What’s Hiding in Your Closet?

Many of us have skeletons in our closets; however, I never considered the possibility of being haunted by the soles of seasons past, sale racks present, and recycled trends future.

Before you argue that you wear all of the shoes you own, just stop: I said that too until I recently moved and discovered a veritable haunted house under my bed. You may not stash them under your bed, but you know what I’m talking about. They’re the shoes you shove to the back of your closet, stuff in random duffle bags, or in my case, hide under your bed.

As I navigated through the dust bunnies, I couldn’t believe some of the shoes I’d kept! There were the shoes I’d worn to high school formals with too many straps, clunky heels, and guaranteed to make you want to amputate a foot by the end of the night. I found a few pairs that I would normally say looked like granny shoes, except my Granny’s perfectly pedicured toes wouldn’t be caught dead in something that ugly. Lastly, there were some from my college days that had seen far too many frat parties and in need of a lifetime trip to the Betty Ford Clinic. The most embarrassing part is I just moved 3 years ago! Why I felt the need to schlep them along is beyond me: I should have been arrested for transporting unwanted goods across state lines.

I thought perhaps that it was just me, and maybe I have pack rat tendencies. That theory went out the window while I was watching my former roommate unpack her new apartment. I’ve heard her proclaim time and time again about how she hates clutter and doesn’t understand why people don’t cleanse their lives of unused “junk” more often. I can’t begin to express my utter shock when I saw her organizing her lovely shoes and there amidst Gucci, Pucci, and Dolce were some really interesting shoes. I almost hyperventilated in the middle of her walk-in closet. My favorites: the black platform Frankenstein loafers, the cowboy boot mules (I thought they went out with jeans that zipped up the back ankles), and then there were the pointy-toed loafers that she possibly stole from a greasy, vision-impaired “ladies man.” When asked what on earth she was thinking: “but they’re Donald Pliner and they were only $30”! Ugh, thinking of them makes me shudder.

So why is it we hold on to these soles that can do nothing but haunt us? Like my former roomie, do we keep them because they were a good bargain; a trophy of sorts to show our shopping prowess. Do we honestly want some of those styles to come back in fashion? Or, do we stash them away for story value? Sure, as awful as it was going through all those dust-riddled shoes, they did bring back some fond memories. I like to think that I’ve gotten to the point where I only buy shoes I really like (this could also be due to the fact that I happen to like pricey shoes and thus justify them as long term investments). However, I’m sure years from now I’ll be moving and I’ll still find shoes that I’ll be appalled I ever wore. I guess that’s how you know you’re a true shoe lover: no matter how ugly, some of them will always have a special place in your heart, under your bed, or in the back of your closet.


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February 2008
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