Three generations of shoes

Shoes changed Cinderella’s life but will they change yours?  Probably not, but they might change your attitude and that can be a good thing. 

There is a surprising amount of literature on the connection between women and their footwear. And then there are the books—one by Susan Reynolds named Change Your Shoes, Change Your Life.  An article about “Shoe Obsession” from Psychology Tomorrow claims that “Shoes are as much a part of everyday fantasies as sex might be, though they are more Cinderella than erotic. That’s because buying them taps into our most primitive instincts akin to what our earliest ancestors felt; the hunt, the chase, the kill. By simply even thinking about shoe shopping, adrenaline starts to course through my body.”

Uh, I wouldn’t go quite that far.  However, for whatever reason, I have liked shoes for as long as I can remember.  My husband is mystified by the number of pairs in my closet.  Fortunately, he doesn’t know about the storage boxes of shoes under the guest room bed.  

“You really can accurately judge a person by their shoes.”  Another author claims that “agreeable people tend to wear practical and functional shoes,” while “ankle boots are more the choice of more aggressive folks.”  I happen to own three pairs of ankle boots, and that slur really ticks me off.

When the pandemic lockdown began in California, I wore street clothes and my flat but stylish footwear every day, as if I had somewhere to go. It wasn’t much of a drop in standards to switch to soft, black wool “house shoes” with a wide but somewhat elevated heel.  Then around the sixth or seventh month of being home, I succumbed to backless “slides,” a charitable word for slippers.  My mood was so low that I would even wear that same depressing footwear to the grocery store, along with jeans and a baggy, long shirt topped by short down vest.  This is a “look” I would have ridiculed pre-COVID but at that point, I didn’t care. 

Now, with the arrival of spring and armed with two vaccinations and a score of vaccinated friends, it is time for a change.  To date I have replaced only the depressing slides for glittery “house shoes” but my daughter and granddaughter have made some bolder choices (see above).  

A change in attitude deserves a change of shoes.  And now, if only we could get to a change in latitude.




About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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