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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


By Jodi Zeisel

I come from a family with a lot of women. I am the youngest of 3 girls. My mom has always been very fashion conscious. I cannot say the same for myself. Growing up, my clothes were chosen for me. Anything I picked out, my mom either disapproved or made fun of. In college, I wore army pants and t-shirts without a bra! As an adult, I finally was able to find my own style. For my mother, shoes were always my issue. I have very wide feet with a high arch and a high instep. I used to wear a triple E as a child. I need shoes that are comfortable more than anything else. For most of my adult life, I owned 2 pairs of shoes, Birkenstocks for the summer and Doc Martin boots for the winter! I'd wear the boots with long dresses or short dresses with leggings. It was a look. My mother always gave me grief about this. Once, while visiting me for my birthday, she  commented that I had a "shoe problem"! I just let comments like these go, trying not to make a big deal of her judgments. I moved to California, and continued my boots with dresses look. A neighbor actually noticed and told me that my look was definitely dated! The nerve!  Well, I figured the time had come to seek a new style. I found new sandals, not Birkenstocks, but not exactly "pretty". It was a start. That was 7 years ago. I now have so many shoes I have to keep them in 2 long boxes under my bed!
 A couple of summers ago, I was visiting my Mom in Chicago before her open heart surgery. I was still wearing brown sandals with my pretty sundresses. She suggested a trip to Nordstroms to find a pair of pretty silver sandals. Trying to be a "good" daughter, I complied. Well, nothing jumped out at me. There was a pair that were almost identical to my mom's silver sandals with a giant jewel in the middle. UGH! Of course, she liked those. I had all but given up when I saw them. Silver, sparkly sandals! They were gorgeous.  I put them on. They made my Fred Flinstone fat feet look amazingly fabulous and feminine! I walked over to my mom and she agreed. These were some special sandals. Even the woman trying on shoes next to her said they were amazing. Then I checked the price. $175.00. Maybe not a steep price for a nice pair of shoes but these were actually jellies! Ok, fancy jellies with sparkles and silver leather, but still, I couldn't see spending that much money on this type of shoe. What if they were uncomfortable. What if they made my feet sweat. My mom offered to split the price with me but I just couldn't do it. Sigh. So, I ended up with the mother- daughter look alike sandals. She was thrilled to get me into something other than brown. Months went by. I was shopping at the Rack with my shoe enthusiast boyfriend and guess what? Yep. There they were.  I was breathless. I was in shock. I picked them up. Holding my breath, I checked the bottom to make sure. They were my size! I held them lovingly to by chest. I never expected to see these sandals again. When I showed them to my boyfriend, he seemed questionable. I'm like, "No. You don't understand. Wait til you see these on my feet." I put them on and he had to agree. Gorgeous! I called my mom. I said, "remember those sandals from last summer?" She knew right away. I was so excited I could hardly talk. She was excited too, but for a different reason. She was thrilled that I could care so much for a pretty shoe!! They were only $75.00.(I still can't beleive I said only $75 for a pair of jellies but these are Stuart Weitzman's, a name I had been oblivious to before) She was happy to get them for me as an early birthday present.
   You think the story ends here but it doesn't. Last Thanksgiving I had my suitcase stolen out of my sister's car in Phoenix. All of my favorite things were in there, including,of course, the sandals. I was sick. All day long I kept remembering things I had packed, some of them irreplaceable. It's a feeling I wouldn't wish on anyone. I decided to do what I could to feel better about this violation. I decided to replace what I could and forget about the red lingerie set from Italy, my new thrift store find, the gorgeous white ruffly top from The Wardrobe and all my other favorite things I'd packed that I would never see again. It took a few weeks but I finally found my sandals on Zappos. They came in the mail 2 days after I ordered them. Now, sometimes I can't help but wonder, who took my suitcase? What could they possibly have wanted with all my things? Whoever it was, I sure hope they're not a size 6!

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