Friday, March 8, 2013

Connie Celebrates No More: Part One

It's been a generally unsatisfying week as far as this hobby goes, as I've barely had any alone time to enjoy my collection.  It was also a slow week when it comes to additions to my collection, highlighted only by the arrival of two pairs of pumps.  One pair was purchased because the trashing and abuse I could see in the photos led me to believe it would make a fine addition to my collection and the other was purchased because it looked as though it would make for a nice target for destruction.  Note to sellers: combining shipping costs for multiple purchases leads to, um, more purchases.

The high-heeled pumps pictured here are the ones purchased so I could end their shiny little lives.  They are made by Connie and are apparently part of the company's "Celebrates"line of shoes.  I'm not sure where that causes them to fall in the Connie universe, all I know is that it's quite cumbersome as it rolls off the tongue.  Wouldn't Connie Celebrations make more sense than Connie Celebrates?  Celebrates what?  The destruction of her shoes?  Okay, I'm down with that.

Once again, I enlisted the help of my Pleaser Mary Janes.  Of all the shoes in my collection that were purchased for the enjoyment of my feet, they're the ones with the sturdiest heels.  Maybe one day I'll get destructive with the shoes with the higher heels but right now I'm sticking with what I'm most confident wearing.  Size 8 Connies, meet size 16 Pleasers.  Poor adorable things.

When I destroyed my Moda sandals, my favorite moment was when I put all of my weight on the heels of my shoes and used them to collapse the shanks of their victims.  Since then, I've purchased a few pairs of shoes with lower heels, hoping to be able to recreate that moment.  The Connies taught me that I have to keep things modest.  In this photo it appears that the heel of my Pleaser is going to bend the silver pump in half but I discovered that there is no way to stabilize a pump so that it remains upright under the weight of a heel.  After this photo was taken, the little Connie fell to either side as the heel dragged along the foam-padded insole but failed to cause any structural damage.  From now on I need shoes with low, blocky heels because at least they remain stable and upright as I stand on them.

Since the insole was already working its way loose long before I bought the pumps, I tried peeling it back so that the top piece of my Pleaser's heel wouldn't be subjected to such a slippery surface.  The end result was ultimately the same since the sharp curvature of the shank was too much and the heel still slid down, unable to remain in one spot long enough to break the shoe.  Frustrated by my lack of destructive success, I threw the Connie down on the cold, hard garage floor and stomped, kicked and dragged the life out of it.

Did I go too far?  I'm thinking it's a possibility as I'm starting to get concerned about the long-term health and well-being of my Pleasers.  The heels absorbed a massive amount of abuse with serious damage to the top pieces and even the leather covering them.  As I walked back in the house, my Mary Janes felt a little wobbly and sloppy.  An inspection revealed the heels still very tightly attached, so is it my imagination or are is the abuse only evident when my 300 pound body is walking in them?  Time will tell.

As for the Connies... well, I concentrated all of my anger on the right shoe.  The left one is completely intact right now and surely happy it's not looking like this one.  The stomping by the Pleasers resulted in the bending of the metal strip that forms the shape of the shank, which in turn has the heel bent under the shoe.

Part of the reason one of my Pleaser's top pieces is in such dismal shape is because I dragged the Connie along the course concrete floor of the garage.  This created deep scratches on the rubber outsole as well as a hole in the upper.

The stress inflicted on the shoe during the dragging session caused the upper to tear away from the outsole.  Whatever was left of the already-worn top piece shattered into many pieces, exposing the metal nail in the center of the heel that proved to be the only part of the shoe to survive the rampage completely intact.  The flash I used for this photo blacked out the background, allowing a good look at the part of the pump that suffered the most damage.

With the insole peeled back, the shoe's new holes can be seen along with the cracking of the shank near the base of the heel.  This particular pair of pumps doesn't appear to have been all that expensive, although I suppose all pumps are made this way?  (I'll have to tear apart a few more to be certain.)  The shank is made of an extremely rigid compressed paper-like material, which I assume is sufficient because of the metal strip between it and the outsole, and the heel is attached with a couple of nails.

One down, one to go.  It won't be long before I take on the self-imposed challenge of making the left shoe look worse than the right.  To be continued...

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