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The problem is that I hate actually wearing shoes. I really find them to be the most uncomfortable things known to man. Honestly. They rub and chafe and pinch and give you blisters before turning your feet into an unholy bloody mess.

They add nothing to the world for me. They do not, as The Mom might say, complete an outfit. They are something I have learned to live with and let me tell you, at the first hint of an opportunity, I will take mine off. People think I’m very polite, slightly Japanese about the whole thing, but really I just can’t wait to have them off my feet.

So I look at the need to purchase new ones as particularly daunting. Because by the time I’ve come to terms with the shoes I’m currently wearing, they’ve actually worn themselves out. There is only so much that superglue can do. So the prospect of buying new ones does not thrill me with a sense of adventure or novelty. It reminds me that these shoes will have to be given second, third, and probably fourth chances. That I will have to wear them when they are uncomfortable just to get to the point where they are comfortable, which will be well past their sell-by date, if you follow me.

I often dream of a service whereby someone else would break in my new shoes for me and hand them back a few months before they’re no longer acceptable to wear.

All of this of course, makes buying the damned things nigh on impossible.

When The Mom and I go to the mall she’ll coo and squee over some kind of, to me, ridiculous pair of shoes. High heels, tassels maybe, or bows. She’ll rush into the shop and put them on her feet and prance about, listing off all the various ways in which the shoes extol her many virtues.

She will not, as I am prone to do, consider them. Will they be able to get me to and from where I need to be? Are they taking the bus shoes, because no one likes those shoes. Even worse are taxi shoes, which of course, The Mom prefers.

I’ll see a pair of shoes that might be contenders. I will go into the shop and look at them and then I will leave. I will think about the shoes over the next few days and then I will think about maybe going back to have another look. Second look means testing the weight. I will hold them and see if they are too heavy. Then I will consider the sole. It must be soft. No clomping shoes for me. Chunky, yes, clunky, fine, but nothing hard. I need something to absorb the shock of my foot on the ground.

Then, on another visit, I will look at the toe. If it’s pointy, and by pointy I mean not totally rounded, they will no longer be in the running.

The Mom would point out that the style is pointy, and that those look best. But for me shoes are not about appearance. That’s an after thought, a bonus. Because shoes are perfunctory and as such they need to do several things and looking nice is low on the list.

So yes, I stalk shoes. And generally speaking, by the time I’ve decided to try them on and then weeks later actually buy them, they’re no longer available. Which means that, by and large, I’m wearing old shoes held together with superglue. But though they look shabby, they are at least comfortable.