Monday, August 29, 2011

These Shoes Were Made for...

I'm going to digress from my typical school psych-y goodness to bring you this announcement:

I love shoes.

I wear heels to work virtually every day so I don't look like a 4th grader, since I'm practically 5'-nothing. I'm not the kind of gal who will splurge on a pair of kicks only to wear them a few times. I wear shoes into the ground, 'til I'm covering up scratches and smudges with Sharpie marker. I'm not the kind of gal who saves pennies (or blows a paycheck) for a pair of designer pumps I've been eyeing for months on end. I buy what catches my eye and heart, but stays within my budget... and I love a good coupon or sale. I'm not the kind of gal that sticks to conservative, ultra-fashionable (hah) footwear. I love color, patterns, prints, and bling!

A sampling of my favorites. Also, aren't my hardwood floors gorgeous?
I have a strange attachment to my shoes. Each pair tells a story and has a special meaning or memory for me and my career. Isn't it funny how we not only imprint memories to sounds and tastes, but also to clothes and shoes? Join me for an adventure down the rabbit hole and into my closet!
The Professionals

This black pair are from Bass Co. and are made of suede, so they're lovely and soft. They've gotten a lot of love, as you can see from the slight crack on the side. I wore these black beauties to my final internship interview. Every interview prior to that one had been unsuccessful and I was especially antsy before going because this site was my top choice for an internship (and, surprise, another large urban district). I was doing internship interviews in the winter and had been wearing black ankle boots with my black pant suit, but decided to switch up the footwear to these suede pumps. Mentally owing something to the shoes (I always feel like a powerhouse in good pumps... fear me), I walked into the interview feeling confident, and it went fantastically. It was the first interview I had a really good feeling about; there was great conversation with the panel and I felt like I nailed every question. I went away shortly after for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Conference in Boston and when I returned, I had the position. It was the absolute BEST internship I could've asked for!

The navy blue pair were purchased to match the navy blue skirt suit I bought when I graduated with my MA/AC to prepare for "real job" interviews. They're a no name brand from JC Penney's with a snakeskin pattern wrap over the toe. These shoes have a habit of destroying the back of my heels if I don't wear stockings with them, which I prefer not to do, so they don't get too much use. The first interview I wore these to was for a district in the southern tier of NY virtually in the middle of nowhere. It was a 50 minute drive on a blistering hot day in June and the air conditioning in my crappy old car was broken, so I drove in full professional gear and perfect hair and make-up with all the windows down going 60 mph the whole way. I was a hot mess upon arrival. Next, I wore these to interview for a position in the district where I did one of my practica. There's a lot of back story to this situation, but let's leave it at I was practically guaranteed this position as I would've been replacing my former supervisor. I didn't get it and had the blistered, broken heels and ego to prove it. They traveled with me later that month to an interview a couple hours away, where I discovered I was not a fan of what the district and interview team (which was uh, one person) turned out to be. Finally, these went with me to the mass interview day for my current district. As we know, that was a happy ending, so they were part of the celebration dinner that Boyfriend and I had out downtown once the papers were signed.

The Nose-Dive
These leather shoes were my first "fun" purchase after getting my current position. They're from Nine West and I bought them at the outlet store with a 15% off coupon (go go financial savviness). Purple is my favorite color, so these were a must have! I freaking love these shoes, they're so comfortable, and I love the cute buckle on them. However, they're are in a bit of limbo right now... Early this spring, my old car (see above) began leaking anti-freeze, which is apparently a big "uh-oh" for cars, so it was off to the mechanic. It was 13-years old and was getting to the point where I was beginning to question the expense and point of continuing to fix problems with it. I was wearing these purple pretties at work when my mechanic called and told me the car was probably not worth repairing, since the head gasket had blown and it would be quite costly to fix. That afternoon, Boyfriend picked me up at my building to take me to the mechanic to get the car. As I was walking out to meet him, the pointed toe of one shoe got caught in the opposite pant leg, and I face-planted into the road... seriously, I ate pavement. Embarrassed and in pain, I jumped up immediately before he could get out of his Jeep and got into the passenger seat. As I held a crumpled napkin to my torn, bleeding chin with my equally torn, bleeding hand, I sniffled about the gravity of the situation. Boyfriend asked me if I was okay and I responded, whimpering, "My shoes... I ruined my shoes." Yes gentle readers, the toe of one and the whole side of the other were badly scuffed, and I was devastated (the less injured shoe was chosen for the picture, but you can see the wound in the first shot). I have still worn the shoes on occasion, because I love them too much not to, but I really need to find a shoe repair shop that can get them back to their former glory. The good to come out of this? I ended up buying a brand new Chevy Cruze, which I am also freaking in love with.

The Kid-Approved
This leopard print pair was bought at Target while I was on internship. Not gonna lie, they have some cute shoes there. They're a little too big and make my already above-average sized feet look like boats, but they make up for any short-comings with spunk and pizazz! Kids love them because they're so darn fun. While I was on internship, I was teaching a lesson from the Second Step program in a 2nd grade classroom. (If you have never heard of Second Step, check out that link, because the program rocks and teaches great social-emotional skills.) I was seated at the front of the room with all the kiddos around me like baby chicks, and as I was reading the story for the day, I felt a tapping and flicking at my right foot. I looked down to see that one of the boys in the room (who was classified as Autistic, go figure) was running his finger continuously along the pattern and pulling at the small heel. I silently redirected him, but he was having none of it, and continued to be fascinated with the shoe for the whole lesson. I wore these shoes to my first day at my current position and throughout the year, and to this day they continue to draw compliments and comments from students and adults alike.

The brown leather Nine West pair on the left is a more recent addition to the family. They're a very similar style to the purple pair and also have a kitten heel. I bought these because I needed a new pair of brown pumps, but also loved the metal details on the top. These, and a casual pair of flip-flop style sandal with clear jewel beading on the straps (not pictured), have caught the eye of many a student. The best comment I got about them was from a 5th grade girl who exclaimed during an intervention, "Miss _______, you got bling on your shoes!" Why yes, indeed I do. I also am a fan of these shoes because they remind me of a pair I had while completing the previously mentioned practicum. One day, I was walking around a corner in those shoes and startled a high school boy, who blinked at me and said, "You have the scariest walk." Okay, I guess I'm a little heavy footed, but there's something so satisfying and powerful about the clack of heels.

The Newbies
Okay, there really isn't a story for their of these dolls, but I couldn't help but show them off because they're awesome. I did a little back-to-school shopping today and picked both of these up from Nine West, where there's a BOGO 50% off sale, and I had another 15% off coupon (woot!). On the left we have a pair of ballet flats with a rainbow, white, and black leopard print. I've been fishing for a similar pair of rainbow print beauties for a while, but the last Nine West I looked in didn't have my size, so when I found these today I snatched them up and then gushed to the sales clerk about them. She must've thought I was deranged. On the right is a pair of kitten heel red leather pumps in a crocodile pattern. I've been dying for a pair of red pumps for all my adult life... I think it has to do with my childhood fascination with The Wizard of Oz (it was a seriously intense infatuation). After purchasing these bad boys, I texted Boyfriend "i finally have my red pumps! my journey towards the shoe dark side is now complete." (Yeah, I have an intense fascination with Star Wars too, you wanna fight about it?)

I can't wait for the new memories that come this year, from shoes new and old!

1 comment:

  1. You never cease to amaze me with your writing...great job as usual!


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