Before “Shopping is my Therapy” was a thing, my mom would play “shoe store” with me. I would empty all of my shoes from my closet, place them in the center of my comforter, gather it together like a knapsack, and carry my shoes to the living room so I could line them up. My mom played the shoe sales lady and I was the customer. She was a great shoe sales lady; I felt like Cinderella each time I tried on a new pair. As I grew older, our game of pretend turned into real shoe shopping. I’d help her and she’d help me. She would remarked how my love for shoes started at such a young age with a bit of disbelief. She didn’t realize that not all little girls hand selected shoes and a matching purse for each outfit. She had great stories:
Coly, when you were a little, little girl, I would read you this little board book of nursery rhymes. You loved it! But, then there was “Little Boy Blue.” And Little Boy Blue had no shoes on. You did not like this. You would be so mad that he wasn’t wearing shoes! You would point and scrunch your face and say, “No shoes?! No shoes.” Haha. And no matter what I did, you would be so upset. I would try to skip the page, and you would turn back. I would try to explain it to you, but you didn’t understand. You just wanted this little boy to have shoes.
One time when you were about four or five, we went to Bradlee’s superstore. You went off in the shoe section and found the cutest little black patent leather heels with little gold bows on the heels. They were just your size and there wasn’t another pair like them in the entire store. I asked, “Coly, where did you find these?” and you very casually pointed and said, “over there.” (Like, duh, Mom!) and you looked up at me with those big brown eyes and asked if you could get them. Too funny.
My mom would always tell me about a fun pair of shoes she saw or buy me little things with shoes on them just because she thought of me. Coming home from school or work to little gifts on my bed was so exciting. Mom thought of me.
So, after receiving my Kentucky Derby prize money, I treated myself to a new pair of shoes. (No, not all of it! My dreams have surpassed those of Imelda Marcos.) I was going to invest it all back into my business, but these sparkly sandals called out my name and sometimes you just have to treat yourself.
While the perfect pair of shoes still brings me joy, shopping therapy is no longer my go to. These days I prefer to pop my shoes off, take a walk on the beach, collect seashells and sea glass, and look out to the horizon…
I hear my name called there too.