When I was 9, my parents celebrated their 10th anniversary with a weekend in NYC. They saw a show, and ate well, and enjoyed the hotel room, and did all sorts of touristy things. The highlight for my mother was shoe shopping.
This says a lot about my mother--she is a shoe fanatic like no one else I've ever met. It also says a lot about my dad. He took her shoe shopping, OK? Not every husband is that willing to take one for the team.
I remember her coming home with LOTS of shoes. She LOVED them. She wore them out dancing (see a familial tradition, anywhere?) and then she stopped going out. Dad hated dancing, and she didn't want to dance without him, so the shoes sat in the closet.
We called it The Shrine. She would sit in the closet and look at her shoes.
So anyway, flash forward. A couple of years ago, Mom's knee gave out. Really, she needs a replacement. She has been putting it off. But even if she gets a new knee, she can't wear those shoes again. She is stuck in flat, sensible shoes, for the rest of her life.
She cries about the shoes. She doesn't care that her knee hurts, she cares that she can't wear her sexy heels any more.
Every few months, Mom brings me a few pairs of shoes to try out. If they're not too small, they're mine. Otherwise, they go back to the Shrine.
Tonight I am going out to see ACME BLUES COMPANY OH MY GOD I CANNOT WAIT THEY ARE SO AWESOME I WILL DANCE MY ASS OFF.....
OK, but anyway, tonight I am going out. I pulled out one of Mom's pairs of NYC shoes and slipped them on. A bit loose. So I tried to adjust the heel strap.
The leather was gummy. Remember, these shoes are 31 years old. The strap broke. Dry rot.
My mother kept those shoes in the Shrine for probably 25 years. Bringing them to me was HARD for her. And now they are in the trash.
Don't let your fun dry rot, ok? Wear your stilettos while you can.
UPDATE: ACME was fantastic, as always, and I had a blast, as you knew I would. I wore a second pair of Mom's NYC shoes, and then the band played Rattlesnake Shake and I danced so hard the shoes fell apart. Spent the rest of the night in my stocking feet. I think the band felt pretty good about making music so good a woman would kill her shoes, dancing.