A colleague from India, a first time visitor to our home, commented while he was leaving – nodding towards our shoes: How many people do actually live in this flat? This was, as a matter of fact, the second time a guy from India made that particular comment. But I was able to come up with a quick reply this time: These are shoes for cycling (not mentioning that I have another two pairs; for cycling in the summer and for spinning) – and these are for walking cum treadmill, and…. I then reminded him of his remark one hour earlier; about Stavanger and its four seasons pr day. Which makes it necessary to have a pair of shoes – not for any occasion, but for any type of weather….
But his remark wouldn’t go away. For a week I have been thinking, do I have too many shoes? (yes of course I have). But how come? (silly question).
Does one need, for instance, three pairs of Converse? I have blue ones (for jeans), brown ones (for my brown jeans). And my favourite shoes above all; the brown suede ones with orange “teddy bear” lining (for spring and autumn…). And there is the Converse look-alikes, black “silk” with grey velvet laces….. Bought in Berlin solely because I was so disappointed I could never find brown Converse….
And, does one need two pairs of Adidas from the Superstar series that came a few years back. The black pair called “Berlin” and the blue suede ones, bought in their trendy flagship store in Berlin…. Maybe not, but if I had to choose….?
Then there is the (sort of) tiger striped ballerina shoes, bought in 2008 in Colaba, Mumbai. Ida and I were looking at shoes when this absolute “fruitcake” of a young Indian salesperson targeted us. Ida lost all sense of common sense and bought two, if not three pairs. Whereas I bought only one pair (the sensible stepmother), and pretty useless as well the sole being so slippery I almost broke my neck later that evening. But I use them, in the summer, when I go out with the garbage. Does that make sense? – a pair of shoes for getting rid of the garbage (alternatively collecting the mail).
But Colaba gave me another pair of shoes last November, my Rajasthan sandals. So pretty they could stand on a table just for sheer enjoyment…. but so hard to wear. I only have try harder!
It’s not my only pair of sandals though. I have many more. For walking on asphalt, in rough terrain, suitable for the beach (where I never go), as well as a restaurant…
A few years back we travelled to Berlin. The summer weather in Norway was so bad we forgot that it could be nice and warm elsewhere. My feet was absolutely boiling, and then I caught a glimpse of a pair of brown and turqoise sandals in a window in Oranienburger strasse. And when it comes to that particulat colour combination, I lose common sense. Besides, the sandals gave me exactly what I needed; airy feet when I was about to melt!
Could I have done without them…. Probably, but my defence is strong: They were not that expensive and takes hardly any space in the luggage. Which means they can go almost anywhere without creating trouble (!)
A couple of years ago, rain gear came into fashion. If you can’t beat them, join them. That is: when it’s raining a whole lot, one might as well look good. Suddeny one half of Stavanger’s women was wearing Danish designer Ilse Jakobsen’s rain coats, and boots. Luckily I never surrendered, I never gave in neither to the coat or the boots. Or any other designer’s rainy collection. Instead I find my old 30 or something year’s green “wellingtons” perfectly usable and fashionable (I think retro is the word).
And these are ony but a few of my shoes. Because there are hiking shoes, winter shoes, Dr Marten’s shoes (only one pair though), dress-up-together-with-black-trousers-try-to-look-like-a-lady- shoes, – and some other of unknown category. It’s a fact that one can grow out of (and back into….) clothes, but the shoes always fit. And they pile up. And they tell a story. My Converse are bought in Roanoke (VA) USA, Lausanne (Switzerland) and Oslo. But don’t let me start all over again………….