Friends and Shoes

My friend J Moore once wrote a blog about the things that the modern man needs to navigate in our times:

On of the things that he mentioned was a true friend — the one who would bail you out of jail with no questions asked. For me, those same friends are the ones who help me recharge; I can let my hair down (figuratively, you know I rock the short style), and I can turn back the clock on my “real age” with a good dose of laughter. (See previous post on my “real age”).

I’ve been blessed to have a few good friends like that in my day, and I got to spend time with two of them this past weekend. Erika and Kee were my best friends and college, and the three of us were as different as they come. Erika hid her brillance and sensitivity with a tough demeanor, and Kee was the social butterfly who never left the dance floor. I was quiet one, the one who had opinions, but not always the voice to express them.

We’ve not been together in about five years. Career and motherhood have helped me find my voice. Life and love have softened Erika’s demeanor. And marriage and motherhood have tamed the social butterfly. But one thing had not changed — Kee still needed some new clothes. In college, the girl had a closet full of sweats and evening wear. And five years ago, she was wearing maternity clothes months after her son was born.

So a trip to the mall was imperative. Kee surprised us by bringing a great pair of jeans, but she needed to build up her wardrobe. Erika and I dragged Kee from store to store, looking more for things for ourselves than for her.

By the time we got to Macy’s, I was starting to run out of steam. But then I found a pair of peach faux snake (but real leather) four-and-a-half-inch slingbacks on the sale rack. When I stood in the middle of the shoe department with my foot pointed toward the mirror, I was instantly revived.

Kee looked at me and said, “You are such a shoe ho. I love you for it, D, but you are such a ho.”

I agreed. “But,” I said, “Every ho has her standards.”

Then I explained my Shoe Rules:

You’ve got to love them. It’s your foot, and it’s your money. You work too hard to blow it on shoes that you like only a little bit.

If they hurts, leave them at the store. Again, it’s your money. A pair of shoes that you wear for a hour and give to your girl the next day is money down the drain. Some shoes will give over time, but usually not enough to ease the pain. And in case you were wondering, patent leather doesn’t stretch. Most times, it’s not even leather.

Buy leather. Please see the note above about stretching. And if you are a member of PETA, sorry, but it is what it is.

If they cost too much, don’t even try them on. Guilt over a hasty expense cheapens the thrill of a new shoe, plus it’s more important to keep the lights on.

As I was going through my rules, two brothes walked past us. “Yo, that’s hot. That shoe looks good on you.”

“Rule number five,” I said. “If a man walks by and tells you that you look great in the shoes, buy them immediately.”

Kee laughed. “Do you think they have that in my size?”

Needless to say, we both bought the shoes.

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