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Goodbye Old Friend

Last night I said goodbye to an old friend. Well, technically it was a pair of old friends. I finally threw out the gold shoes.

Let’s all take a moment of silence for Simone’s crazy gold shoes.

You’re probably wondering “what’s the big deal with these shoes?!”. As you can see from the photo, they’re worn out, they’re dirty, they’re pretty fugly. They have DEFINITELY seen MUCH better days. But I guess that’s the point: the days they were around for were GOOD DAYS. Very good days. As much as the shoes have lost their luster, the memories I have of wearing them are golden (pardon the corny pun). Which I think explains why, even though I haven’t worn them in a good 4 1/2 years, I’ve been unable to purge them from my closet.

I bought the shoes in 2002-2003, (when I was 22-23) at Eaton’s- a Canadian department store that no longer exists (sign #1 that maybe your shoes are past their expiry date). That spring, I wore these shoes everywhere. I wore them with dresses, with skirts, with jeans, I even wore them with cargo pants during a fashion era I call my “Heels & Cargo pants, Jenny from the Block phase”. Ask my friends, it really wasn’t as scary as I make it sound. REALLY.

I wore these shoes (with my “dressy cargo pants”) to a housewarming party, when the first of my friends bought their own home. When one of his friends tried to hit on me, they used the opening line “Those are some very interesting shoes”. The fate of the shoes was sealed. If there was a party to be had, these shoes were in attendance. And boy, did these shoes party..and DANCE. I spun around the dance floor, I white-girl salsa’ed, I grinded, I shook and shimmied to Roy Davis Jr & jumped up and down to Mark Farina, I blistered my feet again and again…all while wearing these shoes.

I was wearing these shoes the night I was literally swept off my feet. I was dancing with a handsome stranger at Nasa. We stepped outside to get some air and talk. Our friends had long since abandoned us. We were enjoying each others company so much that we decided to walk a few blocks to go check out another bar. He looked down at my feet, accessed the 5 inch heel and said,

“Those shoes are ridiculous. How do your feet feel?!”
“They kind of hurt. A lot”
“You can’t walk in those”

Without hesitation he grabbed me, picked me up in his arms and carried me down 4 blocks of Queen St. Yes, it was a bit of a caveman move. And yes, drunk people on the street were staring at us: a 100lb girl being carried down the street by a man twice her size. But I liked it. I felt special. I was the only girl getting carried down the street in gold shoes. This was also the night I fell head over gold shoes for this handsome stranger.

I wore the shoes the night I went to go hear Dimitri from Paris spin at Sunnyside Pavillion. Instead of dancing the night away, I spent the most of the night making out with a cute guy, ignoring the world around me. The shoes were latter shed by the entry way to his front door, along with various other pieces of clothing. I slipped the shoes back on in the early morning sunlight and together we walked the walk of shame.

I liked these shoes so much that I even wore them the day I graduated university. While other girls chose conservative Nine West pumps to accessorize their cap and gown, I chose ridiculously bright gold shoes. When I look at the photos from that day, part of me cringes (seriously, what was I thinking?!) and part of me pats myself on the back. I was bold but at least I wasn’t boring.

The shoes were a bit ridiculous, but I always felt amazing wearing them. Like a Star.

Eventually though, the shoes became tattered, the gold finish started to fade off in parts, the soles became caked in grime from one club floor too many. The shoes stopped serving a purpose in my life yet, I couldn’t let go of them. They reminded me of a really great era of my life: the last two years of university, where I had finally grown up a bit (and was no longer in my Lindsay Lohan, train-wreck, falling down wasted phase) but I was still having lots of fun. I was doing well at school, I had a part time job I liked and I still managed to have lots of interesting escapades. This was a relatively carefree time in my life, before I had responsibilities, debt and a “real” job.

After university I held on to that era of my life for a long time. I’d look back on it and think that somehow it was “better” than my current reality, that I was “so much happier back then”.For so long I think I felt like if I let the shoes go, I’d somehow lose these memories. That I would forget about that carefree girl. That I would never be able to find my way back to that place. But I’ve since realized that the shoes are not the memories. I’ll always have the memories. And, I’ve realized that being happy doesn’t mean going back in time. I’m not that girl anymore. I’ve finally accepted that. I’m older. I’m happy. I have new shoes. There are many new adventures to be had.

It was time to let go.

Last night I picked up the shoes, I put them on my feet and I did one last victory strut around the apartment before I placed them in a hefty bag. BF and I hopped in our neighbor’s car and drove 6 hefty bags full of old clothes & shoes over to the Salvation Army. I’m pretty sure that when they find the shoes they will throw them in the trash. I hope they do. I would have chucked them in a dumpster myself but I was afraid I’d get sentimental, lose my nerve and fish them out. It was time. They had to go.

Adios, Gold Shoes.

We had good times together but it was time for you to journey on up to The Great Big Shoe Tree in the Sky.




Does anyone else have an item like this? shoes? a sweat shirt? something you’re embarassed you still own?



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