Unpacking

Jon and I returned from San Francisco late Saturday afternoon feeling about a decade older than when we’d left. I have grown to love that city even though I swore I never would the first time I ever drove across the Bay Bridge. I was being held prisoner inside a car with an ex-boyfriend from college who was a little too proud about the fact that he never ate anything other than Twinkies or pizza, that type of ex-boyfriend, the exact one who should never be allowed to introduce you to anything of value because you will forever associate that beautiful thing with the fact that he drove a car with both hands gripping the wheel like a 90-year-old woman whose support hose are cutting off her circulation at the knees.

We tried to spend Friday visiting our favorite places in the city but instead we battled public transportation half the day — an hour and a half waiting inside a MUNI station and then another 45 minutes for a bus that never came. There seemed to be a serious lack of pride in the system, and for a city known for its progressive politics it felt really hypocritical that we were basically forced to take a cab to get anywhere. After the last cab ride we took to the airport I added up in my head the staggering amount of money we had paid to subsidize the Bay Area taxi industry and I felt a profound sense of sadness that I couldn’t have used that money to buy another sewer pipe.

Last week as we were making plans for this trip Jon asked if there was anything I really wanted to do or see, and since I knew we were only going to have one free day I sort of shrugged my shoulders. He then asked, “You know what they have there, don’t you?” And I was all, “Men in sandals?” And he was all, “Yes, but what else?” And I was all, “Organic toothpaste?” And he was all, “You’re getting closer.” And I was all, “I’m pretty sure that you’re about to blow my mind because the fact that San Francisco has those two things alone is enough to make it the greatest city on Earth.”

“Shoe Pavilion,” he said and then ran over to catch my body before it hit the floor.

He couldn’t have said two more delicious words except maybe BOURBON I.V. Other than running naked down the cereal aisle at the grocery store or curled up in the deep curve of Jon’s neck there is no other place I’d rather be than knee-deep in a wonderland of well-crafted, affordable shoes in all the colors of the rainbow. Shoe shopping in Salt Lake City is enough to make me want to end it all so that I don’t ever have to see another inoffensive brown loafer, so knowing that our hotel in San Francisco was only two blocks from a Shoe Pavilion made the plane ride out there as exciting as if it were a shuttle to the moon.

We hadn’t been in the city for more than a half-hour before I dragged Jon straight to that store, and the instant I saw the first row of colorful heels I whipped around to him and said, “You must leave me alone now.” I felt reverent and peaceful like I do when I’m visiting a cemetery, and in many ways that comparison was appropriate. I couldn’t help feeling that I was there among those thousands of flirty shoes to give my respects to the life we used to live, to a time when we rented an apartment in LA and the biggest worry we had about our property was whether or not we could find a parking space within two blocks.

Having just spent the Gross National Product of a small third-world country on a new sewer line I knew I couldn’t buy anything, but that didn’t stop me from rubbing up against an open-toed leather heel or pressing a blue slingback to my chest like a hungry infant. And then I saw them, the perfect pair of shoes, the ones that have called to me in my dreams, the shoes that have often whispered in my ear when I’m having a rough time to say that I should endure if for no other reason than the fact that such a pair of shoes exists in this world and what a wonderful world to live in.

These:

Can you hear their siren call?

How about now?

Yes, I bought them even though they weren’t in the budget. I rationalized it in a pretty standard way, that if I didn’t buy them the voices would continue to clamor in my head until it reached a pitch that I would have to seek professional help and it’d just be cheaper to hand over the credit card right now. That and I’d be a much more fun person to live with. And a better mother. That last one especially.

  • http://maxgus.blogspot.com napangel

    You know your readers love you when your post about a pair of shoes elicits this many comments. :)

  • http://www.fluidpudding.com Fluid Pudding

    Dear God. I’d totally be a better mom if I had those shoes. I’d even change my neighbors’ kids’ crap diapers if I was hoofin’ it in that kind of style. And that’s a double plural possessive promise!

  • http://www.internalmonoblog.typepad.com/ Sandra Heikkinen

    Scary thing: I was at the Shoe Pavilion on Saturday, staring at the very same pair of shoes…and was crushed beyond compare when I realized that they didn’t have them in my size! Which I think is cruel and unusual.

  • http://MsAdventures.net msadventures

    Those shoes are so damn cute I just want to eat them. Why haven’t I heard of Shoe Pavilion before? Must find one. Immediately.

  • cmvnapa

    Just bought a pink bra and some pink panties after resisting the color for years. My husband is in heaven. There is just something about PINK!

  • http://www.bridgermama bridgermama

    Purty! However, you do know that your millions of followers will now be sporting this very shoe. Hey, what a great way to identify them!!!

  • Katie

    Hello? Did you say someone was singing? A siren song? I can’t hear a thing. But then I’m kind of a dysfunctional female that way. I like the IDEA of pretty shoes. Does that count?

  • Tracy

    Knock me down and Shoe ME!

  • http://peytonsplace.diaryland.com Erika

    Just curious, the building in the background of the Botanical Garden, is that the Conservatory? My aunt managed a building in San Francisco years ago that looked like that.

  • http://lovemydox.blogspot.com Lovemydox

    Those are Fantazgreat! I have a similar pair sans the t-strap. The T-strap is awesome!!!

  • http://www.hillbillyplease.com/blog/ jagosaurus

    Lord. Have. Mercy. To quote the Sweet Potato Queens, “Heeeey! Cute Shoes!”

  • http://trancejen.diaryland.com TranceJen

    Cuuuuuute. And I’m not even a pink person.

  • sarabellum83

    So I always thought your obsession with eating your child was a little weird, but after seeing those latest photos–I understand. She just screams, “Dip me in ranch dressing and take a nibble!”

  • http://mrsmogul.blogspot.com Mrs. Mogul

    Okay, so you bought the shoes which you deserve! I mean, we got to be a slave to fashion right? Just curious to see if you’re going to curse if you get blisters because that always happens to me! I buy and then realize the heels are too high or something…NICE THOUGH!

  • Amethyst

    Oh, yes. I have them in black.

  • http://rivetergirl.blogspot.com rivetergirl

    Please, like you had any other choice but to buy the shoes. You would’ve been haunted by the perfect pair that got away, like I am by the two pigs humping salt and pepper shakers that I didn’t buy at a truck stop somewhere between Austin, Texas and State College, Pennsylvania.

    You did the right thing.

  • Shana Banana

    Those are so darn cute… I think Im flying to San Fran tomorrow to git me some! heh Welcome home Little Dooce Coupe!

  • http://www.snickrsnack.com Snickrsnack Katie

    Those are some awesome shoes. I am actually quite jealous, especially since I have gargantuan feet and am usually hindered in my shoe shopping because of my unattractive and large bunions (TMI?) Anyway, these particular shoes of yours look really comfy and look as though they would cover my nasty feet quite well. I want to cry right about now. I love looking at shoes, but always want to throw those tiny size sixes that they have on display at the department store and scream “ARE THE SIZE TENS TOO BIG AND UGLY FOR DISPLAY?!?” It is a sort of foot prejudice, I think. Believe me, you will never catch a size ten on display. But these beauties of yours, while I don’t know your foot size, surely would look good no matter the size.

    I want your shoes – what is the brand name?

  • Msyvone

    LOVE the shoes! DING! DING! DING! WINNERS!

    I can relate, Where is all that free time one has when they rent? I own now, and every waking moment seems dedicated to chores. Thank god the Sewer Fairy has passed us by – THIS time.

  • http://figcookies.blogharbor.com Caren

    Ohmygosh! They’re BEAUTIFUL! I’m envious of women who can wear “girly” shoes, as I cannot and am stuck buying men’s shoes my feet are so huge.

  • http://threedogsandababy.blogspot.com Kim

    “I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.” I think that’s from The Big Chill.

    Love the shoes.

  • staceymay

    So did not put you as the type of girl to wear heels. Let alone pink heels! I belong to the school of thought that the more shoes the better and even if you never wear them at least you have fun shoes! Very cute, but I found myself wondering how many colors could I buy them in? Surely one pair is not enough!

  • http://www.visual-voice.net VisualVoice

    the kind of shoes, when heels click together, transport one to a place called home. marvelousness.

  • tryme

    Love, Love, LOVE the shoes. As a matter of fact, I just went online and made them mine as well. Black for me! Yay!

  • http://m-i-l-d-e-w.blogspot.com Daugher In Law

    Those shoes are more ‘justified’ than timberlake will ever be.

  • http://www.lacoquette.blogs.com Elisabeth Fourmont

    Came to pay respect to the shoes. So happy that they have gone to an even better place than Shoe Pavillion–your closet.

  • http://notjustahatstand.blogspot.com/ Teeny225

    Ooh I have red ones like those! Love the pink ones though. Nothing like a bit of shoe shopping to cure all ills.

  • Lilly

    Ok.
    I have been reading for some time. I have never even considered leaving a comment. . until I read that someone didn’t see you as a pink shoe kind of girl.
    I have always been a comfort kind of girl, myself. I am also quite tall, and those shoes look fan-friggin-tastic.
    I can see them with a pair of jeans or long black pants.
    Very funky shoes. .
    I don’t see you sporting a Ms.Utah glitter encrusted sash with these shoes. They aren’t cute. . . .they are powerful. :) May they hold you steady after a few drinks. . . Cheers!

  • Jill

    Holy Christ…you must be about 6’4″ in those beauties. Sweet.

  • http://kiwords.blogs.com Kira Martin

    Lordy, I was afraid you were going to be ADULT and RESPONSIBLE about the shoes! *whew*
    Oh yes, I hear the siren call.

  • sarandipity

    Oh dear sweet lord.

    The shoes… THE SHOES! With the PINK! Gaaaaaaahhhh I died.

    Im in love. With the shoes, with your site, with you, with everything.

    I HEART those shoes.

  • http://kassig.squarespace.com/ Kassi Gilbert

    I totally agree…and in addition, I have to say that the shoe therapy was completely necessary after the sewer fiasco. I mean…really, the cookie was only the beginning of the self medication cycle. Pink baby janes? really is there any question about whether or not you should have bought them?

  • http://CartwheelsAtMidnight.blogspot.com CartwheelsAtMidnight

    I have nothing to match those shoes.

    Not stopping me from coveting them though.

    Coveting and coveting like crazy.

  • http://www.lifeorsomethingjustlikeit.blogspot.com KaraMia

    ewww, round toes! You would LOVE My sister, she likes those kind as well… I just worry about your sanity…lol

  • http://www.pinkelephants.org lane

    Our public transit has seen a serious decline in the past couple of years. Certain buses are still dependable, and BART is decent (although it’s had a lot of troubles lately), but I have definitely taken a lot more cabs lately. And Zipcar.

    I hope your visit here went well anyway. If not just for the hot shoes.

  • http://www.greggdigressions.blogspot.com Melessa

    Mmm…shoes! Nothing better than a little retail therapy to help recover from a domestic crisis the size of your most recent one. Even if it isn’t technically in the budget.

    In that vein, I thought you would be amused and proud to hear that yesterday I spent almost the entire time we were at church staring at the beauty and wonder that is my new pair of Easter shoes to the complete exclusion of anything any speaker or teacher had to say. I’m such a shining example to the youth I’m called to teach. Wait until they hear what’s on my iPod on the drive to the temple this week.

  • http://www.skunkstripe.com Megan

    Stylish footware make better parents and all of us better people.

    Good call.

  • http://thehoneybunny.blogspot.com honey bunny

    those really aren’t my style, but they are pretty. and i wanted to say that you know it’s True Love when your husband suggests shoe shopping. mine hasn’t done that yet. i’m hoping he will by our third anniversary :)

  • choice

    And there I was, crying on the couch, because I am miserable and have just broken down and made my first appointment to meet with a therapist. Then I saw prettty pink shoes with a T strap and accompanying story from dooce. Does not cure all, but certainly makes me smile. I’m going to put on my favorite heels and walk around the living room for a while.

  • http://www.gingermog.com gingermog

    Those are magic shoes and honey you deserve them.

    I visited San Fransisco in 98, my first ever flight out of the UK and I just adored that city and Ocean Beach in San Diego too.I hope I get to go back there some day soon. I recollect that the buses had some trouble getting to the top of the hills and the passengers sometimes had to get out and walk to the top then get back in the bus to complete their journey!

  • http://brewerburns.blogspot.com Jennifer

    Those shoes make me salivate. A totally necessary purchase.

  • Thérèse

    Did I mention that the shoes themselves are divine? Okay, but did I mention it at least three times? They are. Adorably divine.

  • http://thejoyfulone505.blogspot.com/ Joyous

    Hello My Name is Joy and I am addicted to shoes!

    I once went into my shoe sanctuary here in Albuquerque and there sitting on a pedistal, illuminated by the light of God, was the most beautiful pair of Candy Apple Red, Patent Leather, Stilleto Pumps – I capitalize to pay respect to these delectable shoes. The angels sang as I approached these wonders that were meant for purchase by me and only me. I wore those shoes with everything and eventually wore them out.

    My only regret was not buying an additional pair, or three, because apparently they weren’t meant for purchase by only me. They sold out and never made another. Whoa to me! I still have them in their box all worn out in my closet. I keep saying I need to take them to the cobbler for repair but haven’t gotten around to it. I may ask Santa to have them repaired for Christmas.

  • http://www.yarngame.blogspot.com clara

    Those shoes are extremely cute!! Good choice.

    –Clara

  • http://silentgoddess.squarespace.com Lane Meyer

    The shoes kick ass.
    But one begs to ask the question….

    Did Jon sneak off and buy clogs??

  • http://monkeyswithfezzes.blogspot.com Varla

    Wonderful choice. I would say after the week you’ve had, you deserved a little treat.

    Now just don’t “accidentally” flush them like that beach towel.

  • babbling

    I just think, on Jon’s behalf, that the most PERFECT outfit to wear with those shoes, the “be still his beating heart”, leave him breathless, knock his socks off, mouth agape outfit to accompany those shoes, is your BIRTHDAY SUIT.

  • Urs

    very cute!

  • Chloe

    worth every cent.

  • http://www.thesigs.com karyn

    Oh, I love them. I’m glad you bought them – otherwise you would be sitting there in a nursing home someday wondering what could have been.

    Wish I could wear heels like that…thus is life married to a Short Man.