OK, I’m using a little bit of hyperbole in the title of this post: I can’t claim to speak for ALL shoe lovers, of course, but if you have a large (or even just a larger than average) shoe collection, I’m willing to bet you’ve heard at least one of these questions a few more times than is really necessary…
“BUT WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THEM ALL?”
I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count, and now just answer with a deadpan, “I wear them on a rope around my neck: is that not what I’m supposed to do with shoes?” Seriously, though: what ELSE would I do with shoes, other than wear them? Sure, I have a lot of pairs to get through – but I do actually manage it, as my regular Shoe Challenges demonstrate!
“YES, BUT CAN YOU ACTUALLY WALK IN THEM?”
I understand that heels aren’t for everyone (I provided some tips on how to walk in them here, if you’re interested), but asking me if I’m able to walk is a little patronising. I’d have to be pretty stupid to buy this many pairs of shoes if I wasn’t actually able to stand up in them, after all!
“WHY DO YOU NEED SO MANY?”
The short answer to this one is that I don’t: no one actually NEEDS lots of pairs of shoes. I do WANT them, though, and that’s why I buy them – just like how some people buy lots of video games, or model trucks, or whatever it is they’re interested in or collect. I’m sure they don’t actually “need” those things either, but if they want them, and can afford to buy them, who am I to judge?
“HOW CAN YOU AFFORD THEM?”
I was brought up with the idea that it’s impolite to question people about their personal finances, so I’m always taken aback when people demand to know how I paid for my shoes. I don’t ask people where they got the money for their new car/recent vacation/expensive meal/shiny new gadget, because it’s none of my business. Why is it THEIR business how I pay for my shoes?
(For the avoidance of any doubt, though, I pay for them with money I earned from working: the same way most people buy things…)
“DON’T YOU EVER THINK ABOUT HOW THAT MONEY COULD HAVE HELPED CHARITY INSTEAD?”
Following on from the “how much did they cost” and “how can you afford them?” questions is often another question which isn’t really a question at all: it’s just a way of trying to make me feel guilty by suggesting that there are “better” things I could have/should have spent my money on than shoes.
Again, I find it odd when I’m asked to justify how I choose to spend my own money, and I also resent the assumptions people are making here about me. How do they know I don’t ALSO give money to charity? (I do, for the record: I just don’t blog about it…) Buying shoes and donating to charity isn’t an either/or kind of thing: it’s not the case that someone can EITHER buy shoes OR give to charity. Actually, you can do both if you want to, and just because someone spends money on something frivolous, it doesn’t mean they’re automatically a bad or selfish person: for all you know, they could be donating twice as much to charity (or more) than they spend on shoes – and it’s none of your business, anyway.
As with the question above, I don’t go around people’s homes asking them why they bought that couch, or this flatscreen TV, when they could have donated the money to charity instead, or trying to make them feel guilty for owning an iPhone, when some people in the world are starving. Shoes aren’t the only luxuries people can buy, and if you’re going to start down the road of telling people they shouldn’t buy anything that isn’t essential, and should donate every spare penny they have – well, you better be practising what you preach!
Do you relate to any of these? Got any other shoe-related questions you’re sick of being asked?