Why Happiness Is Not a Comfortable Shoe


You figure you need a pair of shoes and have a mental picture of what you want: a sensible choice that coordinates with your wardrobe and matches your busy lifestyle.

You go to the mall and start eyeing the displays in search of what you already know you will buy. As you expertly scan the merchandise, a display draws your attention, you don’t know why, exactly, but you can’t take your eyes off of it: it’s a pair of suede pumps in deep plum, formal wear.

As much as it incites your curiosity, you keep going forward, true to your original intent to buy a pair of sensible shoes, mid-height heel, preferably in black and definitely leather, not suede. You finish one side of the mall and as you turn around, fate brings you a lot closer to the purple shoe display, close enough to notice how masterfully well crafted they are, how flawless in every detail and how they seem to be exactly your size, if your eyes are not deceiving you, and they couldn’t, possibly, because the purple shoes are at this point right under your nose. You have to walk around them to get to the plethora of mid-height sensible choices in the back.

While you evaluate your options based on the desirable attributes you take an even closer look at the purple shoes and wonder what kind of person manages to fit this fashion statement into their lifestyle? You try to imagine these people for a while, but can’t, because they sure aren’t you, the person in search of sensible shoes. You sigh, turn to leave, but change your mind at the last minute: what’s it going to hurt if you just try them on? You don’t even have to ask for your size, the ones right there look like a perfect fit.

The shoes seem to have been made for your feet and look even more beautiful as you try them on. A couple of shoppers, also in search of sensible shoes, chuckle as they pass you by. You take off the shoes and put them back on the display, slightly embarrassed for trying them on, and advance towards the intended purchase.

Unfortunately for you the purple pumps spoiled your taste for the sensible choices, which now look clunky and awkward and make you feel sad. You know you should just pick a pair and go home, your time is limited as it is, what for are you wasting it on pie in the sky fashion statements, but by now you already saw yourself wearing the least practical shoes in the world and can’t settle for the sensible alternatives.

You end up taking home a pair of suede pumps in deep plum, and they will be too formal for trips to the grocery store, going to PTA meetings and pretty much any other activity in your uncomplicated life, but you wear them anyway, first because even after you got used to them they still look flawless, and second because you didn’t get the pair of sensible black shoes in leather and you kind of have to.

You worry when you wear them in the rain, you worry when somebody spills coffee at your feet and you need a special bag to keep them from getting dusty in the closet, but you have to admit they are exceptionally well crafted and look made for you, and you enjoy being the person who wears bespoke purple shoes with everything, and this is what happiness is.

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