Shoes, Glorious Shoes

I am obsessed with two things: shoes and jewelry. Both passions started at a very young age, and continue to this day. But today’s Random Musing comes as a result of a conversation with Sparky, who shares my shoe obsession. When I was young, the department store near us had a large shoe department, and in the basement was a section where shoes that did not sell went to die…unceremoniously dumped on large tables with sides (think of a craps table) to be pawed through by women looking for bargains. Little girls loved to rummage through, as often there were small sizes that just might fit their feet. My sister and I would bolt down there like demons to find all sorts of treasures: white satin wedding shoes with a small black mark, or red patent stilettos that any hooker would be proud to own. We tried them on, wobbling as we walked…we were bitten by the shoe bug. But the best, the absolute best, was when there was a sale – one table was $5, one was $3. It was like the Colosseum. Women became gladiators; shoving, pushing, lunging across the table to grab the mate of the shoe they held in their hand. A standoff would occur when one lady would have the right shoe, and another had the left…it started pleasant enough, until voices got raised, bargaining, pleading would ensue…”you don’t understand, my daughter needs these for the St Anthony Father-Daughter dance”, one would cry. “I need these navy sequined pumps for my nephew’s First Holy Communion!” (where was it being held, Vegas?) and on and on. Needless to say, it was cheap entertainment, and I never did buy a pair of bargain basement shoes. As an adult, I’ve more than made up for it, much to my husband’s dismay.

About Modesty

Named after a fictional British spy from the 1960s, she's a stickler for manners, tradition, and has a love of the finer things in life, mixed with a naughty sense of humor and a vocabulary, once released, could make a stevedore blush. She hates run-on sentences like the one you just read.

6 Replies to “Shoes, Glorious Shoes”

  1. You always have this wonderful way of being able implant me right in the middle of the action in every story you tell.

    I remember taking the bus into the city to go to all the music stores, but we would go to stores like Rike’s and Elder Beerman’s to grab some lunch and ride the escalators…and there those tables would be…and there those women would be.

    Well done, Mod!

  2. Great timing! My daughter loves thrift store shopping. Yesterday she came home and was nearly shaking with pride and excitement. She found a set of lace-up  knee high vintage boots, her size – 7 bucks. When she brought them to the counter, even the clerk was like daaaaamm girl. You are stealing these at that price

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