What’sssssss upppppp everyone. Thought I’d check in, with a post about new shoes. I’ve had so many emo thoughts running through my head lately about life, work, distraction, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, children, goals, happiness, journeys, decisions, parenthood, memories, youth, aging…. but I can’t begin to put it into words so I’ll just talk about shoes, since that’s easy. Shoes can’t stress me out. Shoes are great. Especially the most perfect shoe in the world at the most perfect price in the world.
So, I have this thing, that is either human and happens to other people, or is just unique to my personality. Not sure. But I forget things. I will see something amazing, or read something amazing, and then forget about it, and discover it on my own by accident like 2 months later, and only realize by further accident that the thing I ‘discovered’ was in fact that same thing I’d already known about from 2 months prior, and smack my forehead like OMFG OF COURSE!
What happened is this;
I was scrolling through instagram, and Betty, from Le Blog de Betty, a.k.a. one of my top 5 style icons in the world, had instagrammed a picture of a pair of shoes she was hawking for Dior in Paris. I think she ‘designed’ them or something. Whatever.
They were the most perfect shoe I’d ever seen. For my style, and my taste, and my preferences. I see a lot of fucking shoes in my instagram feed, and in real life. They don’t all stop me in my tracks because they don’t all appeal to MY sensibility. But this shoe, was my dream shoe. I didn’t know it until I saw it, and I couldn’t have conceived of it if blindly prompted, but upon SEEING this shoe, I was floored at how it was everything I’d ever wanted. This is exactly, word for word what I thought to myself upon seeing it: “I would pay 3,000 dollars for those shoes. Those shoes are a pair of shoes that I WOULD actually open a credit card for. Like if I were in Paris, and saw those, I would make a bad decision in order to own them.” I thought that, to myself. And then I moved on with my life.
Approximately 2 months later, I am in Nordstrom, shopping mindlessly to distract myself from my inner thoughts. And, the reason the previous quote about opening a credit card and making a bad decision for those Dior shoes is a joke, is because if there is one thing I am proud of myself for over the last 6 months, it’s for the way I have grown in terms of shopping, finances, and just general consumerism. I almost never shop anymore, first of all. But I have also gotten my credit card down from $6,000 to $2,000, in 4 months. I set my mind to it in January, and here we are in May, and I have literally knocked out $4,000 of it. It’s not a surprise that I’ve done it, because I made a plan in January, said I was going to do it, wrote it down, and fucking did it. It felt like it would take forever even when I planned it out, and I had to say no to a lot of things, sacrifice a lot of things, and live very smartly in terms of what I eat and do; and I officially have two months left until a balance that I have carried since the year 2008 is gone. That is not even counting the previous $2,000 on other various cards I knocked out between November and January. By this July I will have no credit card debt left.
I will still have an ANNOYING amount of student loans, a car payment, no savings (because any/all money that I had saved and that would normally have been ‘saved’ has instead been solely directed at eliminating debt, because ‘saving’ when you’re in debt is kind of a joke, since the ‘saved’ money is just sitting there whereas the debt owed is actually growing due to interest), and infuriating medical bills due to this leg injury of mine, because life is a circle of unexpected expenses that never end; but nobody has ever made more of a 180 in terms of shopping than this person writing this post. I don’t quite know what it was, but I just changed. I almost magically acquired the ability to ask myself if something is worth it, and honestly answer myself.
For instance, these Zara sandals —–
I desperately want them. I have almost pulled the trigger on them on no less than 7 occasions over the last 2 months. I have seen every blogger whose style I like wear them in gorgeous ways. I want them. And yet each time I have been tempted to spend the $129.00 on them, I’ve mentally ran the scenarios through my head and been like “see the thing is Alina……..they are gorgeous, and sexy, but you just. won’t. get. the cost. per. wear. .on them. You just won’t. They’re not versatile enough, for how YOU dress, to warrant the price tag. When you go to get dressed on a Friday night, you’ll grab your boots, or Pencey platforms, or a shoe that’s chiller. You love a sexy shoe, but these just aren’t chill enough. All the lace and straps…they’re sexy and visual, but you’ll wear them to one date night and then they’ll sit there. You won’t feel comfortable in them. You won’t feel fully YOURSELF in them.” And then I just don’t buy them. They are absolutely not worth the $129.00 to me. I refuse to spend that on them, even though I would like to own them.
Because I finnnnnnnnnnnnally just KNOW what I’m going to wear, and what’s worth the price tag. And I didn’t used to. I would make bad decisions. Not ALL bad decisions. I’ve made some genius purchases over the course of my life, prior to acquiring this newfound ability, such as my Isabel Marant rugby shirt and jersey from Hu’s Wear on sale for $140 down from like $500; my black leather Iro shorts; my jeans-with-the-hole-in-the-knee that I wear six times a week and would DIE if anything happened to. It’s more about a ratio. Previously, I probably made 65% amazing purchases, and 35% stupid ones that weren’t worth losing the money for. NOW, I make literally 100% smart purchases and 0 % dumb purchases. So this ability kind of evaded me for about 12 years, and now it feels like it was handed to me overnight. Like I didn’t read any articles or do anything….. I just woke up one day and knew exactly what I needed to do to only buy things I’ll wear one billion times one billion ways and never make a bad purchase again. I feel like Veronica Mars. Like I went to sleep and woke up with the ability to shop ruthlessly. Nothing warrants my dollar bills unless it meets like 42 criteria specific-to-me that I don’t even consciously think of. I couldn’t articulate or intellectualize the criteria, I just KNOW when I know.
And so, I have spent very little money on clothes/shoes and exclusively made completely genius purchases since about October of this past year, and managed to get $6,000 out of debt simultaneously. Nothing is tempting unless it is. And I almost never shop ‘for fun’ any more. I usually go out if I have a short list of 3 to 4 things I know I need, and am in the mood. And those things coincide almost never. But this past week I was feeling particularly bored/sad (my leg) and decided to go to Nordstrom to see if anything was worth my money. I went straight to the shoe section, and almost immediately spotted these beauties, and thought for sure they’d be exactly like the $129.00 Zara ones.
But I picked up the shoe and was SHOCKED to see a $59.00 price tag. I couldn’t believe it. They spoke to me instantly and I wanted them desperately. But I was still skeptical, thinking, they probably fit weird. I tried them on in my size, and nope. Nothing about the shoe was wrong. Everything was right. I was losing it over how perfect they were.They are a genius color combination- a soft blush pink, shiny copper d’orsay strap, and off-white heel. The combination is visually orgasmic. The design…..I can’t even.
It wasn’t until I instagrammed them when I got home, and one of the commentors–as stunned as I was that they were a $59.00 shoe–noted how much they looked like Dior, THAT I REMEMBERED. THE DIOR SHOE! I had already fallen in love with this shoe! Months earlier! THIS WAS THE LE BLOG DE BETTY DIOR SHOW! EXCEPT FOR $60.00, not thousands!!! Of course. I had saved a screenshot of the shoe when it came into my instagram feed, and had entirely forgotten it existed. But yet had picked this same shoe out at Nordstrom as the one shoe worth buying that day. It just goes to show you how the things we like are just in us.
I find that that happens a lot in life. Certain designs, or shapes, or colors, or looks, just inexplicably speak to you. And you might not even realize it for awhile. Like how when I save certain images from the internet, I don’t realize that they all have something in common, until I do. Like I’ll accidentally, unknowingly, save 17 pictures of living rooms I like, and realize down the road that each one has a white Eames shell chair in it. And I didn’t realize as I was doing it that it was the same chair. It t just spoke to me over and over again. And that’s how I realize what I like. That’s what happened with Kelly Towles (a story I still have to tell) — I saved images of like 7 pieces of his art that I was obsessed with, both from the internet and stuff I’d seen around town, without realizing it was the same artist. So clearly, I really fucking like Kelly Towles’ aesthetic. (From our house–)
And Clearly, a pointy-toed, stiletto heeled, METALLIC pump (don’t matter if it’s copper, or silver, I LOVE ME SOME METALLIC), involving the color pink (any shade) and involving a d’orsay cut, is MY SHOE. I mean, I already knew I loved metallic heels (about 60 % of pairs of shoes in my closet have at least one metallic strap), and d’orsay is my go-to shoe design (as I wrote in this Refinery 29 piece when they asked me what my go-to outfit was to feel sexy– D’ORSAY heel), but these are like next-level d’orsay. These are like modernist d’orsay. D’orsay reimagined. I’m obsessed.
They aren’t Dior, no. But they’re $60.00, YES. And whatever, I LIKE THE BLUSH PINK BETTER THAN THE DARKER DIOR PINK ANYWAYS! Can you even believe how similar they are?
Crazy. So, you can have what you want without going into debt or making bad decisions. Thanks to brands like Tildon and a little shopper’s luck.
That’s all I got.
Thank you again again again to everyone who keeps checking in on my leg and being so thoughtful about it. I love everyone. My issue is still basically the same. I can live my life, I just can’t exercise/do anything remotely physical, and though I am used to it and able to proceed with my life, I am still hyper-aware that it is there. At every second of every day, I can feel that it has not healed and is still limiting my natural mobility. The only time I didn’t think about it was when I was drunk for 72 hours straight in Ithaca last weekend, which isn’t sustainable.