size 5, so it’s often hard for her to find a size that is small enough.  I couldn’t remember if there was a size 5 section at Army & Navy or not.  When I went last week, I just went straight for the 8s and never looked back.  But yes, they do indeed have a size 5 section.  It’s just very small.  Like half a rack.  But there seemed to be a good selection of heels on it, and they seemed to be pretty cheap too.  We had hope that we would find her a pair yet.

Running shoes, so I can pretend to be athletic

And there was me, still lurking around the size 8s, wondering if maybe it might be okay for me to purchase just one more pair.  I tried on these pair of Marc Fisher flats that I had also tried on the first time around.  I still kind of wanted them.  But I didn’t want to buy yet another $40 pair of shoes.  People already think I’m crazy.  Not that I care.  And so I sort of walked around in them for a bit while we shopped, hoping that would help me to decide.  Flats were missing from my first round of purchases. How could I go without a new pair of flats?

These Reeboks have some good support

I found myself wanting to try on boots and runners.  But I found myself without a pair of socks with which to do so.  And so I bought a pair of socks there solely for that purpose.  I was getting disappointed with the runners, and then I noticed a pair higher up in the shelf.  They were Easy Tone Reeboks.  And they were comfortable.  Throw them together with a dry fit tshirt and some spandex and I’ll look like I’m actually sporty.  No one needs to know how long it’s been since I’ve actually been to the gym.

A pair of short, black boots

I was also debating about a pair of short boots.  Rain boots were out of the question.  There were no pairs quite like my red ones.  I was hoping there would be, as my red ones are a little beat up from wear, but alas, nothing was good enough.  But these short leather boots were pretty classy.  And comfortable.  Comfort was key for them.  But since they were boots, they weren’t part of the $40 and under shoe sale.  Though they were still on sale, just not as cheap as the shoes.  I debated about them for a while, and eventually I caved and decided I would buy them for my mom as a Mother’s Day present.  And then you know, borrow them occasionally, since we conveniently have the same shoe size.  Hey, she borrows my shoes all the time, so it’s okay.

The boots even came in a box, how classy

And as for my friend?  She tried on the shoes.  But alas, came out of it with nothing.  I think I was more upset than she was about this.  Partly because having her buy something would make me feel better and more able to justify my own purchases.  By comparison to her, I just looked like I had a problem and no self control.  It was kind of upsetting.  She came very very close to at least buying a bag, but then ultimately decided against it.  Very disappointing.

Dr. Scholl’s insoles to add more comfort to my shoes

And so I ended up purchasing a pair of socks, a pair of runners, a pair of boots, and a pair of insoles.  Dr. Scholl’s for her comfort insoles.  I wanted these tana brand insoles that I liked that were cheaper but they only had them in size 5.  Go figure.  At least this time my purchases were more practical than last time.  And it doesn’t seem bad or unreasonable at all by comparison to buying eleven pairs of shoes.  So whatever, I’ll just take it as a sign that I’m improving.

I got to walk around with a considerably smaller bag this time

I would like to say that that was the end of my shopping day today.  But it wasn’t.  But that’s all I spent at Army & Navy.  Which is good.  The walk back to Waterfront was so much better this time.  It wasn’t raining as hard, I was with a friend, I didn’t look like a freak. All good things.  My shopping bag was considerably smaller.  And there was only one this time.  Well, technically two, but that’s cause she double bagged it for me so it wouldn’t break.  How very thoughtful of her.

She tied a knot in the bag to ensure my purchases would be safe

As for those flats, I did not end up buying them.  After walking in the store for a bit, I realized they would cut into the side of my foot slightly.  Which my friend assured me was a bad thing.  And so I reluctantly put them back on the shelf and we parted ways.  I know I have other flats, but I was hoping to get a new pair.  But there are still four more days left for the sale.  So who knows what could happen…

Army & Navy Shoe Sale, Part 2: Crazy

Read Part 1 if you haven’t already.  

The shoppers started rushing in at 8am

As 8 am hit, the sale became open to the public.  The public referring to all the crazy people who had been standing outside, lined up in the rain.  They ran in.  Literally, I saw people running in.  As if they were running to catch a bus or a train or a plane that a loved one was on and they had to stop them to tell them they love them before they leave forever and it’s too late like in one of those romantic comedies.  Yes.  Lucky for me, I was sitting down at that point, so I didn’t get knocked over or stepped on or anything.

The place filled up pretty quickly

I looked around and I could see people everywhere.  It wasn’t safe for me to get up anymore.  If I were to wander away from my seat by just a few steps, I would lose my seat, or worse, my shoes.  Not gonna happen.  It’s okay, looking at the shoes in front of a mirror was not essential.  I could manage.  It was okay.  Everything was fine.  Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.

I was surrounded by people

I had a problem.  I couldn’t narrow it down.  And as I looked around at all the crazy people around me, I realized something.  I was crazy.  And I hate to admit it, but I think I might have been the craziest person there.  Why?  While everyone else had one basket full of shoes, I had two.  And people commented on it too.  There were two nice ladies I was seated next to who I began to talk to.  And one of them looked at my full baskets and asked “Do you have a limit at all?”.  And I said “Yeah, sort of..”.  And she said “What’s your limit?”.  And I said “I don’t know…”.

There were too many shoes to choose from

We had to be careful too.  Because at this point, employees were walking around, picking up and taking away shoes and baskets that had been discarded.  They would ask if you were done with your stuff, and then take what you didn’t want.  But when approached, everyone becomes so protective of their shoes, as if the employee is a predator threatening to take away their baby.  You don’t want your shoes taken away while you’re still deciding.  There’s no way you’ll be able to find them again.  I would hate to have to work there during the sale.  It must suck.  A lot.

How could I possibly decide?

There were also cameras everywhere.  Like a film crew, recording everything.  I don’t know where exactly that footage will end up.  But I hope the part where I was looking bewildered, trying to spot something on a shelf, then realizing the guy had the camera aimed right at my face is edited out.  Because I know that will not be flattering in the least.  They were also going around interviewing people about the sale.  I overheard this girl ask some women if they would mind being interviewed but they declined.  Because they didn’t want to be distracted from their shoes, no doubt.  I might have done it, had they asked me.  But then didn’t.  All the better, as it gave me more time to focus on my shoes.

I can't believe I filled 2 whole baskets of shoes

I tried them all on, weeded out a few, but still had far too many.  I could eliminate those that were uncomfortable and might cut into the back of my feet or squish my toes.  But somehow there were still a lot that I loved.  This sort of thing never happens.  At least not to this extent.  I can see why people go early.  They get in new shipments everyday, but still, if I went tomorrow instead of today, I wouldn’t have been able to find as many good pairs as I did.

My version of a condensed basket of shoes

We sort of had this sense of camaraderie going, those us sitting in that space with our shoes.  Comparing, saying “Oh you have to get those ones!” and “Those are so cute!” and “Are there any more of those ones?”.  And even offering up some pair every so often.  I had some that were maybes or that I’d discarded, so I let another woman try them on.  And this woman let me try on these boots that she wasn’t sure about, just in case she didn’t buy them.

I lined them all up. I couldn't narrow it down any more than this.

At one point, the woman beside me asked if she could try on a pair of shoes in my basket.  I said, “Oh, those are my shoes,” and she said “But can I just try them?”.  And I had to explain to her that by “my shoes”, I didn’t mean I was going to buy them, I meant that I owned them, that they were the ones I walked into the store with that morning.  I knew that was bound to happen.  I overheard another girl say “My fear is that someone’s going to take the shoes I came in with“.  You and me both, sister.

I carried them to the checkout like this

A little later, I had managed to condense everything into one basket.  I told myself that was my limit.  Whatever I could fit into one basket.  Even if that basket was overflowing, apparently.  At one point I just sort of sat there, staring at them.  I knew I was going to buy them all.  I thought about taking them out and trying on each pair again, just to make sure.  But I knew there was no point.  Like it or not, it was going to happen.

With the shoes on the counter, there was no turning back

So I made my way over to the checkout.  It was now or never.  I felt judgement was upon me, as others had just a few pairs they were holding.  I had eleven.  Yes, eleven.  I just counted them again to make sure I got that right.  They advertise the sale as each pair being under $40.  So naturally, I picked up all the pairs that were $39.99.  I showed some hesitancy at the counter, but I gave in.  At least I had the $100 gift card.  I was hoping the girl might have given me the $500 by mistake, but sadly she did not.  Even with the $100 gift card, I probably still spent more than a lot of people there.  Let’s just say my total was under $500.

My 2 giant bags full of shoes

And so I was handed two large bags full of shoes, and sent on my merry way, filled with shame, excitement, happiness, and regret.  It was a confusing mix of emotions.  A shoe sale can do that to a girl.

Stay tuned for Part 3…

Army & Navy Shoe Sale, Part 1: VIP

I think this will be a 3 parter.  Because it’s all too much for just one blog post and I don’t want to overwhelm you.  Well, I guess I don’t really know for sure how many parts this will end up having but 3 sounds like a good number.  Let’s just start with one for now and see where that takes us…

Decided on these shoes to get me through the rain & to the sale

So I woke up this morning and got out of bed at 5:39 am.  Why?  Because I needed to be at the shoe sale by 7:30, so I could get first dibs on shoes.  I got all my stuff together, decided on wearing my reliable flats, and grabbed a granola bar before I headed out the door, just in case I needed sustenance while making my quest.  Caught the bus at 6:22 am and I was off on my way.

You’ll believe what’s in store once you see it

When I got there, I didn’t see a line, and then I realized you had to go to the other entrance.  So I went around and saw all the people waiting.  And then I walked through the dark alley way, because that’s where I was supposed to wait for the VIP entrance.  I was early.  It was 7:10.  I had to wait another 20 minutes for the person to show up.  A couple other girls joined me, cause they had VIP access as well.  Luckily, we were let in at around 7:15, so we didn’t have to wait for too long.

I waited in the alley to be let inside

We headed downstairs.  There were actually quite a few people there who got to be at the sale early.  There must have been a lot of ways to get VIP access.  I guess I just wasn’t aware of what all those were.  I headed for the size 8 shoe racks, and began my quest.  I should have been quicker.  I mean, I wanted to try on every shoe that I possibly could.  There was no looking at prices, there was trying it on, seeing if it fit and looked good, and then tossing it in my basket.  That’s how it’s done.  Time to deliberate and eliminate came later.  Much later.

I headed straight for the size 8 shoe racks

As I checked the time, I realized I should hurry up.  I was running out of time before the sale actually started.  Once 8 am hit, the hoards of people would come rushing in, disturbing the relative peace that we now had.  Everyone was nice.  I got compliments on my shirt and everything seemed to be okay.  I overheard another woman say “This is what heaven is like”.

My favourite t-shirt

All too soon, I realized that I had a problem.  While other women had a few pairs of shoes in their baskets, mine was full.  Like, full to the point of overflowing.  So I got a second basket.  And before long, that one was pretty full as well.  To the point where it was difficult to carry them around.  Yeah.  But what could I do?  I wasn’t done.  I needed to scope out more.  Before the other people came in.  What was I supposed to do?

I started trying on shoes

I also got to meet Heather, the girl who won the Facebook contest.  We both got to collect our gift cards there.  I congratulated her.  You know, instead of being like “Bitch, that prize should have been mine!”.  Because I’m not a mean person.  And she was really nice too, it’s always good when a nice person wins.  Apparently she was an elementary school teacher, and all the kids had Facebook, and she had a great support network.  Hence all the votes.  That, and her photo being professional and gorgeous.  I’ve always said I didn’t want to go into teaching, but now I have at least one reason.  Multiple votes for Facebook contests.  I’ll keep that in mind.

It was nice to have space to try them on and walk around

And so I continued my venture, and when I finally had too much in both my baskets, I made my way over to get a seat and figure it all out.  I tried them on, compared, debated, trying to make a decision.  I overheard someone saying they wanted to finish and go before 8 am, before all the crazies came in.  It was true.  The crazies were not those of us who were there super early before the sale.  We were the sane ones, the ones who were smart enough to find a way to get VIP access so that we didn’t have to wait in line.  The crazies were the ones who would line up even earlier and wait in the rain.

They were all so pretty

As I sat there trying on my shoes, I realized there was no way I could possibly be done by 8.  It wasn’t going to happen.  Maybe if they had let me start at 6 am, then I could have.  If ever there’s an option to start at 6 am, I would totally do it.  Sure it’s early, but it’s worth it to avoid the crowds.  I think I hate crowds more than I hate mornings.  I still can’t believe I was up before 6 am.  I feel bad for people who have to do that on a daily basis for work.  I never could.  But imagine getting to go shoe shopping every morning instead.  If that’s not an incentive, then I don’t know what is.

I made my way through the size 8 section, scoping out all the racks

And all too soon, it was 8 am.  And the madness continued and began to escalate further…

Stay tuned for Part 2…