Wednesday, May 1, 2013

40 pairs of shoes

Source: Bright, Bold, Beautiful

The average American woman owns 40 pairs of shoes.  I found this information nestled in a newspaper article discussing the new trophy room: the closet.  Apparently it's not just Paris Hilton and Rachel Zoe who require walk-in closets decked out with crystal chandeliers, mini refrigerators, and shoe display cases anymore. Regular people want these accoutrements, too.

Because we have so much stuff, and we can't find our stuff.

Backlit shoe racks, display cases, and gadgets to hang clothing, jewelry, scarves, and handbags are so tempting, but will we wear our clothing and accessories more when they are perfectly displayed?  My guess is we won't.  Whether a woman has 5 pairs of shoes or 100 pairs of shoes, there are still only 7 days in the week, and there are still only so many occasions one can squeeze into 24 hours.

I've been paring down on clothing and other material goods for five years now: as my belongings wear out, I seldom replace them.  And you know what?  I've been rewarded with one of the most precious commodities there is: time.  I don't spend hours at the mall or on my computer looking for the perfect black shoe, with the heel height that gives me just the right lift but doesn't make my aging knees ache.  I rarely tend to my closet, trying to make room for items that won't fit no matter how much rearranging I do.  I no longer peruse the catalogs that come to my doorstep with the rest of the mail.

Instead, I train an extra client, write an extra page of my book, play a quick game of soccer with the kids, go out to lunch with a beloved friend, read the newspaper, extend my workout an extra 20 minutes, have a philosophical conversation with my husband, make my family a special meal.

I'm not going to lie.  My early 20th century closet is maddening.  I wish it were bigger and more accommodating.  But there's something about the itty bitty variety.  It keeps my compulsions in check, and for me, that is a good thing.  

My teensy closet

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