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.