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.


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://justlinda.net JustLinda

    Here, let me introduce you to my husband, the shoe-fetishist. The first thing he ever bought me was a pair of shoes and he hasn’t stopped since then. I have approximately 100 pairs of shoes that will never likely see the light of day. Why? BECAUSE THESE DEATH-CONTRAPTIONS WERE NOT MADE FOR A 200+ POUND WOMAN TO WALK THE STREETS UPON!! Oh, sure, maybe they are street-walker types of shoes but you know what I mean.

    I do not share your shoe fascinations. Maybe I should come up to SLC to do my shoe shopping. I *LIKE* the brown loafers. hahha

    (Pssst… if you wear a dainty little size 10 like me, I know where you can get LOTS of never worn or hardly worn shoes cheap cheap cheap!)

  • http://nowseriously.blogspot.com LeafGirl77

    Not a shoe person myself, I can see the appeal of these very cute shoes.

    I can see you Swiffering your house in them, for sure.

  • http://www.bigcitysmallworld.blogspot.com Brian

    As a man, I could go either way on the shoes.

    The fact that you did not make your husband shoe shop with you? Impressive.

  • http://heatherbarmore.blogspot.com Heather Barmore

    Funny because I just spent the GDP of a small third world country on five pairs of shoes. I have huge feet, so I like to justify buying many pairs of shoes by saying that if the shoe fits, buy it or else I may not find another pair in my size for-freaking-ever.

  • http://www.gusgreeper.com gusgreeper

    fantastic shoes.
    i, like many women have a thing for shoes and now im using this an excuse to buy a new pair.
    thank you kindly.

  • JnJ

    So, Dooce, I have to ask you what size shoe you wear. Because whenever I go to Shoe Pavilion (which will actually be in about an hour because they are oh-so-conveniently located right next door to my dentist where I’m going to get my teeth cleaned…)they never ever have my common size 9 in any but the ugliest shoes. So it’s actually a form of torture for me, seeing all these shoes I CAN’T HAVE because my foot isn’t tiny or gigantic.

  • rockr girl

    “she who dies with the most shoes wins.”

    words to live by, swear on my manolos. what does she win? who knows, and really, who cares? she just DOES.

    and i now have gone from “girl crush” to full-out “woman love” for dooce. seriously. i. adore. you.

  • spinsteraunt

    O pink. O fluted detail on lovely closed toe. O t-strap. I am not worthy.

  • Mell

    I have this posted on my office wall, “Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world!”, Bette Midler

    Here’s to better parenting through cute shoes!!

  • Thérèse

    Ooooooh Heather. Those shoes are… are… are… impossibly cute. I need a moment.

    And we’re back. Okay. Yes, definitely would have regretted it. So glad you ignored that stupid voice, the one people call “sensible” and has stuff to do with “budget” and what one can “afford.” That’s all crap.

    The shoes of your dreams? It is in fact a need. And your family will love you more. And you’ll be in a better place to understand your lovely daughter when she is older and is hit with the same shoe-fevah. So yeah. Better mother, and you’re happier and have gorgeous shoes.

    This is the post I never knew I always dreamed you would post. *wipes tear* I’m just so… it makes me want to be friends with you.

    In the strictly non-creepy way, of course.

    Well. (pause) Mostly.

  • http://www.letterstolucy.blogspot.com Sara

    Oh, but have you seen the beauty that is a DSW? One just opened in Portland and when I walked in, I thought I’d never leave again. It looks like they have a few near San Francisco; when you travel again, you should take a look.

  • http://rancidraves.blogspot.com cagey

    When I was in SF this last February, I didn’t even KNOW about Shoe Pavilion until I saw a commercial for them the night before I left. Even though I am not usually a Shoe Girl (I am a Purse Girl), I think I may have a drooled a bit. I am still very sad that I didn’t make there. Thanks, THANKS for reminding me. sniff….

  • http://shoeism.blogspot.com Thérèse

    And for three. Beautiful shoes.

    Ahem. Sorry. Fantastic shoes just get me very excited.

  • dehb

    I am Candy-colored pink with jealousy.

    Cute shoes like these are a necesity, not a luxury.

  • http://mooseinthekitchen.blogspot.com moose

    My office is in the same building as that store. I visit those very shoes on a weekly basis. I have friends I don’t see that often. All the will power I have employed in not buying those shoes has just been shot straight to hell because after seeing your pictures, I know that I will be buying a pair after work today. Rampant justification is commencing. If you got the last size nine, I will have to cry.

    I’m glad you bought them. A girl needs new pink shoes when sewer lines bust.

  • http://lawyerish.typepad.com lawyerish

    I am clutching my monitor and weeping.

    I am very un-girly in every respect except for an utter and inexplicable weakness for retro-40s-ish, round toed, t-strappy and/or spectator-y heels. I recently found a spangly red patent leather pair on sale in NoLiTa for which I would have sold my ovaries; but, as proof that the universe is harsh and unforgiving, they did not have my size.

    Congratulations on your purchase. You might want to make sure your doors are locked and your burglar alarm activated tonight.

  • http://kittenagogo.blogspot.com Danielle

    I’m weeping. For you, because you found those beautiful. For me, because I want them. BAD.

  • Nifle

    I knew it! Business trip to San Fran is really code for shoe shopping, now I just need to learn how to decipher what “going to the lawyer” means…

    They really are beautiful, but now the REAL question, can you where them all day without screaming in pain at the end? That is the the true test, readers (female and drag queens) want to know!

  • http://cowjumpmoon.blogspot.com Shalini

    i just got a pair of the best sandals. Ann Taylor Loft.. and they are copper colored… Pink isn’t my thing, but they sure are cute! Enjoy!

  • Nifle

    OMG…I ment wear not where! Someone please take one of my college degrees away from me. Also, female should be plural.

  • http://www.justsayjes.com/blog jes

    those shoes! so pretty! i want to lick them!

  • http://www.theniffer.blogspot.com the niffer

    Awesome shoes. Not only will you be a better mother NOW, Leta will just kill to inherit those some day.

  • http://www.kerrianne.org kerri

    Those shoes are great! But I have to say that I am SO glad we have no such pavilion in my city. I have what some would call a “problem” purchasing shoes. Basically, I need a twelve-step program. ;)

  • http://overdressedconfessions.blogspot.com/ kalisah

    I always knew in my heart that such a utopia as a Shoe Pavilion must exist else why would we all be here?

  • apuraja

    One sentence sums it up (combined with the heather pics on flickr)..

    “heather is a MILF!”.. Those shoes, even though I’m firmly entrench hetero male, are tasty..

    Jon.. Lucky SOB you are..

  • http://melinor.blogspot.com MelanieinOrygun

    Upon seeing the pretty pink t-strap shoes, I actually hummed a little bit under my breath: “mmmmmmmm”
    And then I tried to remember where the nearest SP is to me.
    Did they have them in any other colors?

  • http://jonniker Jonniker

    I wish I were the type who could wear pink shoes. I am the gutless footwear sort, who sticks to basic colors and worse, usually Reefs. I can’t even wear pink REEFS, for chrissake.

  • Renae

    Heather, next time you’re in San Francisco I’d recommend taking BART. I’m a native, and I have no confidence in Muni, so I either walk, take BART or take a cab, I rarely drive because parking is a pain in the ass. And the Shoe Pavillion is just 3 blocks or so up from the Powell Street BART station. OMG I love those shoes! I think I need them in every color I can get my hands on!

  • http://blogdor.jharding.com Blogdor

    So hey- while you were enjoying your sinful shoe shopping in SF (nice reddys by the way), I was finding out that my mom is in a sex cream commercial.


    Can I shoot myself now?

  • http://domesticchicky.blogspot.com Domestic Chicky

    Ooh…Loving the pinkness. Sooo jealous. Like candy for your feet!

  • http://marymuses.blogspot.com marymuses

    I think it must be something about those shoes, because I have the same ones in black, and I bought them when there was no room in my budget. I love them, and I’m so glad I bought them, budget or no budget. I had no idea they came in pink (which: even cuter than black!) as well. Excellent choice!

  • http://lowend.standingcheese.com The Aitch

    I am experiencing serious shoe envy.

  • Tracy

    Finding the perfect pair of shoes, especially in a discount store, is a religious experience and should never be forsaken.

    I was in the City that day too – the only siren call I heard, though, was the one telling me to hawk a loogie on the ass of Sarah Brown’s ex when I passed him on a sidewalk in Chinatown. Sadly, I didn’t listen.

  • http://www.thecoolhoney.com Cool Honey

    Man, those shoes are fierce! You west coast girls are so lucky.

    Huzzah! Pink is the new black.

  • http://agategal.typepad.com/ Tonya @ Kingfisher Cove

    Oh, man! So CUTE! I am so glad to see rounded toes coming back — those pointy things were godawful and made feet appear to be the size of snow skis.

  • KookieDangerous

    So sexy in a funky, babydoll sort of way!

    When it’s not enough to know you’ve sunk a mint into being grown up and responsible (like the roof’s sound, or the teeth are now OK for another 6 months, or the termites have been fumigated again)…

  • http://www.smithmediafusion.com/blog d-mode

    Hey Blogdor, I’ll pray for your mom…and for the Armstrongs.

    Peace and love,

  • http://latchkeymom.journalspace.com latchkeymom

    Sassy! Great color.

  • http://amity.beane.org mainegirl

    Sassy mama!

    New shoes=happiness.

  • http://dotty.us DottyDi

    I was just in San Francisco for a week, so why did I not learn of this Shoe Pavilion?!!! WHY?????

  • Matts

    Hey now – I don’t see any problem with gripping the steering wheel with both hands.

    Though I do thrive on twinkies, pizza, and beer, so I suppose I’m the epitome of a bad boyfriend.

    Either way, those ARE truly great shoes.

  • http://sojournering.blogspot.com/ OTRgirl

    A husband who informs you about a SHOE store: priceless! At least those shoes would prevent the question, “Why do you need another pair of black shoes?”

  • http://homegrown-insanity.blogspot.com crzylady

    OF COURSE you’ll be a better mother with these shoes. You’ll feel the goddess that are you in those shoes. Leta will forever remember your gorgeous legs ending in the most perfect pair of pink divinity.

  • Velma

    I would leave a long comment detailing all the things that are great about those shoes, but instead, I’m using them as inspiration. I’m gonna try to run out to DSW real quick in the 55 minutes I have free until I have to meet the bus. Later, dudes!

  • http://daisyjane17.blogspot.com/ Dana

    I love your blog…and I wanted to ask…what KIND of shoes were they? They look AMAZING….I love them!

  • http://www.abiding.typepad.com Deb Sawyer

    They are perfect in every way! So perfect that I am compelled to comment. I never do that.

  • http://www.starshinereport.com Star Shine

    I love that Jon knows you so well and that the Shoe Pavillion was HIS idea! He’s a total keeper…but I guess you already have that figured out, what with marrying him and all! Congrats on a LOVELY pair of pink lady-shoes!

    Oh! And I realized today that I am a truly committed Dooce reader when I looked at the little box at the top of the page that you click on to see the photo of the day…and I assumed it was two strands of spaghetti hanging off of Chuck’s snout!!!

  • http://kristied.blogspot.com KristieD

    I usually rationalize those sorts of purchases in much the same way. It is something good for me which will make me happy,therefore it is good for everyone !

    those shoes are awesome btw. i am jealous.

  • Sabine

    Super cute! If only they were red…

  • http://wandacrab.blogspot.com Kerri

    Don’t we get to see you IN the shoes? It’s kind of tough to know how cute they are without feet in them.

    Oh who am I kidding, they’re adorable!

    I am a tall woman too, and I wore the heels-I-couldn’t-resist to my niece’s christening yesterday and was taller than the parents, the priest and the godfather and I DIDN’T CARE.