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…

What shoes should I wear tomorrow?

So I’ve been talking about the Army & Navy Shoe Sale for a while now.  You’re probably sick of it.  But oh well.  There’s still more where those posts came from.  Seeing as it hasn’t even started yet.  So I didn’t win that contest on Facebook.  Heather from Surrey had over 400 votes.  She’s a lucky girl, lots of shoes and lots of friends.  But she deserved to win, her photo was pretty awesome.

I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t win a VIP party at the Roxy and $500 worth of shoes.  But I still win, because I got the second most votes.  So I still get VIP access for the sale & $100 towards shoes, which is pretty sweet.  I’m supposed to be there at 7:30 am.  Still figuring out the details.  Damn that’s early.  But I guess it’s worth it?  For first dibs on shoes?

What shoes would be best to wear to a shoe sale?

I need to figure out what shoes I should wear tomorrow.  I mean comfort trumps all in this case.  I read advice that you should wear flip flops, as they are easy to remove and then you can quickly try on other pairs.  But I feel like if I wear flip flops, I could easily lose one, or maybe both.  Plus someone might step on them, and what if I need to run?  Or at least fast walk, towards a shoe rack?  I feel like it might make for a dangerous situation.

So I’m thinking maybe runners?  Cause then I can move quickly and easily.  And I can wear a comfortable pair where I can slip them on and off without having to untie and retie the laces every time.  I’m thinking maybe a skate shoe style, so it doesn’t look like I’m going to the gym.  Not that it matters where it looks like I’m going.  But yeah.  The problem is, most of the shoes that I own like that are at least partly suede, and it’s going to be raining tomorrow.

So maybe just regular flats?  That I can slip on and off with ease?  Better than flip flops, because they’ll be less dangerous in a frenzy.  And my feet won’t get totally wet in the rain.  But then what if I want to try on boots or shoes that I would want to wear socks with?  Maybe I should just wear flats and then bring a pair of socks with me, just in case?

One would think that since it’s going to rain, I should wear my red rain boots.  But no.  Boots are not appropriate footwear when shoe shopping at a massive event.  Because I’ll have to carry them around with me as I try on shoes, or leave them aside as I make my way through the aisles.  Plus those boots, I’m actually afraid someone might steal or mistake for a current sale item.

Basically I guess I just need a good shoe that can get me there.  Once there, I’ll likely forget about what shoes I came there in.  But I don’t want someone to try on my shoes by mistake.  That’s happened to me before.  I will be gaining new pairs of shoes, but I don’t want to accidentally lose an old pair in the process.  When did shoe shopping become such an ordeal?

I suppose I will figure it out.  I should probably go to bed soon, seeing as I will have to be up super early tomorrow in order to make it down there before the sale starts.  But I probably won’t.  I’ll just be tired tomorrow.  Oh well.  The excitement and determination to find awesome shoes will give me the energy that I need to get past my sleep deprivation.  I may not know yet what shoes I’ll wear to the sale tomorrow, but I know for sure what shirt I’m going to wear.  It couldn’t get more perfect than this one…

The perfect shirt to wear to a legendary shoe sale

I love shoes

My simple, brown, low heeled shoes

So the Army & Navy Shoe Sale starts next Wednesday.  I didn’t realize it was so soon.  For some reason I thought it was in May, and then was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was early than I expected.  And then my mind started racing and trying to mentally prepare myself for what is to come.

These might be the only things I own that are plaid

I read a blog post where the writer said he at first thought that the term “legendary” was an exaggeration, and then realized how big a deal it actually was.  Legendary, that makes me thing of Barney on How I Met Your Mother.  I’ll admit that years ago, I would have thought the same thing.  And I would have laughed at those women who were obsessing over a shoe sale.  If you think about it, it does sound ridiculous.  Should I be ashamed right now?  Now that I’m one of them?

I love a good pair of high tops, even if they're pink

I first discovered this legendary event two years ago.  I went to the location downtown on 36 West Cordova Street.  But I didn’t go on the first day.  It goes on for several days, and they receive new stock every day.  There are plenty of shoes to go around.  So I never understood why people went crazy and HAD to be there first thing in the morning on the first day of the event.  I heard there was a woman who would have her personal assistant line up for her at 4:30 am, just so she could be the first one through the doors when they opened at 8:00 am.  That’s insane!  4:30??  I may love shoes, but that’s not something I’m willing to do.  And even if I had a personal assistant, I wouldn’t make her do it either.  Although I’m guessing she pays her personal assistant good money with demands like that.  Now I kind of wish I was her personal assistant…

These metallic heels were so comfortable I bought them in black as well

So yes, I went two years ago, and then again last year.  So the 63rd annual Army & Navy shoe sale will be my third.  Third time’s a charm, right?  I will admit that I can’t even remember how many shoes I bought each time.  And I may not have gone on the first day, but I did go multiple times.  Three times the first year, I think?  And twice the second?  Not 100% sure.  But I remember going with my friend the first time, and she was done and ready to go after finding one pair of shoes.  Yeah.  One.  Pair.  Of shoes.  Yeah, I don’t get it either.  And then I felt guilty for making her wait while I scrambled to find pairs and then spent forever deciding which ones to buy.  Cause no one wants to be that person who makes someone else wait.  So I learned my lesson.  My next trip there, I went alone.  And I had all the time I needed.  Some things you just have to do alone.  Can’t have anyone holding you back when you’re shoe shopping.

Can't go wrong with a pair of black sandals you can easily slip into

Last year, one thing I recall, as I was looking through the size 8 section, was a woman who came up to me with a pair of shoes and said “Can you try these on for me?”.  Because she wanted them for her daughter, who was also a size 8, and wanted to make sure they would be a good fit.  So I did, because I’m a nice person.  And they were a good fit.  They were comfortable and I told her so and she thanked me and took the shoes.  And then I thought, they were nice, and they fit well, now I want them…  I should have just told her they were terrible so that she would leave them behind.  Damn.

I think these are only pair of rain boots I've ever owned

Some people get VIP access to the shoe sale.  I’m not exactly sure what that entails, but I think you get to skip the line and then you have a personal shopper holding your shopping baskets for you?  Or something?  I don’t know.  But whatever it is, I want it.  They have contests on the radio, but I haven’t heard how to win those or when to call in.  I think I’m always listening at the wrong time.  But then I discovered that there’s a Facebook contest. Which is so more my style.  And so naturally, I entered.  I used a picture of my red rain boots that was taken the first time I wore them at SlutWalk Vancouver last year.

I even bought some running shoes for the gym

I wish the contest was based on how many pictures of shoes you bought you posted.  Cause I could definitely win that.  But it’s based on amount of votes, as these things usually are.  This is the link, if you want to see the picture and maybe cast a vote to get me one step closer to the sale.  Not only do you get VIP access, but you get a gift card to spend towards your purchases.  What’s better than shoes that are on sale?  Shoes that are free!  How great would that be?

They also have foot lotion & foot spray

So now I wait, and see if I can possibly win anything.  I wasn’t even sure if I was going to go on the first day or not, seeing as it will likely be complete chaos, and I don’t exactly do well with crowds, especially crazed, shoe obsessed crowds.  But I happen to have next Wednesday off.  And so I can go down there pretty much whenever I want.  4:30 am is out of the question.  Do I want to be there at 8:00 am?  Maybe.  Does VIP access include body guards?  That would helpful, I’m sure.  I need to decide what shoes to wear to the sale.  They’ll have to be comfortable, as I make my way through the crowds.  And not too fancy.  Don’t want someone to pick them up and try to buy them by mistake.

Me at the shoe sale 2 years ago, trying to make a decision