Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September Shoes

I felt it last week when I saw September 1 on my calendar. The compulsion to go and buy a new notebook and sharpen some pencils. Or at least buy a new pair of shoes. All those rituals of late summer we persist  hoping it will make us forget the season is almost over.

Last week I could try and stay in denial. But not today. Today is September 7.  It's Fall. Back to school. Back to work. Back to getting serious. Back to thinking about those new shoes.

A friend I grew up with reminded me of the shoes we were most obsessed with as teenagers. Fred Brauns.  If you were hip and cool and living in NYC in the seventies you had a pair of Fred Brauns, flats with strange shaped  toes in triangles, rounds or squares. They were expensive for their time. Me owning a pair meant saving my own money to add to what my mother budgeted for me.  As my friend reminded me, late August would approach and we would take the bus to Kew Gardens and the E or the F train into the city to shop. I can still breathe in the rush of that butter soft leather that filled the Fred Braun Store.

I've been thinking of those Fred Brauns and wondering about this connection to something ending and something beginning and the hope in between in the form of a shoe.  Yes, the summer  is over but in its place is the fall and  the promise of what is new, what is fresh, what is next.

I am torn between the two. And I am convinced a new pair of shoes will ease the transition.

But I no longer buy shoes as easily as I did when in Corporate America. Shoes for most women are an easy quick fix to a bad day and Corporate America is filled with those.  I learned that trick early on. Shoes can be bought between appointments, on a lunch hour, one short stop on the way home. I don't have that many bad days anymore.  Plus I admit to not always wearing shoes in my office. In fact I write this in bare feet.

Still it is September and I am obsessing new shoes. Not because I am having a bad day. But because that is my favorite September ritual. They are my bridge between the seasons, my preparation for what is next.

I stand differently in new shoes. I feel more confident. There are no marks on new shoes, no scuffs. They are like a freshly washed chalkboard with no mistakes. They hold my feet and they hold promise.


What is your September ritual?
Are you too shopping for new 'school' shoes?
Do new shoes make you feel different?
What promise do you hope the fall holds for you?
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