Saturday, February 23, 2013

Destroying the Gold Ballet Flats: Part One

I try to make educated eBay purchases but every once in a while emotion (or something else that I can't explain) grabs hold of me.  In this case, it was these ballet flats reminding me of the ones pretty much all women (and girls) seemed to wear in the early 90's.  My mother had a pair, as did her friend... and my best friend at the time... and her sister... usually white, all with a cute little bow above the toe box.  I saw these and was immediately captivated.

As you can see, there's not much about them that's trashed or abused.  In fact, the outsoles of the shoes look practically new.  Something tells me these shoes spent the majority of their life indoors, confined to carpeted areas and other surfaces that didn't inflict much damage at all.

The most significant sign of use is inside the shoes where sole is completely gone.  Maybe the woman that wore these shoes had sweaty feet and the moisture worked them loose.  Maybe she got rid of them, just because...?  Either way, the thin layer of foam meant to provide some cushioning is a little dark and dirty in some areas, so whatever the case, the shoes spent some time being worn with the soles MIA.

With a house to myself and wanting an opportunity to do something with my new Pleaser Mary Jane pumps, I figured that I would make up for the fact that I allowed myself to buy a pair of shoes that really wasn't anything special aside from the fact that it took me back about two decades for a brief moment.  Yes, that's my lovely feet inside my red patent leather beauties.  I love how my gigantic Pleasers look eager for their chance to rip the flats apart.

I started slowly by stepping on the sweet-looking bows with the heels of my shoes.  Since there's not usually much in the way of structure in ballet flats, I could barely feel anything as I put my weight on them.  They seemed to compress into something no thicker than a piece of paper.  Not at all satisfying.

Next, I stepped on the backs of the shoes.  Again, the sensation was mediocre at best because of the lack of a stiff counter in the quarter.  When I destroyed the Moda sandals, they put up a bit of a fight.  Ballet flats don't resist much of anything, they just sort of go with the flow.  I suppose that could be why they're so popular, and women tend to keep them until they fall apart.  I have a few good examples I'll be showing you over the next week or two.

Somewhat disappointed, I took the flats to the garage where I figured I could do some serious damage.  And damage the shoes, I did.  This is what they looked like after the Pleasers were unleashed on them.

Remember the scene from the end of Jurassic Park where the pair of velociraptors team up to frighten the hell out of Hammond's niece and nephew?  I've learned that a pair of heels can create an equally effective team.  By using the heel of one shoe to hold the victim in place, the other can kick the life out of it without it moving all that much.  It's all about finding a way to maintain a good amount of weight on the heel of the shoe that's holding the victim in place while being nimble enough to inflict damage with the other.

The heel marks on the foam padding were nice to see but what I loved more was how they hooked themselves onto the bow as I kicked away, eventually ripping the fake leather material enough to leave them looking injured but not anywhere close to death.

The absolute best result of the fury was the hole I made in the back of one of the shoes as I held it down with the heel of one of my Mary Janes.  The top piece of the heel eventually cut through the thin layer of material, further trapping the poor ballet flat underneath it and preventing it from being able to escape.  Talk about a torture device!

I found that kicking ballet flats positioned on a concrete garage floor means you'll miss about twice as much as you hit the target, or at least until you get a feel for what you're doing.  The top pieces on both heels took some abuse, but the heels themselves seem as sturdy as ever.

Still, the moment left both of my Pleasers with some unintended damage, like this black mark that doesn't seem ready to go away anytime soon.  Part of me feels bad, and now I can reason with women that get distressed when they do something to hurt their brand new pair of shoes.  Yet another part of me knows this is the life I intended for these shoes, and the damage that accumulates over time will be worth the results.  Speaking of results, the gold ballet flats are getting put away, but their trashing and abuse is far from over.  Stay tuned.

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