Sunday, February 26, 2006


After last night’s alarming and untimely tears, and much of the night spent tossing and turning, I decided to take myself shoe shopping today. What worries me about the tears is that this is fast becoming my reponse to guys I like followed by withdrawal and that can’t be healthy. (Neither is obsessive shoe shopping but who am I to go against the wisdom of generations of women everywhere.) So, shoe therapy it was. Besides, I figured the only place where T wouldn’t creep into my thoughts unbidden had to be amidst a sea of girly pink shoes all waiting to be co-stars in the filmstrip of my life.

At the mall I made an unplanned detour to my favorite day salon. It’s been a while since I have been there and occasional pampering is a little piece of heaven that no girl, woman or child, no matter how dazed or confused, should deny herself. Sitting there, flipping through a back issue of Glamour while my friendly neighborhood pedicurist caught me up on her life (bloody Pedro! He has been fooling around on her. I was about to tell her exactly what she could do to his genitals when I remembered my own serious lack of coolness in similar situation and decided to shut up and play empathetic listener) I felt my worries - mom, work, men - falling away from me like loose clothes at the end of the day. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness clearly never got a pedicure.

After I had paid and tipped generously (still cheaper than a shrink’s couch) I took myself over to Nordstrom. This must be how a recovering alcoholic feels when he suddenly walks into the middle of a Harvard frat party. Other than the knee-high Spanish Harlem boots in Chicago last week I haven’t had any fashion indulgences in a while. Guess my self-imposed exile extended beyond men. Not that I was ever in the habit of overshooting my means but I wasn’t quite the minimalist I seem to have become lately either. It was like coming home.

Several hours later, during which two very charming young men in Nordstrom’s dark navy suits slipped shoes on and off my feet, I felt even better. There is something about a cute guy in a suit at your feet that is very modern day Cinderella. Or maybe it is the ego boost, the power trip. I have always fancied I would look good with a 6 ft Royal Bengal tiger purring away at my feet. (Seriously. At age 10 when other girls were begging their parents for ponies and puppies I was demanding to know why I couldn’t have my own tiger as a pet.)

Later as I was threading my way back to the main entrance, newly pedicured toes encased in a new pair of shoes, my old pair snuggling up to the fresh new meat in the large shopping bag, I looked around. Women of all shapes and sizes going in and out of stores, some with bags, some without. I wondered if shopping, like cutting or alcohol binges, was not a form of escapism. Shoes, even though they sometimes squeeze your toes to within an inch of their life, rub the skin off your heels and give you painful blisters, do not let you down the way people do. And as any cutter can tell you, physical pain is often easier to bear than its emotional twin.

But then again, sometimes shoes are just shoes. They’re pretty, fun and the right ones can make you feel instantly glamorous. Like my new babies below.

(Photos courtesy, except for the green ones - they didn't have them online so this is the closest match from another site.)


Blogger Bent out of shape said...

I don't know much about you besides what I've read here. I stumbled on your blog just yesterday morning, and didn't stop till I'd read every single one of your posts... You are able to express a lot of emotions that I feel, and if I could write half as well as you, I'd be a healther person (I'd be able to vent more)... I'll stop now because I don't really know what else to say, and I fear that I might be coming across as some sort of psycho chick... Thank you though... for sharing. Really.

2/26/2006 10:42 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I think a lot of women shop their worries away. My wife has to have her shopping time when she gets stressed or depressed. She always comes back in a good mood. I guess it works for me too. When I bring home a new power tool all my cares suddenly dissapear. Oddly, a new pair of shoes doesn't do it for me.... but then the ones I get never look quite as good as yours. :)

2/27/2006 4:04 AM  
Blogger cherchezlafemme said...

Bent out of, that is so sweet. Thank you. I am glad you found something to like here.

Tim, So it's not just women? That's good to know.

2/27/2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute shoes. I like your taste. How much did tey set you back?

2/27/2006 1:03 PM  
Blogger Reviewer "Devil" Extraordinaire said...

My ex-roommate was a shoe fanatic. I have seen her shoe-buying trends vary based on her moods.

For me its different. When I am having one of those days, I like to go buy fresh ingredients and cook with usually Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone or Miles Davis offering the background score.

When I say cook, I mean a full fledged meal. Last time I did that I made grilled cajun shrimp, pan seared catfish with sauteed spinach and pine nuts. And for dessert, grilled pears with icecream and a raspberry sauce.

I guess, all of us have our indulgences. The key is maintaining a healthy (pun intended) balance. I just made sure I watched my meals after I consumed this gazillion calorie meal.


2/27/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

OK, the truth now. Did you really go to buy the shoes or did you to Nordstrom to have the men take the shoes on and off your feet?

2/27/2006 6:20 PM  
Blogger cherchezlafemme said...

Neil, you got me. It was definitely the latter. The shoes were a bonus.

Reviewer, so you cook, dress well and have good taste in movies? What's the catch? J/K.

Anonymous, two of the shoes (the strappy wedge one and the green thongs) were around $50 and the other two were $90-ish. I can't wait to wear them all.

2/27/2006 9:03 PM  
Blogger Reviewer "Devil" Extraordinaire said...

The catch is, there is no catch (except me, of course :) ) Most expect one. Ummm...maybe they felt let down ? :)

Oooooh...I forgot to mention. The green shoes are bloody beautiful. Very spring-ish. Paired with a nice bohemian white skirt, it would be a serious WMD - Weapon of Mass Distraction.

2/27/2006 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the brown kitten heels. Adorable! The green ones are pretty too.

3/03/2006 12:35 AM  
Blogger Hyperion said...

When I first started reading I didn't think I would relate to your post, but your pizzicato use of words warmed my heart. "...amidst a sea of girly pink shoes all waiting to be co-stars in the filmstrip of my life."

That is such a great sentence. I have to steal it for a story, but I'll name the character after you. Good show.

3/03/2006 4:31 AM  
Anonymous pia said...

Hi Neil sent me sort of. Have never been to a Nordstorms, but do love shoes, and live in a part of New York where shoe stores are as plentiful as banks

Really enjoyed your writing.

3/03/2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger la diabla said...

You described the experience so well, Congratulations! Shopping is not just the shoes or the pedicure. It's so much more......ahhh the thought of a man in a suit touching my feet has suddenly inspired me to follow in your shoes, to the mall!
Great Post!

3/04/2006 8:26 AM  

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