Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Even if the Shoe Fits, it Still Needs a Heel

Today, something tragic happened. I had to wear ballet flats for a whole day.

I know I know. To most people, this is a natural occurrence, bless their hearts. Unfortunately, my foot is naturally shaped for the world of pumps and stilettos, and my fashion sensibilities match. Being the responsible, thrifty, (dare I say) economic girl I am, I've taken to wearing ballet flats or flip-flops (or my Toms with the Republican elephant on them) to walk to school, and then switching into my high heels. This is not out of personal weakness or physical complaint, but rather from my dislike of having to pay to have my shoes reheeled.

This morning, I was flying out the door, and decided to wear a pair of my favorite shoes, with an outfit that seemed perfect for my long day. I tossed my heels in my bag, put on my walking flats, and went to school. Upon arriving, I dropped my stuff off at my desk, changed shoes, and went to grab something, only to hear the ting ting ting of metal hitting a tile floor. I'm all about hearing heels clack, but not when it's that dreadful nail — the noise that screams "I'm your shoe and I'm in pain!" When I heard the noise, I remembered. This pair of shoes I had pretty well shredded after working a visit weekend and tromping around quite a bit (they were close to needing reheeling anyway). I meant to take them to the reheeler (if I were much quainter and/or more British, I would probably refer to it as the cobbler. However, I am of the mindset that cobblers should be eaten a la mode, which is awkward if your cobbler fixes your shoes), but had forgotten. I trudged back to my desk and dejectedly put my flats back on.

I had to wear my flats the rest of the day, as if they were part of my original outfit design. Again, this is perfectly normal and wonderful for most people, but really quite sad for me. I felt like I was unequipped to face all the last-minute homework I needed to do, and generally unshod for the day. I even considered running up to the reheeler's and begging him to do my shoes quickly, but knew I didn't have time. Had someone offered to take my shoes up there and get them to me by lunch, I would have paid a good sum of money.

This illustrates the idea of time preference — the idea that having something now and having something later come with trade-offs. It's the general idea behind charging interest — if you really want $100 now, you're willing to pay interest later. If you'd rather have $110 in a year, you'll loan $100 now. The scholastics, for the most part, did not understand time preference, and thus thought that charging interest (usury) on loans was unethical. They didn't recognize that the risk of investment counted as an extra cost that was legitimate to charge for.

I really wanted my shoes now, and was willing to pay interest (or more money up front) to get them soon. Unfortunately, no one wanted to do that. Technically, my shoes weren't an "investment" and I wasn't going to pay "interest." But I wanted to wear them at that moment, and would have paid much more if it meant being able to wear my shoes at the time. As it was, I wore ballet flats, and I survived. I just spent the day being 2-4 inches shorter than usual. Oh, and I still have to get my shoes reheeled, because even when time preference doesn't work out your way, life's problems don't "heel" themselves.

I learned all this in:
Grayish pencil skirt, berry cami, navy and purple blazer, blue and purple beaded teardrop earrings, purple flower necklace, and the infamous gray felt ballet flats with a black patent leather faux strap near the toe.