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I Heart Shop-a-Holics

     "No one needs $800 shoes." This is an admonishment from those brainy friends every time I say how I picked up a pair of Guiseppe Zanotti shoes or Manolo Blahnik boots at the Goodwill and cackle about how I will sell them on eBay. This is wisdom, I suppose, in an era that touts egalitarian economics as a virtue and from academics, artists and philosophical ascetics who really do believe it's what's inside that counts. (As long as what's inside is what they deem acceptable...but more on that later.)
Apostolic WalkFit
     Fine. Technically, no one needs even $50.00--or $25.00--shoes--those Israelites certainly got around (though it took the power of the Almighty to keep their sandals from wearing out). I suppose history showed that the guys at Valley Forge came out okay with rags wrapped around their feet. So no one needs $800 shoes, just as no one needs a custom Bentley with a Vinotemp wine cabinet in the trunk or a $7,000 Hermes saddle (or a $55 Hermes hoofpick--seriously, even I draw the line at grubbing horseshit out of a hoof with a metal hooky-thing that costs more than 12 bucks max--unless the hoof belongs to the golden-footed Pegasus himself and the horseshit in question is ambrosial manure of the gods and the pick is made of platinum and I can wear it on a silver chain at Ascot while seated next to Prince Andrew.) (But if I found one at the Goodwill for $5.99, I'd say it was overpriced, but I wouldn't say no.)
     But I'm glad to know there are people who, while they may not need the outrageous shoes, want them and have the disposable income to buy them. I'm glad to know that there are people out there keeping those arts alive--beautiful shoes, and beautifully made clothes (insanely made cars that smell like fine saddlery and saddles from saddlers that trace their tradition back to Louis XV). And not to support the neurotic and sadistic artists who design them for starved, androgynous models to strut down a run-way, but for the artisans--the old French men in the fur shops and the Finnish miminalists who weave the fantastic textiles, the 5th generation Italian guys who tan leather as supple as fairyskins and the old Belgian women who still know how to tat lace as fine as spiderwebs.
     I recently read in Esquire magazine how actress Helen Mirren likes to buy her clothes from the thrift store. I suppose perhaps she thinks this makes her seem down to earth and unaffected by her fame and fortune.
     Actually, it really pisses me off.
     Making the kind of money she does after playing The Queen, it's her DUTY to shop for shoes and buy a heap of gorgeous clothes she can't possibly wear more than once. Or employing a personal stylist to do it. We support her art by plunking down $10.50 to see her do a poker-faced impression of a stolid British monarch (even Queen Elizabeth promoted the careers of venerable British couturiers Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell) for an hour and a half, she could at least support an equally temporal and considerably more wearable art by buying Vivienne Westwood frocks and if she's into feeling superior and being down to earth, she could scuff smugly around in a truckload of vegan Stella McCartney ballet flats. Or even just the entire new line from J. Crew. Because if I have to wrestle Helen Mirren in Options Thrift Boutique for a pair of Christian LaBoutin heels, well crap!
     Someone, after all, has to be out there paying retail prices and buying into the evil Madison Avenue conspiracies to make us feel bad about our bodies so that we buy to assuage our flagging self esteem; someone has to believe that their self worth is tied to material possessions and then, realizing it isn't, chuck it out for a tax write off. I don't mind being someone's tax write-offs--really. Or maybe--just maybe--they just think all those dresses and shoes and purses are really, really pretty, or cool, or fun.
     Fuck the current sanctimonious attitude about the materialistic culture!
     You go girls! Keep doing your part for the economy!
     Because I'm also very glad to know that there are people out there that want the outrageously priced shoes and can afford them and wear them once and then have so many pairs of shoes that they can freely donate a carload of them to Goodwill without batting an eye. I'll be there on Tuesday and Thursdays--after 11:30. Saturdays after 1 P.M. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays anytime after 9. That's called trickle down economics.



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