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6:08 AM Thu, Jan. 24th

Around the Bluhmin' Town: Money can buy happiness - in the form of shoes

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Re-runs can bring back memories - like visiting with old friends. Just when I was beginning to think that the only thing left on television are reality shows or singing contests, I stumbled across "Sex and the City." I remembered how gratifying it is to watch those four women spend 800 bucks on a pair of shoes! God, I've missed them. It's delicious fun to eavesdrop on their spicy dialogue laced with glamour, style and sexuality. Just watching the show makes me want to move to New York City! On second thought, I've been to the Big Apple many times, and never quite recall it being so sunny, friendly and fun. Maybe we liked the show so much because it has absolutely nothing to do with our real lives. After all, reality can get pretty boring.

I love my little corner of the world, but I have pondered what it would be like to own just one pair of Manolo Blahniks. I can imagine me picking out the faux-fur, strappy teal shoes with the five-inch heels and bringing them home to show my husband, Doug. Not a big fan of fashion, he would probably crack up at the sight of my "Sex and the City" shoes - until he found out the price. All laughter would instantly stop. After a moment of shock, he would wonder exactly what demons possessed me.

Ladies, how many pairs of shoes do you own? A national survey says that the average number is 30, with about 20 percent of American women owning more like 100 pairs! If clothes make the man, than I guess shoes make the woman, because evidently we like our footwear. One retail merchandise buyer has stated that shoe-shopping brings happiness to women. Really? Yikes, are we that shallow that joy comes from a pair of shoes? He goes on to say that shoe sizes rarely change, there are no horror of three-way mirrors to contend with, and, for a relatively small amount of money, shoes can update an outfit and transform a woman's look.

Maybe "Sex and the City" should have been called "Shoes in the City."

Two weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I was reorganizing my closet and pulled out about a dozen shoeboxes where I stash my dress shoes, and put them on the bedroom floor. Doug looked in and said he was going to the dump. I said "Okay." Then I realized his truck was pulling out of the driveway and my shoe boxes were gone! In a sprint, I raced down the driveway and onto our dirt road running behind his big Dodge truck screaming my head off. Guess he was so freaked out to see his wife in her pajamas with arms waving like a maniac in his rear-view mirror that he slammed on the brakes. Even the slumbering cows across the street had raced to the fence line and my horses galloped to the gate to watch the spectacle of a woman gone mad!

Doug said he thought maybe someone had died when I was trying to flag him down. Little did he know that it would have been him if 12 boxes of my best shoes had ended up in a landfill! Dear readers, disaster almost struck that morning. When my shoes were recovered, I must admit, I did feel happiness. Of course, Doug pointed out that maybe I should listen more carefully and not mutter "okay" when I wasn't paying attention. Yes, I am working on my listening skills after that "near miss."

Last week I went for a horseback ride with three women friends. Somewhere out on the trail we started dishing about "Sex and the City." We compared the cost of cowboy boots ($100), getting shoes on our horses (about $50), a saddle and tack (over $600), and started laughing when we realized where all of our money was going. Horses are too expensive! A few of us didn't like the idea that we could be at the spa and wear Prada if only we had made another choice.

I have never owned anything designed by Jimmy Choo and I don't wear Prada. Doubt that "style" would work well on my budget or in my world. Did I mention that Manolo Blahnik has an annual sale? You can pick up "leftover shoes," (last year's styles) for a very reasonable 500 bucks! Hey, you don't have to live in the Big Apple to know a true bargain when you see one. Then again, I might have to fill up the gas tank, get new shoes for my horse, buy a few groceries and pay some bills. Fashion? Sounds more like fantasy. Happiness? Hmm... maybe I will see you at the shoe department in Dillard's during their next sale.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor who lives in Skull Valley. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at