Item the First: I once spent $270 on a pair of Stuart Weitzman ruby
red lizard print slingbacks during a financially rocky period of my
life. At the time, I was so poor that I had started delivering pizzas
on the side for rent money. I do not regret this purchase.

Item the Second: I figured out while waiting tables that it just
doesn’t pay to buy cheap shoes.

Item the Third: I think I really became a Shoe Freak the day I was
waiting at the bus stop in Chicago and a very, very, very cute man on
a motorcycle yelled out “NICE SHOES!” across two lanes of traffic.

Item the Fourth: If pressed, it would be difficult to choose between a
pair of Jimmy Choo sandals and six months’ health insurance.

Item the Fifth: True shoe lovers are able to speak in a unique patois
unintelligible to the non-initiate. If I were to ask my boyfriend if
he prefers mule, D’Orsay, slingback, or sandal, he would return an
expression like a deer in headlights. My friend Carolyn, a fellow Shoe
Freak, would return a thoughtful, erudite answer of at least three
minutes’ duration.

Item the Sixth: The true Shoe Freak does not wear shoes for attention,
to impress others, or for sexual display. She wears them because they
are an expression of her true, inner self. She would wear them whether
or not anyone else noticed. Although, undoubtedly, she is noticed for
her impeccable taste.

Item the Seventh: Nor does the true Shoe Freak buy shoes according to
labels alone. Although they may guide her purchases as marks of
quality or previous genius, the true Shoe Freak chooses her shoes
according to what strikes her inner critic as Art, independent of
designer, price, or current trend.


Submitted by Sarah Hesler of Oregon

Super Fantastic Runner Up
Manolo’s Super Fantastic Essay Contest

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