Shoe-shopping makes my entire family happy. I get to spend money guilt-freely (SHOES come under the NECESSARY ITEMS-category), the kids love trying on new stuff and the maid loves the shoeboxes.
I prefer keeping shoes wrapped in clear plastic bags, so that I get to know what is inside. I used to throw away the shoe-boxes, till my maid came to stay with us. She resolutely hoards the boxes in an empty cabinet…and then they keep turning up in the most unexpected places.
There is one once-white shoebox (KITTENS, Size 20, blue booties with red-and-yellow laces for my younger daughter, outgrown and given away long back) crammed full of rubber/plastic rabbits/lions/puppies/cats, neatly arranged on my daughter’s toy-shelf, which is taken down when the animals are ‘bathed’.
One such grey rather-worse-for-wear shoebox (CATWALK, Size 40, black/bronze slip-on sandals for self, also rather worse-for-wear) is hidden in my clothes cupboard, full to the brim with various socks and scarves I hardly wear in sweltering Mumbai (but they walk me back to happy holidays in Darjeeling and Gangtok).
Another REEBOK-trainers-box (white-and-blue with red soles; my ‘comfort-shoes’) is a storehouse for discarded crayons, pencils, erasers and God-knows-what-else, which await a run-through by me before being delegated to the dustbin.
My maid keeps her own stuff (from hankies to hairclips) in a forest-green shoebox (WOODLANDS, Size 42, tan suede semi-formals for weekend-dressing).
Open any cupboard, search any shelf, and, sure enough, there’s a shoebox full of stuff 'packed' by my maid (she must have been a secretary with a filing-cabinet-fetish in a past life).
Yesterday, I took my daughters out to a nearby shop (THE SHOE FACTORY) to buy two pairs of grey- blue floaters. And, because there were discounts (Buy 2, get 20% off, buy 3, get 25% off), I gifted myself a pair of coffee-coloured sandals (I’m DEFINITELY caught in a black/brown/beige rut). The smart new shoes are gracing the shoe rack, and the shiny empty shoeboxes are waiting for my maid to fill them up.