Behold these shoes.
Sturdy Italian leather oxfords, peanut butter hued, equally smooth, with pretty perforations.
I have stalled on this post because there is so much to say. Conveyed poorly, it could seem like materialistic worship, but oh the depths of how much these shoes and I have gone through. I will keep this as concisely explanatory as possible because my real tome is going to be an epic tale crafted through much praise and reflection. This is actually pair N°2. The original pair now looks like this:
Now, I found these well-loved beauties at Value Village for $13 in fall 2013. They carried me through 6 solid years of constant use, innumerable adventures and places and monumental life events. The irony of ironies is that a week or so after buying them I was at the very same Value Village and saw the very same pair, but, not having worn them yet, I smiled and strolled on, amused by the thrifty happenstance of seeing the same item I had just purchased. Little did I know I would fall head over heels in love with these shoes and spend the next 6 years kicking myself for not buying that pair that got away. I wore these shoes with everything and walked everywhere in them. I have hot glued their toe seams at least 3 times, and, for the past couple years of their life, the left heel has been entirely supported by gravel that packed itself into a hole in the rubber sole. Amusingly, the sheer laces I replaced the original laces with stood up to all that constant wear! Who knew sheer ribbon was so indestructible?! Anyway, I even recently took them to a cobbler to see if they could be resoled and all that jazz, and he said they could, for $60, as he lovingly admired the quality leather. So I contemplated facilitating a shoe resurrection as I simultaneously kept kicking myself for not buying that second pair when I saw them. Rationally, in their current state, I have had the urge to flat out chuck these shoes in the garbage on several occasions, but as oddly materially sentimental as it sounds, they truly are like old friends and I just couldn't. These shabby suckers deserve a proper burial if and when they leave my closet. I actually started a massive memory document, a shoe narrative, the aforementioned epic tale, about all we have been through, complete with photographic evidence of those past 6 years. Until that is complete, they shall stick around for inspiration.
So the other week I was at Value Village and my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw the shoes, MY shoes, MY solemates sitting on the shelf in my size in perfect condition. No more grief about the demise of pair N°1 or regret about the pair that never was! I picked them up in amazement and said a laugh-filled prayer of blissful thankfulness about how beautifully life is weaved together. God never fails to circle things into life right at the perfect time, at the end of an era, to seamlessly blend one beautiful phase into another. So here's to chapter 2 with pair N° 2 and all the adventures we will, stroll, frolic, and bound through together these next 6+ years!