love’s labour’s lost people work hard and play hard. I work hard and shoe hard. As if you hadn’t figured it out by now, I have a slight shoe obsession. The number of shoes in my closet does not reach three digits; I am choosy. I like unique shoes that work for my professional lifestyle and budget. I don’t buy crazy impossible-to-walk-in styles that I will only wear once (like the pictured Chanel gun shoes that I would have bought if money were no object). I like designers that can construct a shoe that will really be comfortable, a shoe I won’t look at next year and say “what was I thinking” and most importantly, a shoe that can withstand the horrible DC sidewalks designed by men and the marble halls of Congress. That doesn’t mean that I don’t buy shoes with a stiletto heel, it just means I don’t wear them if I know I’m going to be walking on perilous ground.

So if you have been reading my musings, you also know by now that I am a big fan of Simply Soles. I found a “soul mate” in founder and owner, Kassie Rempel, and there are days that number in the too many to count that I wish I could be her.

One day last summer, she and I were meeting for drinks, but as she had just opened a new store in Georgetown, I wanted to come by and see the new digs. She had just received the fall shipment and boxes were everywhere (in the back of the store, of course). Now, I had already memorized the fall catalog and had my eye on a pair of shoes that in person, just didn’t pan out for me. But then Kassie showed me the latest Chie Mihara’s. (Disclaimer: if you are passionate about funky but functional shoes and don’t have a pair of Chie’s in your closet, I cannot be held accountable for any purchases this post inspires you to go out and make.) The Fabiola was (is) my perfect shoe. The camel-butterscotch shade is the perfect neutral hue that works for literally all seasons. The origami detail on the toe of the shoe makes it interesting. I had a store credit. I had “sole savers” points. The purchase was a no-brainer, and I never looked back.

But lately, they were showing the effects of my love. A slight denim stain on the back heel led me to take them to the cobbler. I just wanted them cleaned. I didn’t expect the entire denim stain to come out, but figured they would come back looking a little fresher. And I asked them to replace the heel pads to boot. Well, on Monday when I went to pick them up, somehow they were dirtier… like they had lived in a bin with some shoes recently polished brown. I complained that the shoes looked worse than when I had dropped them off. They asked for one more day. At COB today, as instructed, I went to pick up my babies. They still looked bad, like they hadn’t touched them at all. They asked me to come back tomorrow. No-can-do. On my way to San Francisco in the morning, and the shoes are integral to my plans to pack lightly. So they asked me to give them two hours. Fine. I had a lot of loose ends to tie up at the office before leaving town, so I gave them 2.5 hours. But when I went to pick them up, they did not hand me MY shoes, my beautiful camel shoes. No, they handed me a pair of shoes that they had dyed a color they call “sandalwood” but which I call “high gloss ugly.”

I started to cry.

Me: “I won’t wear these.”

Them: “We want to make you happy. We will give you credit for a future repair.”

Me: “I am never fucking bringing another pair of shoes to you again.” (Okay, I didn’t say that, but I thought it and rejected their credit offer.)

In the end, I asked them to dye them black. But I am sad. I have struggled with these feelings, which seem so indulgent. There are a lot of problems in the world. I know because I work on some of them. But I loved these shoes and when I wore them, it gave me the confidence to do my job a little better.

Given my mood, I guess it is appropriate that I’m getting them in black.


One thought on “love’s labour’s lost”

  1. This is a tragedy! A tragedy that has a fairy tale ending. Can’t believe we still had another pair of these shoes in your size. Kind of crazy given they were from last season. The Universe (which it were us but I really can’t take part in the credit) has your back Chelsea.

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