The Random Writings of Rachel: Sparkly Shoes

Sparkly Shoes





A photo posted by Rachel G (@randomlyrachels) on

When I was a kid, we would get two pairs of dressy shoes a year--white ones for the summer months, and black ones for the winter months (following some sort of fashion rule?).

New dress shoes approximately every 6 months was the average amount of time it took for our growing feet to need a new size, anyways, so this was a very practical system. Except for the occasional overnight growth spurt which required a sudden trip to buy yet another pair of shoes.

I distinctly remember one time our family went to Meijer--it was time to pick out a new pair of black MaryJanes for the winter.

However, I got sidetracked. I saw the most beautiful pair of sparkly red ballet flats, in my new size. They were the quintessential Dorothy shoes.

It was a family rule that we weren't allowed to ask for anything at the store, but I guess I figured it was safe to suggest this alternate pair of shoes, since I needed shoes anyways. I excitedly pointed out the shoes to Mom, suggesting that we replace last year's black with sparkly red, instead.

Mom said "No."

She had a couple of reasons, which I distinctly remember her explaining to me. One, red sparkles don't match everything, while black does. You only get one pair, so you have to make sure they match everything. Two, the red sparkles will eventually fall off and then the shoes will look ugly. Plain black shoes don't carry the risk of sparkles that fall off.

I knew there was no hope--it was fall, so I couldn't even 'suggest' a birthday present, as my birthday present would not be due for another 10 months. We left Meijer, leaving those pretty sparkly red shoes behind.

.............................................

Now, it would be a good thing if I could say that I learned my lesson from this outing, and for the rest of my life consistently bought only practical shoes that would last a long time and would match everything I need to wear them with.

However, if you've seen any of the shoes I wear on a regular basis, you'll know that a practical color choice and sturdy materials are not why I choose my shoes. Angel picked out these purple sparkly Keds for my anniversary gift and gave them to me on Friday. Obviously I wore them on both Saturday and Sunday. They're awesome.

I understand why Mom didn't buy the sparkly red shoes when I was eight. Mom was at her practical best that day--it made a lot more sense to spend the shoe money on practical shoes that would last instead of pretty ones. How was she to know that I would turn out to be the kind of person who might cherish a pair of pretty shoes and remember them for the rest of my life? My mom isn't the kind of person who cherishes shoes...how could she have guessed that her eldest daughter would be so shallow?

Parents aren't born perfect--neither do they suddenly morph into perfect parents with perfect knowledge when their first child is born. It takes them time to grow, too.

You know what the twist in this story is? About 5 years later, we were at Meijer for the same old routine. New winter dress shoes, this time for my little sister Anna. Her eyes were caught by a strikingly familiar pair of sparkly red ballet flats. "Mom!" she said, "What about these? They're beautiful!"

Mom bought her the red shoes.

It is the special right of oldest children to whine about how soft their parents have turned with the years--how the lives of younger children are much easier than theirs ever were. I, and siblings #2 and #3 certainly claim that right, and have a lot of fun with it...but at the same time, I respect the fact that my parents learn from their own experiences and grow and change as needed.

As for me--I'm probably going to be the mom who will offer a stern refusal to frivolous requests for a dog or for ballet lessons. But if we were going to buy shoes anyways...I'd let them pick the sparkly ones if they wanted them. Who cares if the sparkles will eventually rub off? The MaryJanes would eventually get scuffed, too. I have a soft spot for sparkles.

30 comments:

  1. This is such a fun post! I can definitely relate to the practical shoes as kids, but I would have been the same way with being drawn to the sparkly red ones! I also understand the parents changing throughout the years. I'm the oldest sibling and they have definitely been a lot easier on my sister than they were on me! Funny how that happens :) Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Awwww isn't it funny how things stay with us over time?? I was the kid quietly breaking my heart over the ballet lessons that were refused to me. ;P So glad you got your sparkly shoes! You look super cute.

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  3. I just bought my daughter some sparkly ballet flats at Target. They will go with all of her church outfits because there are so many different colors of glitter on them. At least how I justified it...:)

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  4. This cracked me up. There are only 2 kids in my family but my little brother definitely had life easier! He always got off easy and got whatever he wanted. Okay, maybe not whatever he wanted, but he got things I never had at his age... lol

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  5. Haha! I remember the school shoes I was forced to wear, I hated them as they were.....LACE UPS!! Haha! Now I'm all about comfy sensible shoes. But I do have a black pair of sequined shoes which I LOVE

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  6. You're so cute! The shoes are too! This was fun. I remember shoe shopping with my parents as a child and for some reason, I remember the shoes I had more than any outfit (saddle shoes at one time (!), Kangaroo sneakers, my first "heels" we're white sandals with white tights for piano recitals...)

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  7. LOVE this...and love how you ended it. I also have a soft spot for sparkles! Keep sparkling, lady!
    Karen | www.GlamKaren.com

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  8. What a heartwarming, awesome post and pair of shoes! Purple + sparkly is so glamorous and fun!

    Wishing you a great second week of December!
    ♥ Jessica

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  9. Glad you finally got a pair of sparkly shoes! Enjoyed this post.

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  10. Sparkly shoes are the best! I mean glitter and shoes are the best combo!

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  11. I love sparkly shoes! Not too long ago I used to flaunt them during holiday :) Sparkles is definitely a go to!

    Mash | www.sarmash.com

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  12. So fun! I remember that struggle as well. For my family it was a matter of what my parents could afford and like your mom they needed to get the biggest bang for their buck. It's fun being an adult and being able to wear completely non practical shoes!

    Karin

    www.truncationblog.com

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  13. Aww, what a sweet story! Thank you for sharing this!

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  14. Sounds just like something my mom would've said to me! And then turned around years later and done for my little sister. We older siblings do have the right to complain about such things! ;) I love your sparkly keds! Angel gets you for sure! :)

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  15. I think the fact that I always had practical shoes growing up has lead to me being a shoe hoarder as an adult...

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  16. How wonderful that Angel bought you these great shoes! Sorry your mom was so mean growing up. ;-) I totally get the whole younger siblings getting the things that older siblings don't get issues. ;-)

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  17. Total get this! When I was growing up it was the same way with the shoes!

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  18. What's important is that the shoes bring you joy - and I can tell your new shoes certainly make you happy. Shoes can change your life!

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  19. Aww, love this story!
    Those shoes are so fun :)

    xoxo, Jenny

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  20. Aww, so cute, and that's so sweet of him! :D I love sparkly shoes, haha. I have a pair of Converses that are black and super sparkly that I bought in the kids' section (it's so much cheaper that way *-*)! :]

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  21. Yay sparkly shoes!! This is a great story. :) I am the oldest, and my parents are softer on the younger kids for sure. My parents tell me to "put a dollar in the therapy jar" every time I whine about how they are easier on my siblings than they were on me.

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  22. Your mom sounds strict.

    http://www.pixics.com/blog

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  23. I'm ALL about sparkly shoes. Anytime, anywhere. I love these! :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  24. I love your outfit and your shoes and I tend to feel as you do!:) Shoes are temporary anyway right, so why not have fun with them?:)

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  25. I love this! My mom bought me light-up power ranger shoes when I was 5, and they still go down as my most favorite shoes ever. Gracie will totally have sparkly shoes if she wants them.

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  26. I love the ending :) I'm glad she got her sparkly shoes.

    Just a few months back Kyle and I went to the mall and told Sophie (she doesn't talk just yet, but can comprehend to a point) that she can pick any pair of shoes, we were in a crocs store because we know she likes to wear them and can fit in them with her slightly larger foot. And the first pair she picks of the dozens, is a bright sparkly pink croc. We bought them, and she wears them at least once everyday even if it's inside. And I'm glad I was that mom too. My mom was like your mom, so I always got boring shoes.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

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  27. HAHA Rach! Have you ever seen the movie "PS I love you?" You know the part where he first sees her and he says she is the most colorful thing he'd ever seen? I remember that line every single day when picking out my clothes and I think it would suit you, too! How fun it is to be colorful - it's what the world is all about, I think. I was obsessed with jellies when I was little (80's kid, all the way). I always wanted them, even though the plastic would snap around the toes and then dig into my feet and break and essentially not to its job of actually being my shoe. Sometimes the things we want aren't practical, they are colorful. And thank God for that!!

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