Shoes to me are functional objects, I wear them to stop my feet a) being cold, and b) being hurt by hard surfaces (note to self, stop kicking objects when no shoes are on feet); but to some they are an object of beauty, to be loved and adored, kept in boxes and stored... expensive and stylish they can be glimpsed occasionally and admired for their sheer extravagence.
When I go shopping for shoes, it is because I have a need for a pair and generally I end up buy two pairs so that I don't have to go through the experience again in a short period of time, I have even resorted to buying them in two different colours so that I can ring the changes for work. Nowadays, since I had my ankle operated on for damaging my tendons, my ability to wear heels is strictly limited as I cannot risk damaging the ankle again so making my choice of shoes harder.
In 2000 I visited Toronto with some friends and throughout a hard morning touring the city, which by the way is wonderful (I love Canada and the Canadians - so friendly) the aforementioned friends expressed an interest in viewing the Bata shoe museum which was going to be on our way back to the hotel.
I feverishly tried to come up with an excuse as to my inability to sigh blissfully over old shoes (I really don't see the point - honestly) that would be acceptable without being considered hostile and making them feel they couldn't visit it because of me. In the end, one bright idea later, we arrived at the museum and I said rather than them carrying their shopping around the museum that they could leave it with me in the reception area and I would look after them.
Problem solved, with relief I watched them wander off to immerse themselves in the history of the shoe of the past 4500 years or so (well according to their information sheet), while I sat and watched the world go by and just enjoyed a few hours of peace and quiet.
The girls enjoyed their trip around the museum, and came back at intervals to see if I was ok, and afterwards joyously recounted the shoes that they had see and how they would love to have owned some of them...at which point I sagely nodded my mute agreement of their pleasure.
We all ended up happy, they because they had seen the shoes and enjoyed the experience, me because I had some time alone without trying to pretend that I was enjoying it.. so we all were winners in the end.