High heels, long nails, hot rollers, curling irons – I was never one for any of that. All my life, I’ve been a flat shoe’d, wash n’ wear kinda gal.  You wouldn’t catch me placing my foot into a position like the one used in Chinese foot binding. Yech!

But, as Marx said, material circumstances shape our ideas; and, due to my employment in the entertainment BIZ, it has been necessary to familiarize myself with various devices.  Working as an actor, a photodouble, a stand in and a background performer, I’ve learned to tinker with all manner of wardrobe, makeup, hair-dos and finger nails. I’ve been primped up, loaded in, vamped up, frumped down, scooped in, lifted up and twisted around.

All this time spent in makeup rooms, hair trailers and changing areas has slowly but surely altered my thinking.

Three days ago, it hit me big.

Staring at the rows of shoes hanging from a rack on my closet door, I realized I hardly had any. Following in my Mom’s footsteps (no pun intended), I guess I’d never thought beyond the practical footwear needed to navigate the farm fields and country roads I grew up on. To top it off, the shoes I did have were all still in good shape but looking like 1992. I knew then that I would have to make some changes. No wonder Hollywood did not consider me chic!

So, as is my wont, I went about the business of carefully and reasonably updating my archaic shoe collection – if it could be called a collection. I went to Goodwill that very day and spent $8.00 on a beautiful burgundy pair of Alfani heels. Pretty high but somewhat comfortable – for heels.

I hadn’t seen anything yet.

Enter Natascha.

Natascha, like many of my women friends, has a closet full of assorted shoes and boots. She’s forever stylish; so, when she asked me to hit a couple of Crossroads Trading Company stores to give my opinion on three pairs of shoes she was considering, I agreed.

First, we hit the Melrose store. I was expecting a quick look at the shoes she had in mind, but no. Natascha floated into the store as if she was magnetized, her eyes scanning the rows of shoes above the clothing racks. She quickly honed in on a stunning pair of brown/gold/yellow and cream patent leather five inch platform stilletos. “These are awesome!,” she said. “Aren’t they great?,” she set them down and slid her feet inside. Maybe her her excitement was contagious. Maybe it was just time. Whatever it was, I was sold. They looked amazing.

She took them off and gripped them by the heels, her eyes darting left and right as she swept down the aisle. “Grab something good right away if you see it,” she whispered. “One time, I saw a sweet pair, didn’t take them, realized my mistake, and when I turned to get them, the woman right behind me had already picked them up. To this day, I still think about that pair.”

As Natascha continued down the rows of shoes, I began to try on a few pairs myself, at first gingerly, and then, with building excitement. By the time she called me over to check out the shoes she was thinking about, I could barely tear myself away.

I was mesmerized. I didn’t want to leave but Natascha insisted we still hit the Santa Monica store. I followed her out, my head turned for one last lingering look at the shoes I was leaving behind. At the second store, my mouth may have been open most of the time. I suddenly wondered why I’d never noticed how many types of shoes there are or how many different looks they could make. How ornate they can be. How colorful. How splendid. I needed to get home and feed my dog but I could not tear myself away from the rows and rows of mid to high end shoes – in excellent condition. I started to feel hot.

Natascha and I ended up spending some three hours in a fevered shoe bonanza. I called to ask my neighbor to feed my dog. When it came time to make choices, I couldn’t decide what advice to give Natascha or myself. I wanted to be sensible.

She tried the Santa Monica store shoes over and again. We looked at pictures of the ones we’d taken on Melrose.  She also found several more pairs. Finally, her face was calm as she looked square at me and said, “I think I’m going to buy them all.” She started to laugh in a giddy way, “I should, right?”

“Yes, I said, disbelieving my own words, “I think you should.”

As for me, between the two stores, I found nine pairs. When I asked Natascha to help me pick out the best ones, I knew what she was going to say. I also knew that I was going to do it. I was delirious. Yes! All of them!

I returned home with my bags, flushed and incredulous that I had actually purchased nine pairs of shoes in one day. I had never bought more than two in a day before and that only rarely.

The damage to the pocketbook was not at all bad. Several pairs were half price off. That is Crossroads’ policy. They always want to keep their stock fresh; so, after just a few weeks, everything goes for half price. I ended up paying $120.00 for eight pairs of like-new shoes and one pair of killer boots with labels like Steve Madden, Nine West, Aldo and Miu Miu.



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