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Monday Moment: Shoes make me superficial, whatever!

Emma Grey

I’m not a ‘shoe person’. I’m a person who walks reluctantly into shoe shops and says, ‘I have size 10.5-11 feet. Do you have anything?’

But intellectually I *get* shoe people. And gadget people. And gamers. And Directioners (30,000+ of whom I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with at the Allianz Stadium last night).

I get people who love musicals (I am one) and wargaming (I’m married to one) and Star Wars (like my four-year-old).

I get the obsession with Game of Thrones, but don’t watch it. I get the obsession with Offspring and Downton Abbey and Outlander

The point is, we’re all besotted with different things.

I have a friend whose mum is an academic, who only believes in ‘high brow’ television. My friend LOVES The Real Housewives of Melbourne and gobbles every other deliciously ‘low-brow’ TV show on air, but would cringe to tell her mum…

Shopping in Sydney on the weekend there was an interesting mix of ‘Other people have this? I’m not wearing it…’ (from Miss 16, who likes to be an individual) and ‘Other people have this? Good. I’ll fit in…’ (from Miss 14). 

sydney Shoes

Sometimes it’s hard to ‘own’ our tastes and passions. Perhaps that’s a carry-over from times when things we loved were ridiculed when we were kids. 

There’s a scene in (one of my favourites) Offspring, in which the lead character, Nina, may have her love-interest (can’t remember which one!) coming over for the first time. In a panic, she scurries around her apartment ridding it of every trace of her ceramic owl collection. She loves owls…but she wants to hide that passion, because what if I look ridiculous?

My grandfather died when I was 12, and his wife—my grandmother—died when I was seven months pregnant with my first child. Nana used to worry a lot about how things looked. Pa would often say, ‘Oh, she’s always worrying about what other people think. Bugger other people!’

I don’t remember much of his other grandfatherly advice but I do remember that. And I love it.

If there’s any part of us that means a lot, but starts to shrink when we think of others seeing this side of us, that’s an alarm bell. True friends will love us ‘just as we are’ (thanks Mark Darcy). Just as we are and exactly because of the things that light us up. 

Without these things, we’re ‘less’ within ourselves. We’re not as rich and full and deep as we are with the passions writ large in our lives. 

So, if you love something—‘own it’. It’s part of you. Nobody gets to dictate how we feel about shoes, games, TV shoes, bands or fashion. Or owls. Whatever!


Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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