I have a lot of shoes.
But the weird thing is that I don’t wear a lot of shoes.
I came to this conclusion a few months back while moving from my old house in Galway to a new apartment in the city centre. I felt like this:
Until I realized just how much shit can accumulate in 10 months.
Without access to a car, boxes, or relatives who “owe you one,” moving was really difficult. But what I did have was …
Tools in hand, I tricked a friend into making the 15-minute walk with me over and over and over again … in the rain. So we commenced filling up my two suitcases in the old house, then dragging them across town and up the 2 flights of stairs to the new apartment.
This friend became so enraged by the experience of being seen lugging a huge, rainbow-polka-dotted suitcase through the densely populated city centre over and over again, that he snapped and demanded to know what was in the suitcase in his charge!
“Shoes,” I said simply.
“This whole suitcase is shoes!?” Angry Friend screeched.
I was shocked at his shock. I mean, yeah, it wasn’t regulation carry-on size, but didn’t everyone have that many pairs of shoes?
“And I’ve only ever seen you wear those!” A.F. exclaimed, pointing to my red-sneakered feet.
It was true.
My collection of shoes was due more to my inability to throw things away than actually liking shoes.
I also had a problem with liking the way a pair of shoes looked as they stood on a shelf, but not how they looked on my stumpy feet. And I also had this problem of not throwing away “those damn cowboy boots” that “are falling apart, Annie!”*
*Direct quote, courtesy of Jane Cosby.
So what was to be done?
“I better see you wear every pair of these shoes before the summer is over!” A.F. declared.
A good, old-fashioned double-dog dare. No matter how old we get, the dares are still there. We may not use the same words we did at 10 years old, but the double-dog dare is understood.
I double-dog dare you, Annie, to wear every pair of shoes you own before the summer is over! Or else!
So here we are, in the childhood of August, and I’ve taken to throwing away shoes to avoid losing this challenge.
First to go:
Of course, I also had to step up my shoe-wearing game.
Miraculously, this use-or-lose spirit started branching out to other facets of my concrete life.
Socks: My collection has been halved.
Purses: You only need one, right?
Tights: You’re all a bunch of holes, anyway!
Make up: I don’t think I’ve ever touched lipstick.
Dresses: You’re next!
So what’s the moral of my trashing story? Don’t pack all your shoes when you move to Ireland!
And I finally threw away the cowboy boots, Mom! Just give me some time to come to terms with it.