Friday Fun!

Dear Readers:

Today I have a very important meeting.

Very important.

Assuming things go well, details will follow as appropriate.  If things do not go well, I’ll keep plugging away until they do.

And now for some Friday Fun!

I’m recycling something I wrote a few years ago on my old site: Post-Darwinian Hubris.  Have a wonderful day and wish me luck, my friends!  Things are happening and as I sit here with my heart beating a mile a minute, I feel as if I’m finally close to the realization of a dream I’ve had longer than I knew I had it.

Is There a 12-Step Program for This?

I have heard it said that the first step to eliminating an addiction is admitting you have a problem.

In addition, I believe it is true a person has to want to change in order to conquer an addiction, which probably explains why interventions and resulting rehabs don’t seem to work that well (Lindsay Lohan comes to mind).

You may be able to browbeat an addict into submitting to treatment by getting ten of her friends and family members to tell her what a drunk asshole she is, but unless she wants to stop being a drunk asshole (and instead become a sober assshole), the treatment probably won’t be effective.

That being said, I have come to the realization that I have a problem.

I have a serious, big, bad addiction and it is starting to affect my life in negative ways. My suspicion is that friends and family members are concerned, and may be planning some sort of Group Talk to ease me into therapy so I can cure myself of this disease.

And have no doubt, it is a disease, not just a character flaw or lack of self-control.

Hello. My Name is Robin, and I Am a Shoe Addict.

What, you thought I was going to say something else?

It all started innocently enough back in college. Some of my friends were deep into shoes by then and I often caught them sheepishly looking left and right at the Meier and Frank shoe department register as they spent their rent money on Reebok high tops or jelly sandals in a dazzling array of colors.

I didn’t really get what the big deal was, and I knew my money was better spent on beer, Qubenzas and Grateful Dead tickets (apologies to my parents, all 27 of them).

Still, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I experimented from time to time. My dabbling in what would later become a serious addiction started innocently enough: I borrowed shoes from my more stylish friends. This wasn’t easy to do, because most women who have the same size foot as me (10) are six feet tall, and I didn’t know a lot of female basketball players at the University of Oregon.

Regardless, once in a while I scored a hit of a pump, an espadrille, even a peep-toe slingback. I justified my actions by reminding myself I wasn’t actually buying the shoes, which would indicate a problem. I was just bumming them from time to time.  That’s totally different.  (I used the same rationalization with cocaine)

But I never really got into the hardcore scene, and managed to spend most of my college years and a few thereafter hoofing around in the footwear most favored by my Eugene brethren: the God-forsaken Birkenstock.

Something Changed

I don’t know exactly when I started to have a problem, but I suspect it dates back to searching for a clerk position when I was in law school. After several interviews I began to notice both the male and female lawyers seemed to be glancing uncomfortably towards my ankles and just beyond.

As I said before: I have unusually large feet, and this can cause people dismay. But still.

I began to suspect that wearing leather Jesus sandals to job interviews at big time firms was not going to cut it. Oh sure, I would look just right if I was looking to land a job at OSPIRG, but those jobs didn’t pay for shit. I love the environment and all, but I didn’t spend $65,000 and three years in law school so I could have my income dictated to me by a spotted owl.

Slowly, tentatively, I waded into the shoe community. I got a smoking deal on my first pair of “designer” shoes on eBay and that’s when the real problems started. Once you go designer, you can’t just go back to Payless Shoe Source. Well, you could, but why would you?

The fact is an extremely well-priced designer shoe is the gateway drug to the hard stuff. The corporate suits at the various auction sites know this, but they have shredded all the data that prove my point.

After a few millions dollars spent and a closet that look like this:


I told myself,

“It’s OK, I’ll stop after this pair, just one more, just one little stiletto sandal for that party! I can stop anytime I want, really I don’t have a problem but oh my Christ look at those boots you can’t NOT buy those boots can you?”

My goal is not to excuse my addiction, but I will say I have had my enablers: my “co-dependents,” if you will.

My Enablers: Also Known as “Husbands”

My first husband (I call him “The Original,” and for some reason Tom also calls him “The Canary in a Coal Mine”) bought me a pair of jeweled starfish-shaped sandals I have worn so many times they aren’t actually visible anymore – basically they are dust.

Those shoes are so cute, so god-damned sassy that I cannot wear them for more than five minutes without someone stopping me to inquire about them while simultaneously shrieking over their extreme level of fabulousness.


Mr. Patience and Understanding, known to some people as “Tom,” has also nurtured and I daresay taken advantage of my addiction.

There have been times he has arrived home at the end of the day with the gleaming silver Nordstrom Bag that he knows so moves my heart. He sees the look in my eyes, he notes the quickening of my pulse and the increase in saliva dripping from my lower, quivering lip.

It’s more saliva than usual, let’s just put it that way. I am seriously a Pavlovian Puppy when it comes to beautiful shoes.

A few months ago he came home with these, for no reason at all.


He claimed he bought them as a thank you gift for nursing him back to health during the Swine Flu, but don’t think I don’t know what he’s up to.  He wants something, and in all likelihood I’ll give him whatever he needs because those boots are fucking awesome.

Time to Take Action

Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion I need to get help.

My shoe problem is starting to affect my relationships (I’m sorry I can’t go to your baby shower as I promised but there is a Manolo auction on eBay today) as well as my work (5 inch heels make it hard to run around and put out legal fires blog and write a book)). It’s time to make a change, and last Friday I decided that there was no time like the present.

I’m ready to quit.

Then I realized, well, you can’t really “quit” shoes, because you still need t
o wear them every day. It’s not like quitting wine or vodka, items humans do not actually need as they need shoes. I am not speaking from personal experience about the ability to survive without wine or vodka, obviously.

Instead, I’ve decided to “cut back.”  I can get this thing under control!  I can buy shoes like a regular person and not let them take over my life. One pair per quarter should be enough, right? 

Robin’s Shoe Resolution

I made this pact with myself:

No more fancy shoes for six months.  After that, I’ll be allowed one pair every three months. No problem!

I had this whole system worked out, and then a funny thing happened.  Funny things are always happening to me.  It’s weird.

Remember a few blogs ago when I questioned the existence of God? I found these yesterday, and all doubt has been erased, because only a superior creator could make something as beautiful as these shoes:


Apparently God’s full name is “Kate Spade.” Did you know that? I told you God would turn out to be female!

Clearly the real solution to my “problem,” which really isn’t a problem at all, is rather than quitting shoes I must start a religion celebrating and worshipping shoes.

The best part of this strategy is the tax advantage. If the IRS can give Scientology wackos tax-free status by labeling them a “religion,” you know I can get it too. Worshipping a well-designed stack heel is much more reasonable than worshipping L. Ron Hubbard, after all.