I walked in, even though I shouldn't have, to Eric Shoes on Seventh. I was in a mood for change, a fresh start, a mood that often leads me to looking for new shoes. Don't ask me why, it's a complicated equation I have never quite figured, but I often feel that new shoes offer me a new perspective, a new vantage point from which to view the world.
"They're perfect," I heard a woman say to her friend as she sat down and started pulling off a pair of boots. Quickly, though, she amended. "Well, they're as perfect as they're going to get..."
I laughed out loud, causing the woman and her friend to look at me.
"Sorry," I said, "but that's great, I love that, and it's so, so true."
In life, like in shoe stores, sometimes we have to be satisfied with nearly perfect, realizing that the extra angst and effort it might take to find the really perfect thing (if it exists at all) is hardly going to be worthwhile, will likely make you loathe and resent the "perfect" thing should your arduous journey ever connect you with it.
Ah, if only I could acknowledge this more often with a smile, make my peace with it like this other Stephanie, who accepted her gold star happily, as happily as she was planning to head out of the store with her new perfect-as-possible boots.
Eric, the owner, always loose with a laugh and wry commentary, got a star too, for making people like us Stephanies happy girls, granted, at a price.
As I looked around, past the many pairs of boots I did not need, I lighted upon the one pair of shoes I had already decided I "needed" this season: high-heeled clogs that just so happened to look perfect (yes, PERFECT!) with the loose hippy dress I was already wearing. I had paired it, a little too early in the season, with new vintage cowboy boots. The shift was an easy one. I could, and did, wear them right out of the store. I would look fabulous for grocery shopping at Fairway. One never knows who one might see, or meet...
I didn't even balk too much that the price was far more than I ever spend. I often find shoes on the street, a fact that led me to average out total shoe expenditure and come up with a great rationalization for the purchase. That and the fact that my upcoming birthday is a milestone only such sexy shoes as these might help me endure.
When I wear them, I will be reminded to remind myself not to be such a perfectionist. To try is paramount, to push oneself always further, past the point of reality, is a fool's pursuit. There is something to be said for being satisfied, or so I'm told.