Being the Princess Tiny Bladder that I am, the first thing that I had to do after getting through security at the Cleveland Airport was go to the bathroom. A Cleveland Policewoman directed me to a Ladies Room near gate B1, and off I went. Now, bathrooms at CLE are small. From what I have seen on my travels in and out of here, each bathroom only has 5-7 stalls. So, when I walked in to the restroom, 4 of the 7 stalls were occupied.
My first choice was backed up with nasty brown water, so I moved onto the next empty one. That one had high clear water in it, so I made a comment to the bathroom attendant about the condition of these two toilets. She immediately began to investigate. I moved on to the last available stall; it looked normal, so I went in.
Just at the moment when I was getting ready to pull my pants back up, I hear the woman to my right scream that the toilet in her stall was over flowing, and sure enough, water started spilling over and creeping into my stall. I started to laugh to myself, and edged my suitcase out of the way and made sure that my pants legs were free and clear. It was during this scramble that I noticed that the water in my toilet was starting to rise as well. With that, I buttoned my pants and scrambled to get out of my stall with my suitcase, backpack, long winter coat, and my sanity. If you know how the majority of airport bathroom stalls are, you know that most are not configured to allow a suitcase to easily fit between an opening door and the toilet. This is truly an art. One I am still trying to perfect. I figured I could wait to zipper my pants until I was safe from contamination.
As I blew out of my stall, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically. I mean, this was funny. Every toilet in this bathroom decided to expunge its contents at the same time. You can't make this kind of stuff up. The bathroom attendant was shouting "B1 B1" on her walkie talkie, and trying to explain to the person on the other end what was going on. The other woman standing at the sink, who was wiping off her personal belongings, was having a hard time finding the humor in this situation. It is a shame to take life so seriously.
I lost my first best friend when I was around 11 years old. Her family moved back to Ohio, but I had started to push her away long before that. The pressures of being a middle school girl, going through puberty and trying to find "your place" helped with that.
Through the years, losing touch with her was one of the greatest regrets that I had. We had formed so many impactful memories, and she genuinely made me want to be a better person. She was so bright and brilliant, even at a young age, that she secretly pushed me to want to be just as great as her.
Since the advent of social media, I have raked through pages of strangers looking for her. A few years ago I finally found her on Facebook and we were able to reconnect through the magic of the internet. Last night, we finally managed to reconnect in person, after almost 30 years. While enjoying a smooth, comforting Malbec, we caught up on the 30 years of each others lives that we missed. Memories flowed, and questions of each others families were asked. Sitting across from her was surreal and magical. We have walked completely different paths in life, and she said she had often wondered how different her life would be if she hadn't moved away.
My obsession for footwear began in my late 20years, and has continued ever since. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate fine, quality footwear, as cheaper brands and materials just don't last nearly as long. I am old now. My body isn't changing size rapidly like it did when I was a kid. Is it wrong for me to expect that something that I enjoy wearing lasts a decade? I mean, I have one of my dad's button down Wrangler shirts hanging in my closet. I think I stole it from him over 20 years ago. It is still as nice as the day I swiped it. Footwear should live up to the same expectations. It is unjust when the manmade materials of a pair of knee high boots or gorgeous heels that I have falling in love with start to peel and flake just a year after spending my hard earned money on them.
I joined Poshmark in May of 2015. While scrolling through the shoes category in the app one day, I fell in love with this expensive pair of BedStu boots. I mean, the most expensive pair of boots I had ever purchased was a pair of 20 hole Dr. Martens when I was 15. They were $150, but it was my parents' money back then, not mine. Well, these BedStu boots Retailed for over $300, and to me that was just ridiculous. But they were amazing! I had to have them. So, I made the seller an offer, and got them, with shipping, for just under $200. I had a bunch of money saved up from the selling of my own items in my closet, so I only paid around $100 out of pocket.
They came in! Yay!!! I opened the box, saw the gorgeous leather work, smelled the sweet smell of leather, and couldn't wait to put them on. When I did, they were way too tight. Oh my God! How am I supposed to wear these? Maybe I should have gotten a larger size?
Then it hit me! They are leather. Pure, authentic, animal skin leather. I flashed back to being a child and watching my grandfather use this strange device in his shoes to stretch the leather. If only I had something like that, but I didn't. So, I did what anyone in the age of the internet would do. I Googled "how to stretch leather shoes".
I ran over to my sock drawer and found two pairs of my thickest wool socks. I put them on, and then squeezed my feet into these luxurious fine leather goods, and grabbed my hair dryer. I heated up the shoes with the hair dryer, and then walked around my room. I heated the boots up some more, and then walked around some more. I walked up and down the stairs, I did squats, and I tried to move in all the strange and unique ways of the human body to stretch out every pesky angle of these babies.
It worked! After about 15 minutes of fun, the boots were completely comfortable with a pair of regular socks, and then I was addicted to searching through Poshmark looking for all the sorry boots that had been worn once by their owners and then tossed aside because they were "too tight" or "uncomfortable" or because they "rubbed a spot too hard". I now know the secret, of not only how to custom form leather shoes to my feet, but also how to acquire barely used leather goods at a fraction of their retail cost.
Here are some actual styles that I personally own and adore:
I told you… I am an addict. But, that's ok. I like my issues.