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So my birthday isn’t until October, but ever since I saw 2 Chainz perform at Summer Jam, he’s held a special place in my heart; and I try to incorporate him in as many conversations as possible. But this post is not about long loc-ed rappers. Instead, it’s about the beloved ballet flat, past and future.

About seven years ago, I stumbled upon the perfect ballet flat at Aldo. The shoe, dangling from a shoe hanger, was so unassuming. Everybody knows that the shoes on the hanger are typically of lesser quality than the ones on the shelves. But to my surprise these flats were leather. With a thin bow adorning a slightly rounded toe, they were just too cute! They seemed too good to be true, so then I thought let me look at the price. These shoes were $40.00! I tried them on and they fit perfectly.

Some of you may be thinking, flats can never be uncomfortable. But you’d be wrong. As someone with wide, flat feet, practically no arch to speak of and a protruding tendon in the back, flat can be just as uncomfortable as heels sometimes. Even more so. The elastic or inflexible material on the back of flats have been known to make my feet bleed. So a girl has to be careful out here. And though I tried them on and took a few steps in Aldo you can never tell until you wear the shoes for an entire day, whether or not they’re really comfortable or not.

But my black ballets were. For the past seven years I’ve never had any problems with them. I’ve trekked across campus in them. I traveled to Ghana, Jamaica and Egypt with them and hit the rugged pavement of New York wearing them. And after hours of wearing them, hours of standing in them, they have never once given me any problems. In fact the leather is so nice, they’ve often felt like an extension of my own skin. Maybe that’s taking things a bit far, but I want you to understand the blessing these shoes have been in my life.

Yes, have been–past tense. As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” And now, after seven years, innumerable wearings, several trips and a few sand and mud cleanings, my ballet slippers are on their last leg. The sole is starting to separate from the back and the leather in that same area is starting to fray. This has been happening for months now, but that hasn’t stopped me from throwing the shoes on in a lurch, when only black flats will do. (You’d be surprised how many times that is the case actually.)

And though I have every intention of wearing them until the “wheels fall off,” I don’t want to be caught unprepared when they’ve completely had enough.

So this is the part of the post where you get to engage. If any of you know where I can find something suitable or similar to the love that’s getting ready to leave me, I’d be most grateful.

I know I may sound a bit obsessive and even unhinged at this point; but my fellow wide-footed sistren know the struggle. Have you ever had to learn to let go of the perfect shoe?

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