Monday, June 19, 2006

Imelda Marcos Eat Your Heart Out

Imelda Marcos is known (or rather notorious) for her shoe fetish. When opposing forces searched her Filipino home in 1986 and found a reported 3000 pairs of shoes (many never even worn) she defended herself with this, "I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty." Um, yea. Anyway... Imelda has competition in the form of 23 month old Leah Caitrin aka The Shoe Stealer.

If she could, Leah would have been born wearing shoes. Seriously. Ever since she could crawl she has been fascinated by shoes. Mostly her older siblings' shoes. Occasionally her own. Definitely her Mama's and Daddy's. She will drop anything to put on an empty pair of shoes. She could be called the Shoe Whisperer. They call to her in their own private language. She recognizes their need and understands how to fill it. After all, what is a shoe good for if it is not being worn? Poor, lonely, tired out shoe with no one to love it. Pathetic picture isn't it? Not on my daughter's watch!

Now God, in his mighty intelligence, designed Leah's feet to work perfectly with her particular quirks. She has chubby landing boards for feet. No dainty, small boned, slight lady's appendage here. Nope. Leah has hefty ankles with wide, thick blossoms on the bottom of each leg. She can put on her Daddy's work boots and clunk around for an hour without breaking a sweat. Her feet make her particularly suited for the task of wearing shoes made for people 15 times her age.

So you might think, with all this shoe lovin' going on, that Leah has several pairs of her own shoes... you would think that - but you would be mistaken. Leah has a pair of tennis shoes which she will occasionally keep on (but only if you place military grade magnets on the bottom of the shoes and then land Leah on the planet Jupiter). She owns a pair of sweet Mary-Janes for church but we have yet to see her wear them there. Recently we purchased a pair of stars and stripes "crocks" which she does enjoy putting on and off but as soon as a larger pair of anything is available they are left in the dust. Apparently her giftedness as the Shoe Whisperer only works with the larger sizes.

She wears our company's shoes, her Nana's shoes or even a stranger's shoes. High-heeled, open-toed, lace-up, slip-on and buckled all receive equal opportunity with her. It is great to see such an open heart in a child so young. She hasn't been tainted by society and the laws of etiquette - white shoes when? I don't think Leah even finds it particularly important to wear a matching set of shoes and putting them on the correct feet is a total mystery to her. But her zeal makes up for it all! Any time you want to watch a fashion shoe - I mean show, to rival Prada stop on by.

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