Thursday, August 11, 2005

Shoe ho. And FO.

I seriously think that I have to rename my blog "Shoe Whore." Since it's turning out that the posts about shoes may soon outnumber the posts about knitting. Last time I posted, I wrote about the flirty pink wedges with the ankle ties. Didn't get those, but before I tell you about that, let me share with you my experience at Shoe Nirvana, aka Last Call Neiman Marcus.

This is the outlet store where all the overstock and all the over-handled merchandise from seasons of yore go to live out their last days. Bright Prada handbags co-exist next to satin Philip Treacy hats, all brandishing deeply discounted prices. I walked in there thinking that all I needed was a new bra or two. Ha. I started out in the handbag department, fondling the Kate Spades. Out the corner of my eye, I saw the aisles of shoes beckoning, but I did my best to ignore it. No matter how much the discount is on very expensive shoes, they will still run you about $50.

But soon, I gave in to the siren song, and began to cruise the size 5 1/2/size 6 aisles.

At first, I didn't really think that there was anything really that fabulous there. But then I saw the Manolos. Or rather, one single beige lace Manolo shoe with an ankle tie, looking extremely lonely in its box. Cradling it reverently, I lifted it out and turned it over to look for the tag. You know how I complain about not being able to do the math? When it comes to clearance sales, the fog suddenly clears and I am miraculously able to do basic percentages. This tag indicated that the price would be, well, somewhere around $50.

I slipped it on my foot. I have never, EVER in my life had a Manolo Blahnik shoe on my little peasant foot before. As cliched as it sounds, yes. I did feel a bit Cinderella-ish, despite my bright orange cargo pants and black tank top.

Pretty soon, I was trying on all kinds of designer shoes. Just for the feeling. Just to see if all the fuss and Sex and the City hype had anything real behind it. And I just have to tell ya...for some of these shoes, it's true.

I paraded up and down in the aisle in all kinds of shoes to check them out in the mirror at the end. A pair of Miu Miu bronze ankle boots with kitten heels put a spring in my step that made me feel like I was walking down a catwalk. A pair of Ferragamo buttery suede flat loafers made me Like WASPY, jodphur-wearing, country manor-owning kind of rich. And the black satin Guccis. Oh my.

Let me tell you about these Guccis. Size 5 1/2, they hugged my feet in a way that made me feel like a workroom full of little magic shoe elves had chiseled them just for me. They were probably about 3 inches high, enough to pronounce the curve in my calves, but not enough to make me wobble. Black stretch satin held the shoe to my foot at the toes and across and around the heel. Damn. That shoe was so sexy that I could have eaten my own foot. Chipped pedicure and all. No joke. If it's possible to have a foot fetish for one's own feet, that shoe would have made it possible.

But, they were too expensive. Out of the question. The only shoe that I might have afforded were the Blahniks. Or, make that, the lone Blahnik. I searched, people. I looked up and down the aisles for the mate. I looked underneath the racks. I wandered, disconsolately, until it hit me. Perhaps they were $50 because they were selling the ONE SHOE. Is it possible? Because the mate was absolutely nowhere to be found. I left sad, shoeless (well, I was wearing my flip flops, so not exactly barefoot), but not crazy enough to pay $50 for one shoe.

I more than made up for it later, though. After scaling the heights of Mount Olympus, I came back down to earth and went back to Rack Room Shoes. I decided those ankle straps on the pink wedges would tear off after three wearings, and instead got two other wedge heels, one cork, the other rope. They are very cute, and they make me taller. I am not that hard to please, see?

In knitting, I am plugging away on the drop-stitch shrug from IK, but I spontaneously decided to try the One Skein Wonder with some Takhi Cotton Classic in black. I had two skeins left over from the Mud Flap Girl Tank (don't ask me how I miscalculated so badly), so I thought I would give Stephanie's shrug a whirl. I realized, though, that the pattern is written for heavy worsted. My Cotton Classic is really closer to DK weight. Oh, well, what did I have to lose, really? I knit it up on size 9 needles (the pattern calls for 8) so that I could make gauge, and well. It's kind of lacy. But still very cute! What a fun knit this was! (Apologies for the lack of detail in the picture. I would model it, but since I'm gifting it, I would rather not give it away with deodorant smudges in the armpits.)

I started it on Friday, worked on it a bit on Saturday, and then took it with me to Winedale, where we saw The Taming of the Shrew. Winedale is a lovely little complex of 19th century buildings owned by the University of Texas, and every summer, a group of students, sponsored by the English Department, put on a trio of Shakespeare plays in a barn that was built in 1894. We were only able to get seats in the back, so between looking down at my knitting, and craning my head around the posts to try and see the actors, it's a miracle I didn't get whiplash.

Here are the actors doing their pre-show warm-up, or prayer meeting, or whatever it is that they do to get psyched:

Anyway, the shrug got done, and I've decided to give it to my friend Alison, who is leaving this week on a grand adventure: she will be living in NYC for a year (or more) to write her dissertation. Can I tell you how jealous I am? I remind myself how poor I was while I lived there, and how crowded the subways were. But then. You know, you can always feed yourself for a couple of bucks with a slice or a hot dog, and walk to where you are going, and you will be in there in the magic and craziness of New York City. (Clearly, this diet is not recommended for those trying to control their high blood pressure. But if that's your problem, you probably shouldn't live in NY anyway.)


At 5:29 PM, Anonymous heather said...

You are a riot. I get a kick out of every one of your posts.

See? Blogging's fun.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I LOVE your shoe stories! How sad is that about the Manolos (or should I say, Manolo). You are a better person than I, because I would never have been able to leave those Guccis in the store. Or ANY of the handbags. LOL! The OSW is fun, isn't it? Now you need one for yourself!


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