The Hellhole

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My friend Phil is taking a poll about how many pairs of shoes us ladies own, wondering if his own lovely Miss Leslie is typical or extravagant at 48 pairs (IMO: typical). Having no idea of the actual number, I left a general comment to which he replied, "Hee. Just like I told marared above that I do NOT see her as the shoe collector type, I totally DO see you as the shoe collector type. I figured your response would probably be somewhere on the order of 60 boxes. :)." I have no basis for denial; despite my love of racing cars, ice hockey and single-malt Scotch, in most ways I am very, very much a girly-girl.

I thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be hilarious if Phil were right?" but then I thought, "Wouldn't it be even funnier if he were wrong because he under
estimated?" I arrived home this evening determined to count pairs of shoes.

In the meantime, The Jay chimed in, writing to Phil:
"I can't believe you're actually touching this particular can of worms :) I'm more interested in the followup question "How many pairs of shoes does your SO think you have?" really. I mean, I know MY answer, it's eleventybillion (give or take 3, I'm not known for counting prowess and Jamie still has a LOT of shoes)."

I shall now address both gentlemen's questions.

Upon my return home, I asked Alan, "How many pairs of shoes do
you think I own, total? Serious estimate."

Alan replied, "Fifteen," and as I rolled my eyes and made a face at him, he continued, "Which I think is a TOTALLY ridiculous number. I probably haven't owned fifteen pairs of shoes my entire adult life."

"Fifteen," I said flatly. "Phil thinks I own sixty. Is that your final answer?"

"Maybe eighteen," said Alan. "Which is three more ridiculous than fifteen."

"No more than that?"

"No more than that. Why are you making that face?"

I have counted. I did not count one
pair that I'd forgotten I owned, unearthed during the counting and promptly threw into the garbage. I also did not count fuzzy bedroom slippers. I was lobbying not to count flip-flops or this white plastic pair of sandals I own exclusively for beach/pool use, but Alan is adamant that I should count every pair of shoes I actually own (there is still some slight debate on this point).

So my husband who loves me and has lived with me for YEARS, and stores clothes (and his shoes, which don't let him kid you: he owns 8 pairs, which he will deny and say he owns some Nikes, a something else, but I counted and there are 8, 8 pairs total, of which 4 are designer because I bought them and yes they HAVE all graced his feets) in the same closet as my shoes, thinks 18 and my friend Phil says 60. Who's closer to being right? (drum roll please....)


I own sixty-seven (67) pairs of shoes.

I am not sure if I am amused or horrified.

I have categorized the count as follows:
  • Sneakers: 10
  • Boots: 14
  • Dressy Shoes: 11
  • Sandals: 13
  • Flats: 4
  • Other: 15 (includes loafers, clogs, Merrills, etc.)
Further, I made a spiffy pie chart for y'all!

Ladies will immediately see what this means. I need more ballet flats!

There is some debate in the Bowman household as to whether the total is 67 or 68. The culprit is this wonderful, versatile pair of comfy RocketDog shoes:

If you know me IRL you're probably thinking, "I've seen her wear those shoes before!"

But you haven't - you've seen me wear the predecessor or the predecessor's predecessor of those shoes. I first bought those shoes over 5 years ago and I loved them. I wore them everywhere, all the time and so eventually they wore out. I bought another pair. Those subsequently wore out and on an expedition for yet a third replacement, I not only found them on clearance but Alan found two pairs in my size (7, if you're interested) so I bought them both. I'm wearing only one pair and keeping the other for the inevitable sad day when my current pair wear through.

I contend that I should only count these shoes once, as one pair, because I don't wear them both and I'm only keeping the one set in reserve for when I have to throw out the other, but like I wrote Alan thinks I should count every single pair, and that these identical sets count as two even though only one is in rotation. So it might be sixty-eight.

(On a side note, don't you like my new quilt upon which I've posed the Rocket Dog shoes? I only have 2 quilts.)


  • Totally surprising and (not surprisingly) funny post! Do you remember the time when your dad suggested we add a room to the house? When I asked why he thought we needed an 'extra' room, his reply was, "for all your shoes!" Heh....he was probably correct. I would be afraid of the total if I counted all my shoes, and am still disappointed that I have NO ballet flats.

    When I was a teen (back in the Dark Ages), we used to buy 4 (yes, 4 - two black and 2 white pairs) of 'pleated toe ballerinas' because the toes wore out so quickly on the bottom. Luckily for us, they were only $3 per pair... Until we discovered we could walk along a certain black-topped street in the summer and thus coat the bottoms with tar...making a pair last a whole summer!

    PS- I like your quilt!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 AM  

  • 67? Holy crap that's impressive!

    I'm happy to skew the statistics in the other direction. I own 5 pairs of shoes:
    1) the sneakers I'm wearing out now,
    2) the sneakers I wore out before and now wear gardening,
    3) & 4) 2 pairs of pumps I've worn a total of 3 times, and
    5) a pair of combat boots I kept from my Army days. I never wear them but I have yet to throw them out.

    Wait, maybe 6 pairs. I have a pair of bunny slippers, too.


    By Blogger Topcat, at 8:05 AM  


    I am vastly amused to see that not only was I closer to right than Alan was, but I UNDERESTIMATED. This astonishes me on several levels.

    Still, Leslie appears to be pretty typical as ladies go for shoes. I wonder how many my mom has....


    By Blogger Phil, at 8:39 AM  

  • I have 10 if I include the gumboots. But I only have 3 pairs that I actually wear -- sneakers, sandals, and my "church shoes".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:41 PM  

  • I loved this post. Different weather requires different shoes, right? So, having one pair of shoes and using that pair for all occasions is, well, ridiculous.

    I do not have 67 pairs of shoes but I do have shoes. 7 pairs of tennis shoes in various states of wear. I am hard on shoes.

    I have two pairs of black dress shoes, 2 low heeled shoes that I try to avoid wearing but have in case I have to actually dress up for something and 3 pairs of boots. I have one pair of sandals but I never wear them mostly because I drop stuff on my feet and my feet aren't my best feature. I look at shoes a LOT more than I buy them so I'm definitely in the girls= shoes demographic. It just doesn't seem that way since there is less physical evidence.

    By Blogger basil, at 2:03 PM  

  • Wow, I think I have five pairs.

    By Anonymous Heather, at 8:13 PM  

  • I don't really like shoes, and if I didn't have fallen arches (and if I *did* live in a hippie commune in a warm climate), I'd be very happy to never wear shoes at all. I don't like shopping for shoes because they're ALL uncomfortable when I try them on, except for SAS sandals, and I have three pairs of those. Also: One pair of tennis shoes, two pairs of loafers, one pair of boots, four or five pairs of dress up shoes in different colors that I never wear. And a pair of fuzzy slippers. Grand total: 13.

    Your little black shoes are very cute.

    By Blogger Nancy, at 9:38 PM  

  • I'd like to take this opportunity to express my shock at anyone thinking me a gentleman... wait, that wasn't the real point.

    OH. I'm sorry to say, but the proper way to count shoes is "Putting one pair in each box for safe storage of these important items, how many shoe boxes would I need?" In those terms, the spare pair counts, boosting the total slightly closer to eleventybillion.

    By Blogger Jay, at 7:09 PM  

  • I think I have shown admirable restraint in waiting three whole days before I asked Sandy, "Oooh, combat boots?!? What size?"

    By Blogger Helly, at 4:04 PM  

  • I LOVE the pie chart! Yes, you most certainly need more ballet flats - and I, for one, will be waiting for the shoe update as you work to address this deficit.
    Lisa :)

    By Blogger DrL/K, at 1:09 AM  

  • The pie chart is awesome! The little black shoes only count as one pair - Leigh-Ann is doing the same thing with Sharper Image eye masks, having a backup so she doesn't have to go without when the current eye mask dies.

    When I worked at jobs where I had to dress nicely, I had more shoes. When I had more money, I had more shoes. If I had an unlimited amount of money, I would own eleventybillion pairs of sneakers. I haven't counted my shoes, but my guess is around 15 pairs. Right now, I only wear two - my Crocs and my Earth Shoes sneaks. If I bought new shoes, it would just be another pair of Crocs and another pair of Earth sneaks. Leigh-Ann has more shoes than I do, but I'd still guess around 20 pairs...and again, she only wears maybe three pairs, her Crocs, her Earth sneaks, and her Converse high-tops. (they look so cute and tiny on her - she wears a 7 and I wear a 9...and a 10 if they're pumps, which makes me look like Godzilla)

    By Anonymous Flippy, at 6:39 AM  

  • Oh, and I think my mom would give you a run for your money. She has a pair of shoes for every possible occasion. Plus, she has lots of cute sneakers that I'd steal if we wore the same size. Alas, you delicate women and your size sevens. Hrumph.

    By Anonymous Flippy, at 6:41 AM  

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