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Black flats. The most basic of wardrobe staples.

Hooray for Mel and her feelings on shoe shopping – here’s a guest post for y’all! I’m pretty sure we can all pick up what Mel is putting down about her adventures at the mall.


One fine, sunny day I embarked on what should have been a simple mission. Head over to the mall and procure a new pair of black flats. Easy.

Braving cross town traffic during rush hour; with the sun in my eyes, and the wind in my hair, I pulled into the parking lot.

A wealth of choices awaited me. The bland generic store fronts of your typical suburban mall beckoned. The stench of cheap fabric and French fries filled my nostrils as I struggled to remember to breath deeply and calmly.

As I sat on the bench at the first store waiting to slip my tired, battered dogs into my potential golden slipper, so much time passed that I actually wondered if some horrible fate hate befallen the unenthusiastic sales associated helping me. Did a cascade of shoe boxes overturn on her as she was dutifully collecting my size?  Was she back there texting her boyfriend and asking him to pick up a bottle of strawberry-kiwi Boones and some pizza pockets for after work? We’ve all been there.

Then I began to wonder how long it was appropriate to wait. What was the etiquette on just up and walking away after having sent some poor girl on a fool’s errant? I didn’t want to be that guy for the day; just another story on how shitty working with the pubic can be. And so, I sat there. Awkwardly and barefoot, until she eventually returned. I politely tried the shoes on, though it was more of a cursory gesture at this point.

Undaunted, I moved further down the bright corridors of my own personal consumerist hell.

Dear high school sales associate. I really dig your platform cheetah print sneakers. However, as somebody much closer to 30 than 16, I really have to accept that these shoes are not an age appropriate, viable option. I did appreciate your legitimate enthusiasm.

To whom it may concern, no, I do not want to buy your glorified cardboard covered pleather monstrosities. That’s real great that these shoes are only $30. It’s also really great that there are tiny plastic spikes all over them. But I would rather gouge my eyes out with said plastic spikes than wear these shoes in public. Also, I can buy an entire box of wine for $30. Thanks anyway.

Attention – renovations are merely the sartorial equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. Nice try though.

And so finally, feeling like some beleaguered modern day Cinderella, I entered the final store.

And there they were. The perfect black flats. Not quite matte, but certainly not shiny leather. A slightly pointed toe, but not enough to pinch. Elegant. Understated. A wardrobe staple.


For nearly twice the price of any other pair of shoes I had tried on all day.

Reluctantly and feeling rather defeated, I handed over my credit card.


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