Mar 222004
Authors: Shannon Baldwin

They are seductive red leather two-inch heeled slip-on open-toed

shoes. They are completely pointless for both wardrobe match and

everyday function. And they fit perfectly!

Last weekend I visited my best friend in Colorado Springs, and

both of us needed new shoes for the coming warmer months. I had

already found the replacements for my old, worn sandals and I was

ready to leave the store with my purchase.

Then I saw them.

Like a moth to a flame I was drawn to their display, touching

the beautiful craftsmanship of a shoe that my friends would swear I

was too sensible to buy. But there I was, walking up and down the

aisle, wondering why I was suddenly caught up in a materialistic

consumerism mentality that urged me to defy my practical

sensibilities and take them with me.

People often do spontaneous and seemingly irrational things when

they are healing from a break-up, and I had just seen my

relationship end weeks shy of our year anniversary. Past break-ups

have seen me either cutting off half my hair or coloring it

coppery-red. But this time, I just bought the shoes.

According to the Web Book, “Lifted Hearts” by Tigress Luv,

relationships can be hard to get over for more than just the

feelings about the other person, but because relationships become

habits, which are hard to break. This could explain why many alter

their appearance or wardrobe in drastic ways. It is a way to

separate yourself from who you were in the relationship and the

single you.

My friend in Colorado Springs says she buys music to help her

get over an ended relationship. My sister got a tattoo after her

boyfriend broke up with her a few years ago. You don’t have go as

drastic as getting inked to help put the past behind you, because

there are plenty of other ways suggested for getting over a


A friend of mine in Denver said that she would try to squelch

the pain of a breakup. “I would just go out to clubs and make out

with anybody and everybody. I seemed to think that the physical

contact and sexual involvement would take away the emotional hurt.

It never did, but I had a tendency to try to replace previous

boyfriends quickly” she said.

Of course, there is always the fast and furious “rebound”

relationship. But diving into something when you are not really

ready only means you’re going to mess with the new person’s

emotions, and that’s not healthy for either of you.

Larry LaMotte on WebMD suggests volunteering for a soup kitchen

or hospital because “the giving part of your personality is a great

healer.” He also suggests counseling if the break-up is

particularly painful.

MP Dunleavey, who gives advice on relationships for, says to “feel free to indulge in the silly,

happy-making stuff that you would never dream of doing otherwise.”

In other words, if you really like those pointless red shoes, buy

them. She also suggests making plans with your friends and spending

time with anyone else that makes you feel loved and secure.

Others’ suggestions include staying active, pampering yourself

and not keeping your feelings bottled up inside. Perhaps the best

advice I’ve found came from a random message board from a guy named

Jay who had gone through a particularly painful break-up. Summed

up, his advise was that ultimately, you’re not going to abruptly

stop loving that person, so making peace with that and truly

wishing them well is the ultimate way to heal.

And maybe strutting around in your new pair of shoes.

Shannon is a senior majoring in technical journalism. Her column

runs every Tuesday.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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