'Shoe Whore' Is Just Having Fun & Grieving Daughter Looks For Guidance

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DEAR CAT: My husband calls me a “shoe whore.” He means it in a funny way because I love shoes and will do anything to get them, according to him. That’s not true! It’s because one time years ago (before we were married), when I was short on money and my electric bill was late, I bought a pair of expensive boots instead of paying the bill and my electric was turned off for a week or two. I don’t think I could ever do that now. I love shoes the way people love collecting stamps or whatever. He thinks I have a real problem but I say it’s my way of having fun and treating myself. What do you say? — 140 PAIRS AND COUNTING

DEAR 140: “Shoe whore” is a good one, it conjures images of pole dancing for peep-toe pumps. I like shoes, too, but…140 pairs? You were like Carrie from Sex and the City, only without electricity. I can’t say if you have a true problem because 1) if you collected something inexpensive, like DVD’s, you’d just have a nice big collection and 2) 140 pairs is a lot but it’s not hoarding-level. A problem exists if you would choose shoes over something necessary like food or medicine or hygiene or sleep. You admitted doing that once, but one foolish choice years ago doesn’t necessarily reflect your current sense of responsibility. You “don’t think” you could do that now but if you could, your husband may be on to something. Cat’s Call: Let’s hope you learned your lesson.

DEAR CAT: I lost my mother two years ago. I have not gotten over it yet and I worry that I never will. I have a good job and I love my boyfriend who is very understanding, and we’re talking about getting married next year. I am also close with my siblings and stepfather (he and my mother were married for 12 years before she passed away). I have been reading Cat’s Call for about five years and this may sound weird but sometimes when I think about my mother, I think about you, because I remember reading that your mother died a couple years ago. I apologize if I do not remember the timing correctly, or if my letter is painful for you. My question is: How did you get over it? Will I ever feel like myself again? — MISSING MOM

DEAR MISSING: I am so sorry for your loss and I am touched that you shared your story with me and other readers. Actually my mother died four years ago, a length of time that shocks me because it feels much more recent. The short answer is: you will not “get over it.” You will start to get used to it and the heaviest grief will lift over time. That doesn’t mean letting go of your mother or loving her any less. It means, as my mother would say, “making the best of the hand you’re dealt, even if it’s rotten.” Keep working at your good job and thinking about a bright future with your boyfriend. Eventually you will feel more like yourself, but after such a dramatic life change, don’t pressure yourself. You cannot control your grief and you cannot change the loss. I know that sounds uncomfortable but….Cat’s Call: Accepting those facts will actually make you feel better.

What’s YOUR call? Share it below! Submit questions to: or click here!.

  1. Dear “MISSING MOM”,
    I am very sorry for your loss. There was a time we thought we were going to lose my mother but she pulled through. My fear and sadness at that time was overwhelming and I can barely imagine what you are going through. I think Cat gave you an amazing answer here. I remember reading about Cat’s mom from a google search that accidentally landed me on her obituary. I was shocked and I felt just terrible. But her column continued to make me laugh (like the Shoe Whore up there! lol) and I was inspired. Be strong for yourself and so you will be there for your family!

    — Cameron, Baltimore    09/20/2011    Reply

  2. I am a bit of a shoe whore too. What a funny way to put it! Tell your husband to look at it this way—you could be a bad person or have terrible habits, are shoes that big of a deal? No. I mean Cat is right, hopefully you don’t choose shoes over medicine for your children or something like that. But for goodness sakes they’re just shoes.

    For Missing Mom, you won’t get over it per say. The worst of it sort of moves away but in my opinion there will always be some kind of grief. I am very sorry about your mom.

    — Melissa in Pittsburgh    09/20/2011    Reply

  3. In regard to Missing Mom, while I understand the tremendous loss, there has to come a point when people move on. Parents are supposed to go before their children and the children will miss them of course but as adults they should be able to handle it. Two years seems like a good long time to deal with the grief especially considering you have so much family around you. I guess I’m having trouble understanding why you would think of Cat when you are grieving. I realize she lost her mother too but so have tons of people in the world, people you actually KNOW. I can not be the only one who finds this odd. My parents and I discuss openly what life will be like after they go and I feel this is responsible and very loving, which will see me through the grief I will feel.

    — John in Pittsburgh    09/20/2011    Reply

    1. You have no idea the level of grief you’ll feel. It is not unusual for someone to feel solace from a person they don’t know such as this case of Missing Mom relates to Cat. If you read something regularly as Missing does with Cat’s column she might feel that she does know her to a degree. At the least she feels Cat can relate to her situation. It is apparent from Cat’s response that she was right. Yes nature says parents will “go” before their children but that does not make the grief easier. Sorry to say it but you’ll see one day. To Missing Mom... Do not rush yourself or worry about getting over it. Everyone deals with this type of loss in their own way but you just keep living your life because you have no choice and you want to be there for your family.

      — Matthew (California)    09/20/2011    Reply

  4. @140,

    Let’s see: 5-day work weeks x 52 weeks = 260 – 10 for holidays = 250. Now take away at least 14 for vacation time and another 6 for sick days… that leaves 230 days of work per year. 230-140 pairs = 90 pairs still needed to never wear the same pair of shoes for an entire year.

    You go girl! Although, I think there may be a cuckhold hidden there somewhere.


    I hate brown nosing and never do it, but I have to write this – CAT couldn’t have said it any better.

    And, please, to those of you who think to comment about how MISSING feels… unless you have lost your own mother, save it.

    — LeBron from Pittsburgh    09/20/2011    Reply

  5. My father died 18 years ago, and I still cry thinking about it. I cried very hard and frequently before my wedding last year knowing he’d not be a part of it. Losing someone you love is always difficult, and you will likely never forget them. However, you do learn to live your life beyond, and love others as strongly, and continue forth with wonderful times. Time doesn’t completely heal this wound, but it does provide a nice scar to protect you from it.

    And I consider it this way as well: the fact that I still remember my father this strongly after 18 years, means he still lives on in my heart.

    — Gwen, Pittsburgh    09/20/2011    Reply

  6. “Shoe Whore”
    The Al Bundys’ of the world must love you. I disagree with cat on this one. I think more is going on here than just buying excessive amounts of shoes. In addition, good shoes are about 80-100 dollars. 100 pair of shoes times 80 dollars equals a very nice vacation for her and hubby.So there is a cost to excessively purchasing one type of item. Still, I think in terms of my budget in relation to that many shoes. Maybe she has a lot of money so she can comfortably afford that many pair of shoes.

    — Tod, Plum PA.    09/21/2011    Reply

  7. John, Obviously you haven’t lost someone you love. Or you’re just a self-centered bastard, unable to feel and express emotion. On the upside, no one will be missing you when you are gone.

    — Teresa (Natrona Heights)    10/12/2011    Reply

  8. @Teresa,


    — LeBron from Pittsburgh    10/12/2011    Reply


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