In which I attempt to donate some shoes.

If you’re like me, every once in a while, your closet needs a little kick in the booty. And by “kick in the booty,” I mean “exhaustive cleaning because you never get rid of anything and probably don’t need that sweater you bought secondhand in 1991.”

I recently cleaned out my shoes. Now, keep in mind that I have worn the same size shoe since fifth grade. And, my mom and I wear the same size. And I figure everything comes back, right?

However, even I couldn’t deny the need to share the love. And by “love,” I mean “size 6.5 shoes that I probably bought at DSW because they were on clearance and loved briefly but haven’t worn in the four years I’ve worked from home.”

I had the best of intentions. I really did.

But I caught myself having these internal dialogues. Words and phrases that would sound ludicrous if spoken aloud, but that made perfect sense rolling around in my brain.

I should also mention that I did said shoe purge while wildly hormonal. I do not recommend this.

Here’s a sample of my thought process:

  • I know the heels of these shoes have literally disintegrated into dust, but I was wearing them when I walked home from a fraternity party during a thundersnow that dumped 19 inches of snow on campus overnight in January 1995. My friend Soup and I stopped to eat snow in the Lambda Chi parking lot. I couldn’t possibly get rid of these shoes.
  • Should I really get rid of the shoes I wore to the closing of my first house? Probably not.
  • I wore those cork wedges on a date with Mr. I Want You To Want Me and I stepped on his foot. All things considered, I probably should have stomped on his foot. How could I get rid of such serviceable shoes?
  • I wore those shoes with my first – and, to date, only – real, grown-up suit. Sure, I bought them in 1999 and the suit has long gone on to the women’s clothing version of a nice farm with plenty of room to run. But these shoes were so cool and everything comes back, even a square toed, high-heeled mary jane, right?

For what it’s worth, I kept the suede pumps my mom bought in 1990 because they are on the verge of being of a “yeah, that retro style is in, but I have the real deal” ilk. And, of course, there are the stalwarts that will never be purged – my penny loafers, the shoes my grandma wore to my parents wedding (what? they fit me, and I have her dress, too), and the several many black pumps because, well, black pumps never go out of style. Even though I never wear heels anymore. Because I have kind of given up on being fancy. And my feet hurt.

Maybe cleaning out my shoes while mega hormonal wasn’t the best choice. However, I was able to gift several pairs of shoes to a friend who literally squealed with delight. And I made more room in my closet for the comfort footwear that now seems to be my jam.

It all feels very, “To everything, there is a season.” Which makes me miss my leopard-print Danskos. Autumn? I eagerly await you!

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  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) August 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    You have leopard print Danskos? My feet envy your feet!
    I'm not sure if I should now purge old shoes from my closet or hang onto them for a time when they come back in style… wait. I know the answer. I will never wear them again because I have old lady feet and a FULF. Maybe I will purge them next year?
    But mostly I just lost myself in your link to 7 years ago and am so happy that Your Guy is Mr. Guy with Two Dogs. (For some unknown reason I wasn't reading you in 2009 and totally missed those stories. I might have just spent an hour reading up on your blog history.)

  • Reply Becky August 26, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Wait, I'm not supposed to wear my leopard print danskos in summer? What if it's only the patent leather pair, not the furry pair, is that acceptable? (Yes, I own TWO pairs of leopard print danskos. No, I don't have a shoe problem.)

    My husband keeps me on a no-new-net-gain rule with shoes – I can get a new pair if I get rid of an old pair, unless of course, I can prove there is a true need for the new pair – like new cowgirl boots. Those are always allowed, although there may be a small heart attack when he opens the credit card bill to see exactly how much I paid for them. Good boots are an investment I always tell him.

    He also says he can tell when I've tried to sneak a new pair of shoes into the house – apparently I get a certain happy glow that gives it away. There really is no happy like new shoe happy though.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin August 26, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Isn't it funny how that purge rehashes your past? Happens to me, too.
    Glad you were able to part with a few…I've never regretted unloading shoes. And I find the older I get, the more "comfort" appeals to me, so getting rid of strappy "wedding" shoes and stuff becomes easier. But SWEATERS are to me what SHOES are to you, I think;)

  • Reply Becky Brown August 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I love you guys.

    Karen, I had to google FULF. I have a FURF! And I'm so delighted you fell into a black hole on my blog. 2009 was an interesting blog year for sure.

    Becky, in no way do you have a shoe problem, and you can totally wear your leopard print Danskos in the summer! But I have to wear mine with socks and feel like an idiot wearing the sock/Dansko combo with skirts b/c I can't wear jeans in the summer b/c it's like the FRIGGIN' FACE OF THE SUN where I live. So, I "save" the Danskos for cooler weather. However, I am now living vicariously through you. And yes, good boots are always a worthwhile investment.

    Green Girl, I'm glad it's not just me. And truthfully? If I lived in Wisconsin, my sweater stash would be YUGE. I'm sure that whatever sweaters you have are necessary and not at all the sign of a problem. A girl's gotta keep warm, right?

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) August 30, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Becky, I just googled FULF and I hope you took the 2nd hit, which should take you here:
    Because that first google hit went somewhere strange… something about getting naked at parties and I don't want to know what it is!

  • Reply Candy Adams August 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    OMG! I should have let you have a peek into my coat closet when you were here! But a girl living in Northern WI can't have too many coats, right? There is one or two that fit me several years ago that would be perfect for you……

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