These N.D.C. leather shoes (hand-made in Belgium-of-the-16-grain-bread) were my birthday present to myself.
This June, I decided that my birthday was going to be all about facing my fears, and making tentative forays into solid girl territory. That’s like the equivalent of being afraid of heights, and booking yourself a hot air balloon ride as a gift. Terrifying. Not OK.
I have a big god damn cross to bear with the gender thing. It could have been the older kids in the arcade, telling me I couldn’t play Street Fighter because I was a girl (though actually they were right, I’ve never been very good at Street Fighter). Or the boys at the summer cabin, with the “no girls allowed” fort, where they whittled sticks and pitched pretend battles.
So now if I’m, say, wearing a skirt, I start to panic. I feel like I need to be holding a football, and talking about the new rims on my truck. I feel like I need to have the Raiden Fighters high score stamped on my forehead. But really what I need is to get over this shit.
So these shoes are like a training-wheels version of lady shoes. I don’t have much of a shoe fixation, not even secretly beneath my seventeen impenetrable anti-girl firewalls. I reserve that sort of fervor for jackets. But I liked these, because I thought they looked sneaky. Which is another protective mechanism of mine, by the way. If I see something feminine and I want it, I know I can’t just naturally act on that feeling. I’m no fool. So I invent an entryway for it. I make it an inventory item, with helpful stats, and then I can want it without shame. Plus, these were an easy one, because I have a strong partiality for anything hand-made. And really, they’re just old man shoes that have been re-shaped a little… well, I have to start somewhere.