Go ahead. Admit it. You have a pair or two of favorite shoes that have been sitting in your closet for years. Decades maybe. They may sit in a box or they may be hidden under piles of old clothing. They could be stored in your garage on a shelf and long forgotten. The leather upper could be split at the seams and stitching could be undone. The sole could be separating from that beautiful, soft cowhide. The heels could be completely worn down on one side. They could very well be falling apart. But you just cannot let go. Or, if you are like me, you still wear them. A lot.
Oona’s old jig shoes. They are worn, torn, taped together. They’ve been resoled, stretched out. She’s lost competitions and won competitions in these shoes. And they are in a box in our garage. I just cannot bring myself to get rid of them!
These are the “Eternal Sunshine” shoes! I know—the movie with almost the same title is about forgetting. Or is it? It’s the same with old shoes. Sometimes you might want to forget those clunky old disco era shoes that you wore while clubbing and erase them from your mind. Or maybe not.
One of my favorite movies of all time. Kate Winslet’s boots aren’t looking too worn in now, are they?
You may have worn these shoes through breakups and first meetings with a special person in your life. You could have possibly worn them while taking your first-born child on long walks. You wore them during the summer. And fall. And winter. And spring. Perhaps you never wore socks with them, giving your feet and chance to meet, greet, and become best friends with the leather or other material. You had quite a bit of fun in them while running through puddles of rain water. You slipped them on early in the morning to retrieve your newspaper from the edge of the driveway while dressed in your PJ’s and that tattered old robe. You wore them to picnics. You wore them to the grocery store. You wore them well!
For you, it may be a pair of dress shoes. Or baseball or soccer cleats.
..and also in the bowels of our garage are old baseball cleats along with baseball gloves.
Or a pair of fuck me pumps that bring you back to a carnal place of your memory.
Hmmmm…shoes like this can bring back very naughty but fun memories. A true walk of shame shoe!
Or well worn, well torn, ragged laced sneakers.
Whew. I can smell the stink from old sneakers like the one above. Can you?
It just that shoe. The shoe that has been perfectly molded to the curves and bumps in your feet. And it took years for that fit to develop.
For me, it’s an old 20+ year pair of Bass loafers. It is also the first pair of Rondini sandals I purchased many years ago during my first visit to St. Tropez. My closet houses many, many pairs of shoes, but these are the pairs of footwear that I absolutely love and emotionally need. I don’t ever want these two pairs to be forgotten. They are my “Eternal Sunshine” shoes.
It’s funny. As much as I love the way my feet look whenever I am wearing a pair of pointy-toed stilettos or kitten heels—both of which bear beautiful toe cleavage, I am most comfortable and feel most like me when I am wearing either pair of these old and almost misshapen shoes. Let me explain.
My well worn in 20+ year Bass loafers. I’m so happy because I just last week got them back from being repaired!
The loafers. I’ve been wearing loafers ever since I was a student attending St. Patrick’s Elementary School. Our choices of footwear during these years were limited to either loafers or oxford shoes to accompany the plaid skirts, green blazers and white blouses that completed our uniform. For my mother, it was easier to have five children slipping loafers on their feet rather than to spend time tying and untying oxfords. My parents should have purchased stock in Bass Shoe Company.
Yeah. And 1965 was around the time I started wearing these Weejuns. And so did my siblings. And my classmates. And my friends!
As I made the transition to high school, the “uniform” look followed me. The Weejuns still remained essential footwear. Between my sisters and me, we amassed quite the collection of these cordovan colored beauties. It wasn’t just about the penny loafers. Oh no. We had Weejuns with metal bars placed across the shoe’s upper vamp.
Aren’t they beautiful. I had this model when I was in high school. I wish Bass would bring vintage Weejuns back into circulation!
We owned that rare model of Weejun which was adorned with a colorful ribbon over the kilted fringe of the vamp. We wore Weejuns adorned with tassles. As sisters oftentimes do, we even fought over these shoes.
And the tasseled version is a shoe I wear to this day. These are my go-to shoes. I slide them on as I take Chippy outside to do his business.
See how beautifully molded these loafers are to my feet? Ahhhh such comfort!
They are the last item to dress me when I’m on my way to an errand run. I love the way it feels when I’m sitting with one knee draped over the other and my shoe is half-on, half-off and I dangle my loafer off my toes and swing it from side to side. That little action has a calming effect on me.
The loafer is a great shoe to just dangle off your toes. It’s a feeling of calm!
Sometimes I look down at my tasseled buddies and think “whatever happened to the cordovan”? I rarely see shoes in this richly colored burgundy leather anymore. Hmmm. Silly. Right? But I can’t help it. I want to return to the richness of a good pair of shoes—that’s all.
Really. When did cordovan lose popularity? These are my “newer” loafers. They are about nine years old and need more breaking in!
Then there’s my Sahariennes. These hold a special place for me because they are the first sandals I ever purchased at Rondini in St. Tropez. Over the years, I’ve added to my collection but this pair is the one that started my love for Rondini’s custom made sandals.
The first of my collection of Rondini sandals. Simple, elegant, timeless and incredibly comfortable!
There is a feeling of luxury and elegance as I slide my narrow foot into the leather thongs. And when I slip them onto my feet, I am taken back to each time I enter into Rondini’s small and charming shop. I feel like Cinderella as my foot is measured and the sandal so carefully cut and created to fit just me and only me.
This is my “have-to-get-here” stop when in St. Tropez.
And over the years, the leather takes on a certain worn sheen and the color darkens slightly—almost like a chameleon that has the ability to change its color. These sandals have the markings and the image of me imbedded into their left and right soul, giving them their own personal history.
Look at the sheen on the inner sole. Look closely and you can see the darkened leather where my toes fit. The straps kind of face inward–just the way I stand. I love these sandals so much!
These two pairs of shoes are the shoes, that if I was stranded on a remote desert island, would be with me. They will never be thrown in the trash. They will never be donated to Goodwill. I will selfishly keep them with me wherever I may go.
See my loafers and sandals? I keep them in the little straw boxes under the hook and bench in the entry of our home. This way, they are always waiting for me when I am ready to go outside! They are my eternal sunshine of shoes!
Do you have Eternal Sunshine shoes? If you do, I would love to hear about how you love them and the memories that they give you. It would be fun!
There is a song that goes so well with today’s post. It is from the movie “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”. One of my favorite childhood movies. And in it, Shirley Temple, who plays Rebecca, sings of and old straw hat, a pair of overalls and “A Worn Out Pair Of Shoes”! Enjoy the day! XOXOXOXO