the sisterhood of shoes

Last weekend, I had a revelation:

Shoes bring women together.

That may sound incredibly silly, but while shoe shopping with a friend, I could have sworn that other women in the store were much friendlier than usual. Ladies seeking out the perfect boots or the perfect flats were willing to lend their friendly opinions when we found ourselves in the same shoe aisle, quietly searching for the perfect soles to warm our respective souls.

Women are generally not always that nice to other women we don’t know. Or, at least, we don’t always seem to go out of our way to be overly kind. Somehow, though, in the endless aisles of DSW, something shifts and we all become equals — comrades on the same mission. Regardless of age or weight or skin color or IQ, an amazing pair of shoes can work wonders for any woman, putting a pep in her step like no other. It doesn’t matter if the shoes cost $20 or $2,000, as long as they spark that fire inside of her and make her stand just a little bit taller (regardless of the size of the heel).

In the depths of the boot aisle last Saturday, we met the nice blond woman whose husband patiently stood by, holding their baby, while she tried on pair after pair after pair on her quest for the perfect riding boot. She complimented the boots I was wearing that day (from Target last season!), and offered to give me her 20% off coupon if they gave it back to her after she made her purchase. We met the older brunette, shopping alone, who had piles of boxes surrounding her as she tried to narrow down her favorites. (We attempted to help, but I’m very good at justifying other people’s purchases, so in reality I probably succeeded only in encouraging her to spend more money.) We met the sweet 40-something woman on her way to the register, who saw my friend, Lisa, trying on some boots and stopped to tell her that they looked amazing on her, and they’d be a classic staple that would last her for years. And finally we met Nancy, the nice sales woman who overheard me mention that I didn’t get a 20% off coupon in the mail like the blond woman did (even though I’m a rewards customer), and shortly returned to slip two coupons — one for me and one for Lisa — inside the lid of my shoebox. Lisa and I made sure to find her to say thank you on our way out of the store after we made our purchases.

I find it funny and ironic that the day after I started drafting this post, my friend Melissa posted on Operation NICE about an employee of DSW who was the recipient of a kind gesture from some customers who wanted to thank her for going above and beyond for them. While this could have happened anywhere, I love the fact that it happened at a shoe store — the same one where I made about four friends last weekend.

If the world were a shoe store, maybe we’d all be a little nicer to each other; perhaps women would have an easier time relating to one another when it seems, on the surface, that we have nothing in common. I’m not sure. But if there is one thing to take away from this revelation, I think it is this:

If you are looking for new friends, go shoe shopping.

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  1. beyond shoes (and on the topic of women being nice to other women), i’m a firm believer in this rule: if you think something is cute or suites a person, compliment it! i ALWAYS go out of my way to tell someone when something they are wearing looks nice… b/c ya know, it makes my day when people tell me my boots/earrings/shirt are adorable. my little contribution to the world. :D lol.

  2. Shoes really do bring women together! I will ALWAYS compliment a woman on a good pair of shoes. Girls in my office who I don’t even know will be in the elevator with me and say “you always have the best shoes” and voila, insta friends. In my office everyone always orders their online purchases to be delivered to the office. We have fashion shows and consultations on each item and what to pair it with.

  3. No way! I can’t believe that’s the same store! How awesome! I think whenever I need a pick me up, I should head to a DSW. Sounds like a great place to be! :)

  4. I wish people were like this more often! I worked at DSW freshman year of college, and MAN did it bring out the jerk in a lot of people.

    Maybe that’s because I was the lowly cashier/sales associate though?

  5. @ashley, I agree! I like to give compliments to strangers — we should all be in the habit of doing it a bit more often :)

    @Kim, that is so fun. Fashion shows at work should be required for team building! Ha.

    @Melissa, DSW is definitely one of my favorite places for a pick-me-up :)

  6. omg, girl. please. i LOVE this post. and it’s sooooo true! we are bonded to one another by our quest for the perfect footwear. i have hope that we’ll be bound to one another on our quest for the hearts of others, too. :)

    secret agent l

  7. Hey Ladies! I am the chick from DSW…the shoe/taco lover! Come to the DSW in Glen Mills and ask for Little Laurie :) I would love to help…TACOS NOT NECESSARY just a smile if all I want from you :)

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