In the Los Angeles Times this week, I read that Danielle Steele spends four to five million dollars a year on shoes for herself and her daughters. This was revealed by a longtime shoe salesman at Barneys.
Fuck! This puts a lot of things in perspective. It makes me feel better about wasting my money on shoes, and it makes me feel terrible as well. Danielle Steele is obviously a billionaire, but how can one justify this expense? It seems pretty inexcusable, but so is spending $500 for shoes when so much of the world is starving. The whole shoe thing is out of control. The LA Times tried to lay the blame on Christian Louboutin, who says it’s not his fault. The shoes pictured above sell for $1,400 at Barneys, but he’s not putting a gun to anyone’s head. Maybe they should raise the price to $20,000, since the women who keep this brand in business will still pay up.
I once had to read a book by Danielle Steele, back when I read screenplays and manuscripts for a living. I was appalled at how awful her writing was, even though I expected it to be pretty bad. I remember one line I quoted to my friends, that was something like “Peter gave his customary smirk, but then he always did.” I couldn’t get over it. She must be so important that she doesn’t need an editor! She has sold 550 million books, and yet she can’t actually write!
But now that I’ve learned more about her, I’m beginning to see why she needs all those shoes. She’s been married five times, once to a rapist and once to a heroin addict. She’s had all sorts of huge melodramatic problems to overcome, including the death of a troubled son. She’s involved in several worthy charities, and she’s said to be ‘shy.’ She certainly knows the meaning of hard work.
I would like to ask Danielle Steele if those shoes make her happy. Mine don’t make me happy, except of course for the Vivienne Westwood boots I can’t walk in. I think I’m a better writer than Danielle Steele, but I could never finish a whole novel, even a crappy one. I’d like to think that some day, we’ll all realize how meaningless our shoes are. But I know it’s a long way off.