my entire understanding of myself has suddenly and horrifyingly shifted


While putting away some goodies from a recent thrift store run, I realized that my shoe “collection,” such as it is, has become slightly scary.

I’m just going to say it:


Oh, I’m scared. Everyone is going to judge me!


OK, deep breath, here we go:


I own forty-three pairs of shoes.


Let’s just let that marinate for a few seconds.


Actually, I own forty-five: my gardening shoes are outside somewhere, and my favorite kitchen clogs are at the kitchen.

Google tells me that the average American woman owns 19 (though in other places it says 30, so who knows), and wears about 4. In my defense, I really wear a lot of my shoes all the time—maybe about half.

Of those:

TEN PAIRS!!!! are flip flops (made in China, bought new for about $6). I had absolutely no idea I had this many pairs of slippahs, and this realization has slightly terrified me. What happens is that I always leave mine in New York when I go to Hawaii, and…and and and I know these are insanely un p.c. shoes and I can’t justify owning any, much less ten pairs.


Apart from the ridiculous flip flops, only seven pairs were bought new. OK, I feel a little better.

Six pairs I’ve had over ten years. Still feeling better.

Eight pairs are thrifted leather. We’ve talked about this before, but I still feel funny about it.

Two pairs are 100% p.c. shoes made with eco-friendly materials in people- and planet-friendly ways. But since most of the rest are at least used, I am slightly assured that I’m not the most consumerist consumer I’ve ever met.

But: four pairs are are heels, even though I am a radical feminist of five feet eight inches who has never successfully worn heels for longer than 20 minutes.


Four pairs are Crocs that I bought in a phase I would rather forget (hypocrite!)—I still pretty much love these shoes, in truth.


Most terrifyingly, eight pairs I have never, ever worn.

Oh this is terrible. I never thought of myself as a “shoe person,” honest! Most of mine are sneakers! I can’t start thinking of myself a shoe lover at this advanced age, it would tear apart all that I know of myself. Maybe I don’t know myself that well, after all, though: for instance, I think of myself as a devoted Chucks-wearer, but my two measly pairs of Chucks have a serious layer of dust on them that proves me sorely wrong.


I’ve had that pair of vegan Doc Martin Mary Janes for about fifteen years though—pretty much every vegan I know had a similar pair at one point. These are pretty uncomfortable and not quite my style these days—if anyone wants them (size 9, in pretty good shape) and can pick them up from me locally, let me know.

Even worse than the tragic loss of my entire sense of self, my tidy clear-shoebox, bottom-of-the-closet organization system has completely broken down—those last 2 pairs were the absolute last straw—and I worry everyone will just have to stay on the floor like this forever.


Can someone please explain why this hairy-legged vegan owns a pair of 4″ Zara peeky-toe heels with a cutsey bow on the toe? The fact that they are my size and were $8 doesn’t seem to be enough of an explanation. Can you see the plastic tag still around one strap? Yep: never worn. Those leathery Steve Maddens were $2!!!!!!! but can I really go prancing around wearing leather heels with an ultra femmy bow on the side? I haven’t yet. I’ve never worn those vintage corduroy red wedges on the left, either, but I think I will someday soon–they look rad, don’t they? Kinda of Tilda-Swinton-in-Orlando-esque, no?

Oh, sigh.

14 Responses to “my entire understanding of myself has suddenly and horrifyingly shifted”

  1. brittany

    wear the navy peep toes for me next summer? :) i loves!

    this is cute… i’m going to take pics of mine and fbk them later. xoxo

  2. lagusta

    Ah, peep toe, that’s what they are called! Peeky toe is a kind of crab. I had a giant laugh when I read both of your comments, because I am not even kidding, I specifically thought: I bet Veronica is going tell me how rad the corduroy shoes are–they are totally Veronica-style. And none of my shoes are vaguely Brittanyesque other than those navy heels.

    Such are the thoughts that come into one’s head when one is sitting in a kitchen all day chopping shiitake mushrooms and stemming kale…

  3. Dustin Rhodes

    You and I are, literally, sole mates (I couldn’t resist).

    When my now partner met me 11 years ago, I had invited him over to my house for a BBQ. I asked him to fetch a pan for me in the kitchen. He started opening cabinets, and much to his surprise, he didn’t find pans (which were on a shelf). He found shoes—rows and rows of them. I had over 70 pair, and since I lived by myself in a studio apt., I had to use kitchen cabinets for storage.

    I am proud to say that my consumer habits over the past 11 years have transformed: I now own less than 20 pair, which I like to refer to as progress.

    And, like you, I have some shoes that, let’s just say, should neither be photographed or worn in public (i.e. Crocs, except for those cute girl-flats).

    • lagusta

      Replying to this 3-years-old comment to say that I got a pair of her shoes recently and they are TOO CUTE. Not much in the way of soles, but I now see (too late) that you can buy real soles for more $. But that’s OK, mine are house slippers and I love them. Thanks for the find!

  4. lagusta

    Oh no, don’t feed the addiction!!!! My god, those etsy shoes are AWESOME!

    And Dustin, I feel so much better now! And I am seriously thinking of putting shoes in my kitchen cabinets. My kitchen is eerily empty because I never cook at home. Hmm…

  5. Dustin Rhodes

    If you decide to go the kitchen cabinet route, I used extra cooling racks to make shelves. So, it looked kinda awesome, too. Just sayin’.

  6. lagusta

    Oh, that’s a great idea. In the end, I went the lazy-heterosexual woman-living-with-a-non-metrosexual man route and stole space from my man’s closet!

  7. brittany

    hahaha i just did inventory — 74 pairs, 19 are flip flops, but i think a bunch are missing because i can actually picture a few that aren’t here… either storage or misc. boxes or the trunk of my car… i think i’ll do a facebook photoshoot today… you inspired me haha

  8. lagusta

    WOW! I feel so much less bad now. I’m waiting for those facebook pix!
    I’m especially glad I’m not the only one who owns seemingly limitless pairs of flip flops.


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