Mar 5, 2010

On the other foot.

My wife has periodic outbursts of shoe madness. It would be fair to guess that she owns somewhere in the 50-60 range. Handsome, or pretty, as her stable is, she is a piker relative to some genetic women I know, for whom shoe shopping is a competitive sport. The compulsion to own many shoes is a calling, something that largely passeth the understanding of the normal guy.

The "normal" Voyages en Rose visitor however is exceptional, and perhaps might better understand how people can become mesmerized by the towering heel, the exposed arch, the binding strap and the vast array of shapes and shades that meet the eye when shoe shopping, or when simply admiring the passing, click-clacking feminine parade.

A little over a year ago, I
polled readers on shoes. The purpose of the poll was to find out how large the Cross Dressers shoe collections were. The results are pictured at the right. At the time, I owned 4 or 5 pairs, which were perfectly adequate to my needs. This number put me comfortingly in the largest group of respondents (33%).

The next largest group of responses (22% of participants) indicated that they simply could not count how many shoes they owned, or rather, how many pairs they themselves were owned by. This got me to thinking about the similarities of shoes and cats. I have a friend from a former life who confessed to having “18 or 20” cats in the house he shares with his wife. I asked just how in the hell you get to having that large and weirdly uncertain number of cats.

Not sure, but somewhere we hit a number where the next one just did not seem to make a damn bit of difference”.

My suspicion then was this: Like cats, there is an incremental shoe that puts the household on a practically unstoppable slope. I believe as well that they share a number. The high-heeled, pointy-toe number of no return, the “Tipping Point” number is Five.

I stayed perched on Five for a good long while mindful of its statistical significance. I picked up Pair Six just after emerging from last years Summer Drabbatical. I went through much of the Autumn without adding to the inventory, and in December, Mrs. Bellejambes made a gift of a nice pair of tan Mary Jane’s to me. I held steady at Seven for a good while. But there has been a nagging, persistent little voice calling to me of late.

I came home with Pair Eight a couple of days ago.

I am in the curious position of being capable of self-intervention, and yet a little drawn to the idea of letting things, in the lovely words of Leonard Cohen, slide in all directions.

I have made a few more forays around the shoe sections of shops lately. I left empty handed, certain that I had not seen the perfect thing, but clueless as to what the perfect thing was.

This represents a complete reversal of my guy-mode shopping. I never venture into a shop without a very complete vision of what is required. I do not shop speculatively. But for Petra mode, and of late specifically on the shoe front, a different model is emerging.

I slowly started to develop a sense of the perfect thing. The emerging vision was tied to a recently acquired skirt. The skirt is a grey/black animal print that with a nice purple detail. The skirt required a top, and the universe provided one in the form of a lush, deep purple silk blouse. The black pumps would be fine, perfect in fact, but only one perfect outcome out of many possible states of perfection. The perfect thing seemed over time to resolve in my mind as a purple suede pump.

And lo, there they were, at 70% off, in my size, nesting in a Macy’s clearance rack. Perfect. And then at the next shop, a belt to match. Again, perfect. And then I found myself looking at bags. Exponential possibilities pulled at me. At which point, the expense of letting things “slide in all directions” was becoming abundantly clear. I took a deep breath, and headed for the exit. Self intervention while I still had the wits, will and wallet in tact.

Let me now tender my sympathies to all who have trod upon this slope. I no longer have any mystification about how it can happen that all the closet space in a comfortable house slowly disappears. I have a clearer idea of how seemingly aimless browsing can periodically result in a great win, a feeling of at least temporary completion, of a mission that really has no complete state.

I think that this ever receding horizon, is something that women are more inclined to reach for than men are. Those of us who Cross Dress, or who identify as transgendered, can be easily drawn in to the same compelling game. These thoughts are an extension of my recent ramblings on the Cost of Cross Dressing. These thoughts have now put my in mind of a mathematical model that might explain some of it. I am going to take on the Math of Feminine Dressing in a post next week. After a little shopping sortie en femme today.

Happy Dressing, and everything else.


Leah said...

Oh Petra, just justify your purchases based on the cost per wear and I guess, you'll be fine. Hahaha! That's what I always do. Have a great weekend! xoxo

Leslie Ann said...

I have to say that when I got pairs five and six simultaneously, it set off a domino effect, not of shoes but shopping in general. Soma, Ulta, Newport-News, with shopping carts tentatively holding items at a half-dozen other sites. I'm beginning to realize now that my closets will not support two wildly divergent wardrobes. What to do?

Jessica De Leon said...

I own three, but only one of them fits well. One pair is too big and the other is too small. Though I do more window shopping than anything else, I am always happy when I come across larger shoes that also happen to be cute.

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