I want it, I need it, I have to have it

Jessica Mendoza

Never tell us to break a leg. The cast just wouldn’t look good on our foot as a shoe. After all, we didn’t spend an entire Saturday shoe shopping with the girls to let that perfect shoe sit on the store shelf like an unpurchased puppy left in its cage as the lights go out at the pet store. So we buy another pair of shoes. And another. And another. Then that “perfect” shoe somehow ends up sleeping in a closet a month later, flirting with dust bunnies and mingling with the other 35 pairs of “perfect” shoes. Face it, women, we have an obsession. But why?

When most guys are asked their thoughts on why women love shoes their faces warp to resemble a dead fish out of water. They are dumbstruck. Sophomore Robert Guinivan was. “I don’t know,” he said, (Pause) “Why do girls like shoes so much?” (Pause) “That’s nuts.”

Men just don’t get it. So what if we have 30 pairs of shoes and only wear 2 of them on a regular basis? Junior Margaret Dziadosz laughs in chagrin when she counts how many pairs of shoes she owns-twenty-six. How many pairs does she not need? “At least 15,” she admits. But Margaret, like other culprits in the estrogen world of shoe obsession, s that shoes are the ultimate accessory. For Junior Amy Dane, shoes are “an extension of our personal styles. A definition of personality.” Women love those heels. Who cares if they hurt? They make us feel, well, womanly.

So girls, just confess. Scars on your feet? Thought so. Guilty of taking off your shoes and dancing barefoot by the end of the night? You don’t even have to answer. Ever get excited to go to DSW? Of course. Ever convince a girlfriend to buy a pair of shoes because you are the same size and want to borrow them later on? Guilty again. Violently shoved a tiny elderly woman to snatch that perfect shoe on the sale rack? Hopefully not, but let’s not count it out.

We all know Cindarell’s ugly stepsisters would have had their toes lopped off to win that sexy prince. Or maybe they just wanted that glass slipper. But face it, both men and women have historically gone through pain when it comes to their feet. Women were binding their feet in China for years. European women wore shoes called chopines, which were placed on cork or wood pedestals as tall as 24 inches. Try walking through the mall in those.

Do you think image is more important than pain. “I already do,” says Chrissa Walsh, a junior who admits she has an obsession, “Comfort doesn’t matter. I would put up with pain for fashion.”

So let’s try to blame it on King Henry II of England. Because of a toe deformity, 12th century people raved over his narrow, pointed toes. And since Catherine d’Medici, the wife to the Duke of Orleans, lacked in height, shoes lacked in comfort-two-inch heels joined the world in the 1500s.

We’ve probably had a night when those stilettos made us feel classy. Freshman Jessica Cabato says that some shoes “just make you feel pretty” and also some shoes, like sneakers, “just make me want to jump around a lot ’cause I can.” Shoes come in all sizes, all colors, all styles. We can jump in them or dance in them. Limp in them or float in them. But don’t tell me to break a leg, or I might break yours. I’m not ready to give up my shoe.