My mom always tells me that when I was a child, I had a rare addiction to shoes. She says I could pass any toy store without a second thought, but if she thought we were going to pass a shoe store without going in, she thought wrong.
I have always believed shoes are the most important part of an outfit.
So when Birkenstocks came back into style a few years ago, I was genuinely worried for society and those who would actually purchase a pair of these, fairly pricey, eyesores. Yet, I wanted a pair.
I love to travel and finding a good pair of summer shoes that are both comfortable, fashionable (although I still beg to differ how “fashionable” Birkenstocks are – I would say trendy is a better word to describe them), and versatile seemed to be a never ending task.
So I began my hunt for the perfect pair of Birkenstocks. If I were ever near a store that sold them, I would go in and stare blankly at their selection. Pondering how to justify spending this much money on a pair of shoes that I had to convince myself to like. Every time I tried a pair on, I would glare at my feet in the mirror for no less than 30 minutes. Completely silent and totally confused, I would try my hardest to change my opinion of the shoes.
I need these!
They are great for travel and so easy to pack.
What about with that one t-shirt dress I have? That could be cute.
But the more I stared, I swear the bigger my foot looked. It was like an optical illusion. I would end up kicking the shoes off, feeling defeated.
I knew Birkenstocks were chunky and were not supposed to be the most delicate pair of shoes you owned, but for someone with already narrow feet, I just could not convince myself to like them.
So I stopped my search. It was turning cold and I had no need for open-toed shoes, thus my compulsion over Birkenstocks fizzled away. That is until my college town reached Spring weather for the first day this year and I automatically began thinking about, you guessed it, Birkenstocks.
Before I knew it, I found myself trying on the same pair of Birkenstocks! And again, I genuinely feared how odd my feet looked and left the store empty handed.
I am ashamed about how immature and whiney this next sentence is about to sound, but unfortunately it actually happened. I left the store and began to tear up. Granted, I was PMSing, but still that is NO excuse to cry over a pair of dumb shoes that I don’t even like!!!
I got in my car, turned on The Lumineers and sulked in my pathetic state of vanquishment. I began to research shoes similar to Birkenstocks, hoping I would set sights on something and would never have to think about the B word ever again. However, everything that compared to Birkenstocks looked like they should be placed in an orthopedic shoe shop for individuals 90 years of age and above. Seriously.
Does your phone or computer ever do that freaky thing where it knows you have been searching for a specific item and advertisements start popping up of the exact thing you had been searching for? The Birkenstock Gods began to haunt me via internet ads.
But there they were. The pair of Birkenstocks I had been searching for without even knowing. The pair that are still technically fashionable, super comfortable, and very versatile, but in a much more delicate form. To show how pathetic I am, I was still sitting outside of the shoe store, but was too ashamed to go in and ask if they had this particular style. So….. I called.
Shoe lady: Hello?
Me: Hi! Do you have the Birkenstock Daloa by any chance?
SL: We sure do, but only one pair. It is a size 38 in a hazel color.
Me: Perfect, can you hold them? I will be there shortly.
SL: Are you the girl that was just in here?
SL: I see you in your car. Come in and try these on.
Me: Yes ma’am!
Shoes can make you do some very shameful things. Or maybe it is just me.
Anyway, I went in to try on what seemed like my last hope. I put them on AND ALMOST STARTED CRYING AGAIN. But these were happy tears! Tears of relief. I did not actually, because if the employees didn’t already think I was a whacko, that surely would have made them.
I do not think I have ever been more proud or satisfied with a shoe purchase. Sure, they are not my favorite shoes, nor the prettiest. But they are the most practical for all of my adventures that lie ahead. I have searched high and low for months to find the right shoe, but I think a two-year mission is my longest thus far. Here’s to happy traveling, happy feet, and hopefully the last of crying over shoes.