This week has been rough, and I mean rough. Sure, I sympathize with students when they stress out about finals, since it wasn’t THAT long ago that I was a student myself. I too once pulled all nighters to write 15 page papers when I worked 2 jobs, so I get it. But between giving and grading finals and interviewing students for the writing center also makes for an exhausting week.

So when I came home tonight to find these shoes arrived, I was pretty stoked:

Yes, shoes make me that happy. No, they are not Christian Louboutin; they have a bright pink sole instead of red. I am employed by the state of California; therefore, $1100 shoes are out of my budget. But I have had my eye on these for a long time, and they finally came, and I squealed with delight.

Now, I realize that getting that excited about shoes may seem silly, in the grand scheme of things. I know that some people might even condemn my spending habits on shoes. And that all reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of Sex and the City. By the way, it saddens me to know that that show was popular when I was in college, and is probably a “classic” to my students. But anyway. The episode is called “A Woman’s Right to Shoes,” and the gist of it is that the main character ends up having to defend her shoe habit to a friend who is married and has kids. Her friend sneers at her for spending a few hundred dollars on shoes when she (the friend) has more important things to worry about. Carrie ends up on the defensive, explaining that she has embraced and celebrated everyone else’s lifestyle choices (marriage, children, divorces) but that because she is a successful, single woman, her lifestyle choices are frivolous and silly.

Needless to say, I completely understand. There’s something about being single and 30 that puts a woman into a completely different category, one where there must be something wrong with her for having such a lifestyle. There’s something especially with turning 30 that makes this distinction even more evident, at least in my head. When you’re 30, and single, and happy with your career, and making good enough money to spend it on shoes and having dinner alone at local bars, you’re open to all sorts of criticism or pity. It’s as if my spending money on shoes makes me pitiful. But why? I live a pretty awesome life. Shouldn’t people be happy that I am self-sufficient? Happy that I haven’t settled for unhealthy relationships simply to be in a relationship? None of it was handed to me; I worked really hard throughout college and grad school, and lived on very little. Afterwards, when they economy became bad, I took on the jobs that many of my peers seemed to deem “below” them so that I could pay off all of my debt and live the lifestyle that I want.
And yet, even in 2011, there seems to still be this cultural stigma about single women in their 30s. It’s as if somehow, by treating ourselves to a pair of shoes (completely within budget and debt free, I must add!) we’re somehow a threat.

Well, you know what? I think that others should be scared. Because a jab with a stiletto heel can really hurt. And single women in their 30s are tough enough to kick ass and strut away confidently in those heels! 🙂

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