Monday, January 16, 2012

20 Super Amazing Shoes!

That's one of the cover stories in this month's InStyle magazine--but you already knew that, didn't you?

Six years ago, I would have been all over that headline. What's the latest? I would have feverishly noted: platform, kitten heel, slouchy boot? And I would have hot-footed (sorry) it to the mall to purchase one pair of each. At least.

For roughly 48 years, I had a take-it-or leave it approach to shopping. I never "got" it--the thrill of the hunt, the fun of browsing the racks of Bloomingdales AND Gap AND Ann Taylor, the satisfaction of heading to the parking lot after a big haul, laden with 60% markdown booty. Oh, I'd do my due diligence when gifts needed to be purchased, or when my 15-year-old winter coat finally fell apart. But my heart was never in it. Bargain-seeking was something I endured, not enjoyed.

When I became suddenly riveted by glossy fashion magazines, when the ka-ching of the opening cash register sent my pulse pounding and I planned my week around Macy's One Day Sale--well, I should have known something was wrong. I had, for years, owned three pairs of shoes--sneakers, one pair of heels, flip-flops--and felt my tootsies were set for all contingencies. Now, I had to go out and buy a bi-level shoe rack to accommodate the branch of DSW that had recently opened in my closet.

When does a passion for shopping become a pathology?

When it's new. When it flies in the face of everything you thought you were.

 I remember exactly when I looked up "bipolar" online, and realized, with sinking heart, that "bipolar" was me. Chapter and verse. Every single symptom. Me. I'd been feeling for months like my moods were a runaway freight train: sobs and wild laughter rapidly alternating. At first, I chalked it up to early menopause, but in truth it ran so much deeper than hot flashes, that I knew. I knew.

So it was off to the shrink for talk therapy and oceans of meds. The first months were pretty horrific. Lithium is basically a salt pill. I'd line up water bottles on my bedside table to down throughout the night--and still I thirsted. Seroquel made me do some scary things (have you ever tried to drink a lit candle? Under the influence of Seroquel, I tried). Finally, I found the psychiatrist with the prescription savvy I'd needed so badly. For the past five years, he has been my lifeline, and I have achieved a new normal. Sick, but getting ever better.

Where does all of this leave the Compulsive Shopper? Mall-shy, basically. I treat the latest ULTA circular as porn, and pitch it quickly. I'm back to enduring, not enjoying, the grocery store. I can walk boldly by the Hallmark shop without buying them out of birthday greetings. And yet…

And yet. 20 super amazing shoes! beckon, a siren song covered in red leather.

What can it hurt to try some on?

1 comment:

  1. hahah -- but you must have missed the news that that cover is making the roubnds because it is such a bad photoshop remake of (cute) Drew Barrymore. Her waist is waay too thin, and the right side of her smile is stretched out badly....but you were too busy looking at the shoes