Sunday, July 12, 2009

Das Boot

A few weeks ago, I wandered into Target looking for a gift for my cousin. I ended up purchasing a book (for myself), a pair of shoes (for me), some anklet style socks (to go with the shoes), a bouncy ball that lights up (yes, I was beginning to get desperate), and if I remember correctly, some kitty litter (for my stink-puss). Despite my utter failure to accomplish a goal - my cousin got money and a bottle of Captain - I was especially pleased with my purchases. Most especially? The shoes:

Aren't they totally awesome? I have gotten many positive comments on them. This lead to idle shoe research:
Since ancient times, a person's shoes were a symbol of their rank in society. Peasants wore no shoes or very rudimentary things that barely protected the foot. Skilled laborers and soldiers wore practical foot coverings which allowed a certain degree of movement. The aristocracy wore dainty shoes with ridiculous add ons like stilts and pointed toes. These shoes made it difficult to walk - but hey, they were the aristocrats. The fact that one could wear a shoe that caused tripping and stumbling was testament to the fact that he or she did not especially need to walk much.
In Europe during the 16th century, laws were passed limiting the length of a toe. Too many people were attempting to walk with shoes that extended far beyond the foot, as was the fashion of the day, and tripping over the limp toes as if they were attempting to navigate while wearing flippers. And apparently, the "stilts" applied to the bottoms of shoes at the time made even the most outlandish of stiletto heels today seem itty-bitty. Laws were passed to limit the height of shoes after many prostitutes (ladies of the night) stumbled to their deaths when they fell from their lofty shoes.
Today, many people probably pay a lot of attention to their own shoes, but not so much to the shoes of others. But once, a friend was checking to see if I was in the bathroom when we got separated. She carefully examined the shoes in the stalls, seeing flip flops, heels, and mary janes. She concluded - correctly - that I was not in the loo when we reunited, pointing knowingly to my pracitical hiking shoes.

I wonder, would she peg me if I had been wearing these babies? Practical and stylish. Its a win-win!


CaraBee said...

They are very cute, well done! I am the same way in Target. I think I have that same ball that lights up, too, for Sophie, of course.

PS - I love shoes, so thank you for the interesting history lesson!

Mel said...

I saw those exact shoes at my Target last weekend and almost bought them! I bought the slip on ones instead that were in browns and oranges because they would go so well with this outfit I have.

Liz Baer said...

I like the shoes, however I am here to comment on a random bit of knowledge I thought you would like to hear: Using my very keen intellectual skills, I looked to the right of your last post, and noticed that there are 49 posts so far this year, and 101 last year. So that makes this...

YOUR 150th BLOG POST!!!!!!!!!!!


Liz Baer said...

P.S. You may want to reconsider calling Daisy "your stink-puss" when all the world can see it...

I don't want to have to bring up the spelunking area again. :-P