An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation


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.

  • minxlj

    They’re shoes. They’re pink. You need them. You so don’t need to rationalise ANYTHING 🙂

  • justmsme

    I think it’s now confirmed: I really am a lesbian. Those shoes do nothing for me. Do you have a picture of Jon’s shoes? I bet I’d love them…

  • la_florecita

    A couple of commenters mentioned DSW, my fave shoe store. Back when we only had one, I was returning a pair of shoes to Dillard’s in a DSW bag. (I’d bought some shoes at Dillard’s, found a cuter/cheaper similar pair at DSW a few days later and so I was returning them. It’s logical.)

    So I’m minding my own business when a lady chases me down and asks, half in a panic, “Where did you get that bag? WHERE is the nearest DSW?? Is there one HERE??”

    I had to answer, “Oh no, its the store over on Dunvale . . .” She looked sooooo disappointed. The DSW was probably an hour away from where we were.

    I quickly got rid of the bag so that other shoeaholics wouldn’t twitch as I passed them.

  • LOL, this is too funny. Just came home myself from buying two new pairs of summer shoes, but they aren’t ANYWHERE near as cute as those. Want them! If there was a 12-step program for shoes, my family would be trying to send me.

  • After all these months of reading, you affirm what I already knew. YOU ROCK!

    Nothing, but NOTHING can heal like a fabulous pair of shoes.

  • KookieDangerous

    It’s like the butterscotch Dum Dum after the shot at the pediatrician. =-)

  • Why do I not like them? Listen, I can totally understand the NEED to have them. I have my guilty pleasures also 🙂
    I am a fan of the pinkness of them though, for sure!

  • anneelizmary

    As Leta would say, “Hello, Sooo Cute!!!!” These seem destined not only to make Mama very happy this spring, but in the future, to make someone’s dress up box a very happy place to be. Plus, after all that sewage, they had to be had.

  • How many ad clicks are those shoes worth? Start clicking girls! We need shoe joy when things get rough.

    I can see you wearing your cute new shoes while standing in your front yard gazing at your churned up lawn or maybe dancing in your new shoes on your lawn.

  • TeenSleuth

    I was just daydreaming on my way home from work about new shoes. Now I have to go and buy some! I think apparel is my porn. It’s like I just looked out the window and saw my sexy neighbors getting busy in their living room and I have to RUN NOW to the computer.

  • I used to love Shoe Pavilion until I found DSW. Now my heart lives at DSW, especially the back racks where the sale shoes reside.

  • anneelizmary

    As Leta would say, “Hello, Sooo Cute!!!!” These seem destined not only to make Mama very happy this spring, but in the future, to make someone’s dress up box a very happy place to be.

  • Shoes are cheaper than crack too … so there is always that … considering that they are both equally addictive!

  • Shelley Bonnechance

    It’s good that you’re hearing the siren’s call for shoes.

    Some people hear that call for insanely expensive jewelry, houses or vehicles.

    Some hear it for other people’s husbands.

    So I think a jones for a new pair of shoes sounds very laudable, all things considered.

  • adiav

    Those shoes are making me wonder if I can somehow fit a trip to San Francisco in my already-tight upcoming US itinerary.

    …All because I’ve looked everywhere for a pair of t-straps.

    Sadly, I think the answer is “no”.

  • The two words I was hoping to hear were “bur” and “rito.” I mean, you two are mere seconds from the Mission, and you go all Immelda on us. Maaaan.

    signed– Jonesing in Belgium, land of no frigging decent Mexican food.

  • Kerry

    Damn it. Now I must have those shoes!!! Very very cute.

  • A guy who can bowl you over with delight, then catch you on the way down – well, you have found yourself the perfect man, haven’t you? The shoes ain’t half bad, either.

  • ctw1966

    Dayum. Those are some C-UTE shoes. Love ’em. Why have I not heard of Shoe Pavilion? Must. Google. Now.

  • MelissaJ

    I understand about those shoes. They are absolutely adorable. I never picked you for a pink girl but I’m very glad to find out you are. Now I must find those shoes for myself.

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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!”

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

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

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

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

  • Lilly

    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.

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

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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