I stared into the open door watching the floor. A collage of rainbow colors stared back. They called to me, asking for me to just take try. They begged for me to take advantage of my open opportunity, to see if my tiny foot could fit into the elevated foot wear. Since her back was turned, busy putting on her face for the day, no one would be the wiser. One quick encounter would do no harm. It wouldn’t hurt anyone. Then my burning need would be satiated. I’d be satisfied.
Though unaware, my mother is truly to blame for my shoe addiction. In those early years she dangled those patent-leather, suede, open toe, strappy, colorful drugs in front of me. Causing a forceful attraction that at one point seemed uncontrollable, sending me on a decade long binge that never satisfied the craving, the need, the more. Tattooing the quote, “A girl can never have too many shoes” to my mind, spirit, and heart.
I waited anxiously. Counting down the years when I’d be old enough and my feet grew large enough to fit into her heels. The years ticked by slowly seeming to never quench the thirst for that glorious day. Finally sixth grade came and though I knew my mother would never agree that I was old enough, I believed my feet had finally measured up. True to routine, I sat on the edge of her bed staring into sea of colors. I grabbed hold of my favorite red, leather, closed toe, pump. I slipped my off my sock and let it drop to the bedroom floor. Slowly I inched my toes toward the opening trying to slide my foot into the spicy footwear. Toes in, it was time to push my heel down into the back. But I had much too much heel hanging over the back edge of the shoe. I pushed my foot in further, stretching my toes toward the front tip of the shoe. The millimeter of movement did me no good. My mother’s size six shoes only fit on a very small fraction of my foot. I sat with the red heel dangling off my big toe. Watching it swing back and forth against the back of my foot, disappointment filled my heart.
Many years later I now sit in the middle of my closet staring at boxes, bins, racks and piles. In my garage, my shed, office and bedroom floor festive footwear has taken over. The pretty, sexy, necessary, accessory has carved out its own plot in my fashion collection. This closet crack has left me wondering how I’ve fallen so far into such an addictive habit. Especially when there are much too many pairs that have never been worn, worn once, or will never be worn. Shoes that can’t be walked in or don’t go with one article of clothing I possess sit dusty waiting for their chance to hit the streets.
So, took a long hard look within. After prayer, mediation, and self-debate, I’ve concluded to kick the habit. It’s time to go cold turkey. It’s time to this curb the addiction. I made a life changing decision to clear out and give away some of my footwear. With a jittery hand, dancing nerves and watery eyes I slip my toe into the tip of the first shoe. Slowly I slide my foot in and fasten the straps into place. Flashbacks of the red pumps fill my mind. But determined to find personal growth and to create space in my crowed closet, I remove that pretty gold open toe four inch stiletto from my foot and place the first shoe in the donation box knowing that emancipation is on its way.