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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How Many Shoes Does A Girl Need?

Have you ever accidentally donated something to the thrift store only to realize you’d made a mistake?

That happened to me in a big way, or at least I thought. 

Several months ago I was cleaning out my closet.  Preparing to sell our home, we had new carpet put into the bedrooms and everything was being shuffled around.  

Typical night in our home.

Piles and piles of clothes, toys and other miscellaneous “how did I acquire so much junk” items ended up going to Goodwill.  It felt great decluttering, a task I could have never accomplished without the amazing skills of my determined husband. 

Through this process, we would fill the truck with “I’m never going to buy that again” items and off my oldest son would go to Goodwill.  He got pretty good at that, picking up giant black trash bags filled with “way too much stuff” and dropping them off at the donation center. 

But wait!  Where were my shoes?

When I cleaned out my closet, I put almost every pair of shoes I owned in a giant black trash bag, the same bags we’d been using for “get that junk out of here” donations.  I got busy again and that night, looking for my flip-flops my heart filled with dread.  Where was my bag of shoes?  I asked my son Chandler and he insisted he hadn’t seen any shoes when making his daily “Holy heck, Mom has a shopping addiction” drop off to Goodwill.  I had hope.  I had faith, but after looking high and low that bag of at least 20 pairs of shoes – running shoes, boots, high heels, sandals, slippers, flip-flops – many of which were still new, was gone. 

Sometimes, an unexpected life-lesson comes when all your shoes are lost.  Not quite a depression, but I did some deep soul-searching over this.  Why had I acquired so many shoes?  Did I really need that many?  Could I be happy knowing they at least would help someone else in need?  I’ll admit, I thought of going to the thrift store to see if I could find any of my shoes on their shelves, but I had to let it go.  I wasn’t going to grovel.

Somehow, in the dark corners of the home, almost like the ghost of shoes past, I did find an old pair of TOMS, my pink running shoes, a pair of black books and a pair of sandals that had never fit me quite right, but they would do.  I could get by on four pair of shoes, right?  I mean if a man can go to the moon, I could do this.  To make matters direr, I’d made a promise to myself and my all-supportive, loving, decluttering husband that I wouldn’t bring anything else into the home until we moved.  

Funny, looking in every picture I’ve posted on social media in the last three months, and you’ll see me in one of those pair of shoes.  

Those black boots weren’t meant for many of the outfits they were worn with, but if the shoe fits . . . I’m not sure if this analogy really fits here, but you know what I mean.  

Eden said to me just last week, “Mom, are those shoes old.” Yes, TOMS do not hold up that well if you wear them every day, but desperate times call for desperate matters.

Well, we decided not to move (you can read about that here), but we still had one more clean out to do.  It’s like our “I need serious help” junk was breeding.  Our garage was still full of “I just might need that later” stuff and we started one more decluttering project.  Honestly, I couldn’t face it.  I was so burned out on going through trash, I gave Derek the green light to just get rid of whatever.  My defeat was a victory to finally parking a car in our garage when later that night, I noticed a big black bag in my closet.  Yes, my friends.  This story has a happy ending.  In his greatest moment of chivalry, my husband like a knight in shining armor found my shoes and like a kiss on a sleeping princess, he slipped those shoes in my closet in the stillness of the night.  Has there ever been a more romantic scene written? 

It’s been three days since all my shoes were returned and I haven’t even opened the bag.  I’m wearing my holy pair of TOMS.  I call them holy because they have holes.  I did learn a valuable lesson.  I don’t need that many pair of shoes, black boots can look pretty good while wearing a silk dress (please tell me you're picking up on my sarcasm)
and uncomfortable sandals eventually mold to your feet.  

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