How To Take Care Of White Shoes


1. Consider a pair of white shoes. Try them on. “I don’t know,” you say to your friend, “What do you think?” “They’re nice!” she’ll reply noncommittally. Yell at your friend waiting outside to come look. He is on his phone and doesn’t hear you. Put the shoes back.

2. Never stop thinking about the white shoes. Send the link with images to your friends, to your boss, to your sisters. Plan a year’s worth of outfits around the shoes. Plan your evening commute around stopping at the shoe store. Walk right by and don’t go inside. “White shoes?!” your Responsible Adult Brain asks you. “I know, I know, it’s so dumb,” you’ll reply (to yourself).

3. Wake up on Sunday. Spend a looooooong tiiiiiimeeeee sloooooowwwlyyyyyyyy getting reeeeeaaaadddyyyyy because hi it’s Sunday and that’s the day for moving at the speed of a sloth. “What are you doing today?” your friend will ask. “I’m going to go meet a friend for brunch, and then I’m going to go buy shoes, and I know that’s the most clichéd Sunday afternoon plan of all time, but this is who I am and I’ve made my peace with it,” you tell her. She will nod solemnly.

4. The shoe store is having a “Buy One, Get 50% Off Your Second Pair” sale. Panic. Responsible Adult Brain has short-circuited in protest. Isolate original pair of white shoes on shelf; try them on; stare at them in the mirror for awhile, avoiding eye contact with the person doing the same thing with a different pair of shoes beside you. Pull a different pair of white shoes off the shelf. Try them on. Second pair of white shoes are a bold choice for Your Personal Look. Send texts to multiple friends. Find out they all have very strong opinions about the following: white shoes and their requisite care, a certain brand of comfortable and inexplicably recently trendy German sandals, your toenails and their lack of nail polish. Walk around in both pairs a couple of times. Catch the eye of a person doing the same thing but with black shoes. “You really like white shoes!” she says. “I could never do that! Aren’t you afraid of getting them dirty?” You reply noncommittally. You buy both pairs of shoes. Contemplate some kind of protection spray available at the cash register but dismiss it as one of those superfluous products left at cash registers to prey on the weak-willed. Congratulate yourself on your restraint.

5. Wear one pair of the shoes home. Wear the other pair out at night to meet a friend. Walk home extremely carefully. Friend comments on shoes: “How do you keep them so white?” “They’re new,” you’ll reply, and he will nod solemnly. Think to yourself, “I will always treat these shoes with this much care and respect.” At home, notice a small scruff on the toe of the shoes and carefully sponge it off.

6. You will never place another cleaning product on these shoes. You walk into the city; you walk into several stores; you walk to one appointment; you walk to meet a friend; you pause when friend texts you requests for grocery items; you enter 4 convenience stores and 2 grocery stores unable to find said items; your shoes have already accumulated a fine layer of grey dust. Decide they look better that way. “They’re lived in,” you explain to your friend when you arrive at his house. He nods solemnly.

7. Consider buying red shoes.