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My search for the black summer shoe

(Note: Pardon my recent absence [duly noted, Carmen]. I have had a cold. Everyone in my household is sick. My Kid is just getting over it; I am in the throes of it; Big Daddy is coming down with it. I spent all weekend in bed - literally. Except for the one time I got out to make a pitiful run to Walgreens, where I spent $70 on Advil Cold & Sinus, nose spray, tissues, cough syrup, sprite and chicken noodle soup.)

Shopping in this town is such a drag. I know what I want - I just can't find it anywhere. It happens to me all the time and it is so frustrating! Luckily, there's the internet, where I (sometimes) have better luck.

Today I was looking for a pair of black shoes. You wouldn't think this would be too difficult; my requirements are pretty basic:
1. Black
2. Open-toed
3. Fabric (not leather)
4. Some sort of ankle strap (not a slide)
5. Rope or cork wedge heel
6. Cute (of course)

I found a couple pairs I liked, but they didn't come in black. Black espadrilles? All closed-toed. A few others were cute, but the cork heels weren't wedges. I mean, WTF? All these characteristics are right in style this season! Why can't I find them all in one shoe?

I tell you, I looked everywhere, too, from the chi-chi boutiques to the mall to the discount stores. How sad is that?

So finally I came home and looked online. I found three pairs I liked, and I copied and pasted photos of each of them into one document so that I could compare and contrast them. Yes, shopping is an art and a talent, and it should not be entered into lightly. I decided, upon ponderous deliberation, on these. Only, when I went to order them, the smallest size they had was EIGHT-AND-A-HALF. So, as first runner-up, these shoes will now have to take over since the winner that was crowned is unable to fulfill her obligations as my black summer shoe of choice.

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HA! I just missed you, is all.

I am so woefully out of it that I can't imagine wearing shoes that you have to lace around your ankle. But, then again, 15 years of pointe shoes kind of takes that out of you. ;)

I'm so sorry that you all were sick. If I lived closer, I'd bring you dinner.

I scoured Zappos and didn't find jack. Do you know the thrill I got to read your little assignment?? Shoes are my porn.

Hi, by the way. I've been reading you for a while now but you hadn't assigned homework until now ;)

Carmen, we only wear those ankle strap shoes so we can be like you and PRETEND that we're prima ballerinas.

And I love that you're the kind of friend that would bring dinner to a sick household. In fact, it's one of the things I love about you most.

Ally! Welcome! I'm glad you're here. You sound like my soul sister.

oh! So at TJ Maxx today I found your shoes. For $29.99!!

They were Unisa brand, similar to these
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/10195735/c/1072.html

but the upper was a thick black canvas and they laced up the ankle/calf.

Tres chic!

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