The real reason I had to move back to Austin is because I have such a weakness for terrible puns.
Anyway, National Geographic had a really interesting article this month on one of my favorite things: shoes! I love shoes. You might consider me a bit of a shoe fancier since I have way more pairs than I really need, and all but two or three are primarily ornamental. But at least I don't drop ten grand on a pair that has to be polished with expensive champagne by the light of the moon.
Most of my collection comes from Payless.
But I think the most intriguing part of the feature is the segment on found shoes, such as this 17th century leather shoe, which was discovered sliced into ribbons and stowed in the eaves of a farmhouse. According to the shoe historian quoted in the article, concealing shoes is a long-standing practice with some undetermined symbolic significance; she has amassed a large collection of found shoes. Is it just larks? Any relationship to your standard pair of tennis shoes tied together by their laces and tossed over a telephone wire? You can certainly see why shoes would be powerfully symbolic of their owner; nothing else we wear is quite so carefully fitted or personal, and shoes further shape to fit our feet the more we wear them.
My favorite quote from the article comes from a maker of fetish footwear. "If you are in a high heel, you are in pain, and you are going to make someone pay for it."
I'll have to keep that in mind at work tomorrow.