Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

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.

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

  • 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!!!

  • Sabine

    Super cute! If only they were red…

  • nahanni

    those are SO CUTE!! and a completely understandable and necessary purchase 🙂

  • 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!

  • wen

    Oh, I saw someone recommended DWS. They have those in SF too, no need to travel to SJ unless you want to. 🙂

  • Pepius

    I love your totally good-humoured, politically progressive, gay-friendly San Francisco shoes!

    By the way, due to a broken connection I hadn’t say nothing about the Sewer Disaster. I’m many, many, many miles away, but I hug you three all the same.

  • wen

    Alas, my GF also heard such a siren’s call after a large home improvement bill, only hers came at the Santa Cruz Shoe & Sockshop. (Their shoes are great, but their website only shows theif Hippie Homeland Organic Hemp and Free Range Leather shoes, which she most certainly did not purchase, even if we do take men in sandals and oragnic toothpaste for granted.)

    Anyway, her siren sung. To the tune of over $200. But the shoes…They were red. And white. Together. And they had a cool heel. And a toe a lot like the one in your photos. And they weren’t Fluvogs, which, although nice, everyone has, except for me, because they don’t make girl shoes big enough for me, and you also need to know how to spell “Fluvog” before they’ll sell you any, and I’m not sure I do.

    Anyway, those shoes travelled in the carry-on luggage on vacation and were stored, in their little bag, near the life vests in the cabin on the cruise. Just in case, you know.

  • Of course you bought them. Not to buy them would be a SIN.

  • Pepius

    I love your totally good-humoured, politically progressive, gay-friendly shoes!

    By the way, due to a broken connection I hadn’t say nothing about the Sewer Disaster. I’m many, many, many kms away, but I hug you three all the same.

  • Shoes are one thing in life that can make everything ok. It doesn’t matter that I have clothes of every size in my closet, my shoe size remains constant and even if I only ever wear that pair of YSL spectator pumps with the four inch heels one time, they were perfect for that one occasion and were definitely worth every painful moment, because they were just right… I stood taller and looked better because of it… and I got them at 70% off. Even my kids have never made me feel that good.

  • scoxsmith

    Shoes are one thing in life that can make everything ok. It doesn’t matter that I have clothes of every size in my closet, my shoe size remains constant and even if I only ever wear that pair of YSL spectator pumps with the four inch heels one time, they were perfect for that one occasion and were definitely worth every painful moment, because they were just right… I stood taller and looked better because of it… and I got them at 70% off. Even my kids have never made me feel that good.

  • I miss those adds…

    ‘Come to the ChooPa-billion”

    where did they go?

  • If you ever find yourself in Massachusetts you will equally enjoy DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse). Cute shoes! I would have done the same.

  • ooooh I covet those. shoot. stop making me break commandments, heather.

  • Sometimes I worry about the fact that I’m moving to San Francisco in December with no job, no apartment, no contacts, and no car, and then I make myself repeat a mantra that goes a little something like this: “Trader Joe’s, In & Out Burger, The Largest Old Navy In The World.” It’s a little clunkier than “Om” but it gets me by. Now, apparently, I’ll have to add “Shoe Pavilion” to the mix too, and that could get long-winded.

  • Abbey

    It’s sad to say, but it’s almost better to rent a car here in San Fran (and surrounding areas). We live south of SF, but suggest to anyone that comes to visit to rent a car.

    LOVING the shoes…and if you really do love to find amazing shoes for low prices, you should try out DSW. Now I have no idea if this is only a west coast thing, but next time you come to SF, drive down to Stevens Creek in San Jose and enjoy the shoe orgasm that is DSW.

    Lastly…bourbon, huh? Grew up in KY…Bourbon capital of the world. You need to try bourbon slush. Yes, it’s just as amazing as it sounds…slushy bourbon goodness! It’s a family recipe…my mother-in-law would kill me if I handed this thing out to just anyone…which is why I am not just typing it here. Contact me if you are interested.

    Yowza…sorry for the super long comment!

  • May you dance all day and night when you put those adorable shoes on.

  • Molicious

    Holy shit, those are adorable!

  • OM MY OH MY….If you are going to cheat on the budget you better cheat with some DAMN FINE SHOES!

    They are FAB!

  • FIRST OF ALL THEY ARE CARNATION, AND A-DOR-A-BLE. SECOND, GET THE OUT TO A FANCY DANCIN JOINT QUICKLY! AND C, ….ZAPPOS, .COM

    AHHHH THE HEAVENLY CHOIR SINGS.

  • MontanaJen

    HEAR the siren call?

    I freaking OWN that siren call, sistah.

    Yes – I have the shoes. No, I didn’t buy them in Montana, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, the Dakotas, or even Washington State (although I probably could have in Seattle).

    I, too, found them in San Fran, that city that makes me forget that I’m about to return to a climate with a 59 day growing season and snow in June.

    Oh, SF, you wretched bitch, I love you.

  • lyssann

    Omigod, I want those shoes. How adorable!!

  • Those are some seriously cute shoes. And I bet they were way cheaper than a drinking binge. Enjoy!

  • Had to be done…. no question.

    Pink + a T-strap?!?!??!?! I mean, really…..

  • Bruno

    It would have been wrong NOT to buy the shoes.

  • trublu76

    oooooo-lala, senorita!
    Talk about the hotness that is dooce! I love them. I, too, partake in shoe therapy and just might have purchased the same shoe to make myself feel like all was right in the world! Did they have other colors? I would have bought one of each… you just never know…

  • that’s the same way i feel about spending what’s left of my money on hookers and booze. i’m just way more fun to live with.

  • Sunni

    MEOW! LOVE them, completely justified purpose.

  • I think they are pretty damn cute. Flirty, and they have kisses and hugs on them. Sweet!

  • micahmaranda

    Cuh-yooote!

    I can’t believe you have a husband who would bring up the SP knowing full well the inevitable consequences!

  • Me

    Huh.

    Pink.

    I didn’t really have you pegged as a “pink” kind of girl.

    But they are very nice, in retrospect. Just very. very. very. Pink.

  • Oh, I HEAR the siren call. It is loud, and… siren-y. From whence came the Shoe Pavilion? And why is it not in the midwest?

  • Carli

    Power of cheese my ass, it’s the power of beautiful shoes! Excellent score, and happy return to your newly functioning home!

  • Very lovely shoes. And I totally understand your reasoning behind purchasing them.

  • ErikaG

    *shrieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek* *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*

    *panting* Oh. My. God. Those shoes.

    They took over my mind. They are fabulous. Love your blog, have been reading for awhile, but like you said, the shoe’s siren song forced me to comment.

    *scurries off to Zappos.com*

  • Carla Beth

    Is it just me, or are those shoes rather dull looking? I need context with shoes like that. Maybe model them with an outfit. Because I just don’t get it. They look like faded Mary Janes with heels. That’s the stuff of siren calls??? But I do have a love-hate relationship with you, Heather, so maybe I’m viewing them through a tainted lens? Although I must say you’re being totally adorable about those shoes.

  • I am drooling for those shoes.

  • jenlovely

    a part of me is so jealous you can wear heels. i’m 6 foot and have a size 11 foot in womens shoes, heels do nothing flattering for me.

  • I love them!

  • pretty shoes…they’re really cute

  • Those are some seriously cute shoes. I can only imagine how many thrilling adventures you will now have JUST BECAUSE you are wearing those shoes. Have fun! 😀

  • lyndsey_elise

    Is it just me or do you walk differently in your pink t-strap hot hottie shoes than say your $3 Old Navy flip flops. For me anything that’s metallic with a heel sends me over.

  • Lobsterchick

    You had no choice. None. Considering all the great stuff I’m seeing at the Shoe Emporium website right now (on the site they only have them in black, which — I’ll take ’em!), you really showed quite a good deal of restraint. I’m proud of you.

  • Lobsterchick

    Oh, wait. I found the pink. Yes, they are mine as well. I believe XOXO owes you some sort of commission.

  • paper

    ooooooHHH!!!!shoe porn!
    sweetmaryandjoseph those are excellent shoes!

  • Lena

    Ahh, I just moved to suburbia after being raised in San Francisco. And do I miss it? Uhhh, yeah.

    I have to laugh at you though Heather. You’re in one of the greatest freaking fashion districts in the world and you’re excited about Shoe Pavilion? Bah-hahahaha!

    I do love ya girl. And the kicks ARE hot!

  • Kala Lily

    How to make the universe know that you needed those shoes and it was a good thing to do: eat nothing but chicken and pasta for the next month, or Ramen noodles if you’re gonna be really cheap, forfeit all Doritos and other cheesy substances, give two trash bags full of clothes that you never wear anymore to the Salvation Army and give the kid all the TV she wants for at least a week. There…. feel better!

  • Honestly, it should be shoes are a girl’s best friends…at least we can have many of them that way :)I wouldn’t try to justify buying shoes no matter how expensive they are. Ever.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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