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When I was in my first year of uni, I fell in love with a pair of red velvet Doc Martens boots in the window of Raben footwear. Unfortunately, they cost $200 and I was a starving uni student, so I couldn’t afford said beloved red velvet Doc Martens boots in the window of Raben footwear. So I had to content myself with walking passed the store every single day and looking at them covetously while I scrupulously saved every cent I could spare.

I used to make my classmates detour passed Raben footwear between classes and pause to stare in the window with me. At lunchtime, I’d suggest walking down George St to find food, just so I could go by Raben footwear, and pause to stare in the window for awhile. Being a poor student who was saving my money I always brought my own lunch so then I would make everyone walk back passed Raben footwear so we could eat in the university cafeteria, pausing, of course, to stare at my red velvet Doc Martens.

It may come as no surprise that people quickly tired of me, and I finished university with very few friends. Actually … no friends. But I did eventually buy the red velvet shoes so it was worth it. In the interests of full disclosure, my ex bought them for me because I never did get beyond the starving student stage. His mother hated them. She thought they were a complete waste of money and she said I’d never have any reason to wear them. I informed her that I would wear them every single day until they died.

She thought I was joking.

She was wrong.

For eight years I wore those boots to pieces. And then when they were well and truly fallen apart – I bought a new pair.

I just remembered I’m actually wearing my red velvet boots right now so I can show you a picture:

It isn’t exactly the kind of composition I would normally plan for a photograph of a precious object like my red velvet Doc Martens, but I’m sitting on the floor of our hotel right now and am too lazy to get up, so this is what you get

Everyone loves them. I presume. At least, I get a lot of people commenting on them. I usually invite people to pat them, which isn’t weird at all, I’m sure. The most frequent comment people make is this:

There’s no place like home

Sometimes they say

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto

But it doesn’t really matter exactly what they say. The point is, people always liken me to Dorothy when they see my shoes. They’re sort of wrong – these aren’t my Dorothy shoes. I have a pair of red sequined heels that I bought to wear that time I went to see Wicked onstage. But I will happily accept the compliment because I adore the Wizard of Oz. Any film that features shoes like that deserves my undying love.

Which is why I was so completely thrilled to go to the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC and see these:

Brad did really well to get these looking so bright and red. In reality the poor shoes are so old the sequins have faded almost brown. But they still sparkle with movie magic. God, I love Technicolor.

After two whole days of traipsing around behind the others as they thoroughly explored Every. Single. nook and cranny of the science and military history museums, seeing Dorothy’s red shoes inspired new life in my dull and weary mind. Now I’m sitting here gazing adoringly at my red velvet Docs and wondering if anyone else has ever been so happy with a pair of shoes.