Okay, this post is going to be a challenge because the camera (aka “Pookie”) is in the shop with a sprained… flash bulb. I’ve had to forgo several photo treks and have been unable to adequately document a few cooking projects, but I must forge ahead. Bear with me.
What could be better than shoes? That’s the question. What, indeed?
To a chocolate lover the answer is clear- a bar of bittersweet (or just sweet) goodness. However if said chocolate lover is also a devotee of Carrie Bradshaw and our friend The Random Muse, the answer is not so simple. I present the following:
I needed some nice shoes for holiday outings and work, so I enlisted AR to help.
My friend AR is quite a find as a person. She is bright, funny, pretty, supportive, and a good shopping buddy. She is, in fact, a comfortable fit: not unlike the totally classic, black leather, Bandolino Louis-heeled pumps she helped me find at DSW the other day. The totally fabulous, classic black leather “I can’t believe I was able to breathe before I got these shoes” pumps I bought the other day.
To understand the magnitude of these shoes, you have to understand two things- 1.) I have never owned a pair of classic black leather pumps, and b.) shopping for shoes usually takes more than one trip. It takes several and usually ends with me deciding to give up and make do with shoes that 5 years old and already in my closet because I haven’t found anything I like. In short, I suck at shopping. However, AR kept me focused and on task and I left with a pair of shoes that I needed.
Plus one more that I didn’t, strictly speaking, need: roundtoe teal suede Via Spigas with white stitching and a rhinestone encrusted chain across the vamp. Cute cute cute. Unecessary unecessary unecessary. Which usually describes women’s shoe purchases to a tee.
It all started when we began perusing the discount racks carrying Prada, Joan and David, Christian Louboutin and other “Sex and the City”-worthy foot coverings. When something she liked was only in my size, I did what any good friend would do and tried them on for her and vice versa. The Via Spigas were beautiful and soft looking. The fact that they were merely $100, marked down from $400+ factored into the equation.
“They’re fierce. You should get them,” AR said, unaware that I am really really weak when it comes to fierce shoes. I bought them.
They stayed, in their box, for 2 weeks. Coming out only once to be modeled with a teal cashmere sweater. Which they didn’t match. And then I quit my job and suddenly having a pair of fierce shoes (by the way, not quite as fierce as the black pumps) seemed a whole lot less important than having a fierce job.
Still, we women form attachments. Like that random scarf belt I bought and spent months convincing myself I needed, those shoes were sure to match something… eventually. (Maybe that scarf belt? Darnit!) I was hooked on Italian shoe leather and it was goooood.
In order to wean myself off the shoes I had to get back on dark chocolate. Ooh, I hate that. The last time I was on chocolate was when GS and I picked up a bar of Green&Black’s Organic Maya Gold (orange and spices) to share and ended up eating one square each. Then the next day I polished off the whole darn thing. Less out of appreciation for the stuff than to assuage my panic attacks at having quit my job.
Before heading back to DSW I stopped off at Balducci’s for two bars of the hard stuff- Vosges. A Red Fire bar studded with ancho and chipotle and bathed in cinnamon was first, followed by a Black Pearl bar. The Black Pearl is ginger, wasabi and black sesame. Two very different kinds of spicey. With AR on the cell-y, assuring me I would survive (hey-hey), I took my booty to the car and headed across the highway to DSW, where I forced my little legs to carry me, and the Via Spigas, into the store and over to the register. I returned the shoes, after a little bit of snivelling (no, they hadn’t been marked down further), and with receipt in hand raced back out to the car. Once inside I tore into the Red Fire bar, snapping off a square and popping it in my mouth.
The ancho and chipotle spreading a delicate burn over my tongue, the velvety 55% cocoa melting away. At one point I expected to be grossed out- totally overwhelmed by the chili- but there was a perfect balance. (Like when you put just the right amount of tabasco on your omelette at brunch.) Much tastier than teal suede, if that’s possible. And at $6 a pop in stores, a lot less of a long term, bank balance unbalancing investment. And, my darlings, chocolate is always in style.
(I have to say here that I loathe that commercial where the two women are in a spa going goo-goo over yogurt. But I also have to say that Vosges is shoe-shopping good. It is delicious, fragrant, rich. It is so good that I might have to get over my dislike of both milk and white chocolates just to see what Vosges can do. Pink salt, kalamata olives? The mind boggles.)