Kick the Junk Off My Sunday Shoes
I consider myself pretty self-sufficient, despite the fact that I cannot cook, clean or launder without guidance from an expert. And by expert, I mean the Internet. Or my husband. Or my mom. Okay, so maybe I’m not as smarty and independent as I would like to be. You would think that I was one of those girls that went straight from living at Mommy and Daddy’s house to being taken care of by her husband, but that is far from the truth (besides the taken care of part, I mean, I do need to eat). I actually lived by myself (with a roommate) for almost 2 years (or 15 months) and survived (more like got parking tickets and ate Spaghettios a lot). I’m forever grateful for my “swinging apartment in the city” (Mom’s words, not mine), but I still feel like there were a lot of things that I never learned how to do myself and I’m not sure why.
And the weird thing is, is that now that I’m married, I constantly feel like I am straddling a fine line between being able to do things for myself at home and becoming a 1950’s housewife. If you’re a woman and you express that you want to become more advanced in the areas of cooking, cleaning or anything housewife-adjacent, immediately people think that you want to learn how to better serve your husband and your household. My feeling about this is that it’s 2011, and while I don’t have to throw on an apron and start vacuuming in pearls just because I’m married, I do need to learn how to do some things on my own so I don’t always have to ask my husband for help. So when I talk about becoming more domestic, don’t get all feminist trippy on me and say I’m sending women back 50 years. It’s not about becoming a housewife, we’re talking basic survival skills here. And let’s face it, between Steve and I we can clearly tell who the better housewife would be.
Lately I’ve been stumbling across little projects that I want to accomplish but haven’t gotten around to yet. Like the bag of clothes in my hallway labeled “Fix” (buttons, zippers, etc.). Or the basket of laundry in my room that specifically can only be hand washed (which I used to throw in with the regular laundry anyway but I am grown up now and therefore read the washing instructions).
One thing I stumbled upon while I was simply trying to unpack my weekend bag was a pair of white patent leather Jessica Simpson peep toes that I got for $40 at TJ Maxx. Now clearly, it is not white shoe season (as I was FORCED as a child not to wear white shoes past Labor Day even though I desperately wanted to) but it totally irks me that I have worn these shoes once and they were covered in black scuff marks.
Like many of my other household endeavors, I asked the Google gods to answer my query. And what do you know, they have an answer for everything! I found this and my shoe prayers were answered.
Now granted I wasn’t working on Loubs here, but let’s be real- $40 was really pushing the shoe budget for me. After all, you’ve heard my sneaker story. I was shocked to discover that the answer was as simple as:
Head to your local drugstore or Target/Wal-Mart and purchase the cheapest bottle of nail polish remover you can find. Dip a Q-tip in the remover and apply it to your scuff, gently rubbing the mark off.How could I not have known this all along?! I mean, I once got a subscription to Real Simple for an entire year and never learned this, and they taught me how to make earring backs out of pencil erasers. After getting over my initial shock of the simplicity of it, it was time to test the Budget Fashionista’s tip and see if she knew what she was talking about.
First, I assessed the damage. Not cute.
ignore weird shoe lumpiness.
Next I armed myself with one of my favorite products- Walmart brand nail polish remover. I use this stuff to clean everything, especially my computer keys. I have probably killed a million brain cells scrubbing tiny objects with a Q-tip soaked in remover, but now they shiny. Oh so shiny… pretty… wait, what were we talking about?
Oh, right. Shoes.
scrubby scrub scrub
And miraculously, it worked! Well, sort of. It definitely took me a while to get in a rhythm with it. I found that if I scrubbed too much, it just smeared the scuff deeper into the shoe and stained it what appears to be permanently. Sad face. After a little bit of trial and error, I found it worked the best to use a new clean Q-tip on each scuff (I know, annoying, right?) and to lightly rub it in circles until the scuff came off. It was definitely an improvement for my Banished to the Closet Until Easter shoes, as they now look like this:
unfortunately, nail polish remover can’t rub off the cheapness of the shoe.
I was pleased with the results, despite the face that I felt like I was murdering baby seals with the amount of Q-tips I used in the process.
pretty sure you can’t recycle these
Yes, I realize there is a giant hair on those Q-tips. I know, gross. Clearly it came from my head. I didn’t notice it in the photo until after I threw them all away, and I’m certainly not digging them out of the trash to re-photograph. Because do you know what’s in there? MORE HAIR. Yes, I am a shedder.
Like many projects I discover in lieu of finishing the existing project I was working on in the first place, I became obsessed with cleaning every pair of patent leather shoes I owned. Lucky for me, that is exactly 2. However, I was particularly obsessed with a certain pair of shoes that were in desperate need of cleaning just to see if I could conquer their mighty scuffs:
I know what you’re thinking. Lindsay, where did those FABULOUS shoes come from?! An amazing vintage store? An underground thrift shop? Picking with your husband? Okay, maybe you weren’t thinking any of those things. Maybe you’re like my mother and just thought, “interesting.” Regardless, these shoes are a zillion years old and they’re from Payless. YOU HEARD ME. The best part is I didn’t even BUY them- I found them discarded in my sister’s closet and took them when I needed to dress up like someone from The Depression at work. Don’t ask.
this look is coming back, promise
Needless to say, I have always thought they were cute in a vintage-y way, but could never think of what to wear them with, other than a costume. Plus, they were scuffed up to all hell. I tried my second favorite cleaning product, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which I am convinced is going to make me barren or give my future children three heads or something because I don’t know what kind of chemicals are in that thing, all I know is that it WORKS) and it did nothing!
Anyway, these shoes were covered in scuff marks. Like every time I thought I got rid of the last one, three more grew in its place. But I persevered, and after many minutes of gentle Q Tip scrubbing, I ended up with this:
be careful- you may need sunglasses
And the clouds opened up and the Hallelujah chorus rang out from above, as I now have another pair of functional shoes.
But no outfits to go with them.
If you wish to contribute to the cause, you may purchase me any item from here.
Or if you’re on a budget, here.