For Love of Love and Love of Shoes


made for walking.

Three years ago Balenciaga came out with these chunky boots with cutouts and big buckles. They were aggressive, masculine, a fresh take on punk. They were also $2,000. And so — despite the fact I thought I wanted them more than life itself and despite that picture of Gisele wearing them with red crocodile shorts and a black blazer instantly became as iconic to me as any Audrey Hepburn photograph – I resigned myself to the fact that these boots would never be mine. Because sometimes, no matter how much you dream, yearn, pine, plead… you’re just not going to get what you want. C’est la vie.

And so, the months went on and the perusing of style blogs became ever the more painful, skimming through pictures of girls more frivolous with their (or their parents’ or boyfriend’s) cash, sporting various incarnations of my beloved shoe. “Wouldn’t I be better with those boots?” I wondered. “Isn’t that boot the exact representation of who I am? Is $2,000 but a small price to pay for such a service?” These ludicrous musings of a First World variety would inevitably dissipate, taken over by reason and reality. Yes, it would take work and a little time, but I had to temper my irrational, childish want.

But then, one day, I found a pair of Proenza Schouler booties that evoked a similar – if not infinitely more subtle – intention. Leather straps wrapped around the ankle, creating those coveted cutaways, but the style was simple, more feminine. The boots were also on sale. I bought them with love and an admitted wash of slight defeat. But now, though I never imagined it possible, I like them better than that which inspired their purchase. Ain’t life grand…

In my opinion, this principle works the same way with guys. From a very young age, we’re taught this sort of absurd notion of having a “soul mate.” Out there, in a vast, vast earth filled with billions of people, there is, living in the same here and now, one singular person who you are meant to spend your whole life with. One person. Out of all persons.

But as you get older, and you slowly, laughably begin to chip away at that daunting number of strangers, barely scratching the surface of knowingness, you become more open to the idea that maybe there isn’t just one person for you, but a handful of people. You begin to loosen the grip on that proverbial shopping list. Bills, Bobs, Benjamins. They’re all great. They could all be the one. Because there is no “The One.”

Unfortunately, whether or not you believe in the concept of soul mates, this idea of fated love, it sticks with you, imbues in you a hope that every person you begin to fancy in the slightest might be The Person, resulting in expectations that are meant to be crushed. This misleading concept of having a soul mate, propagated by books and songs and Disney movies, makes you think that the only shoe you could ever want in the world is Balenciaga, even though the reality is that you really just haven’t met your Proenza yet.

There’s always another pair of boots.

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