The functional part of summer is nearing an end.
Children and young adults are reliving the dreaded and all-too familiar return to school.
The chance to experience sunny weather on vacations at lakes and beaches is slowly drawing to a close.
The forthcoming fall season means several important things to me, among them, the always-anticipated return of football, baseball's Fall Classic and sadly, the end of the year's cute shoe era.
I love cute shoes.
I even love ugly shoes provided they serve a purpose with a creative outfit, which isn't too difficult a task for me.
I'll provide a home for nearly any pointy-toed, funky printed stiletto, no matter how impractical it is.
It's almost a sickness, really.
My mom calls them "witch shoes." My aunt asks if I've gotten any new "fence-climbers." My boyfriend laughs when I bring home yet another pair.
They can judge all they want, but I'll probably always have a weak place in my heart and a corresponding a dent in my wallet when it comes to shoes.
With September looming and cooler weather forecasted in the near future, it's almost time to reorganize the closet.
In addition to my passion for shoes (and partly because of the sheer volume of shoes I possess) is a penchant for organization.
Each year I rotate the spring and summer shoes-open toes, especially high heels, flip flops-to the back section of the shoe racks and pull forward the boots, numerous pairs of black pumps and the like to the front.
It's almost like going shopping without spending any money. Each year I find at least one pair I'd forgotten I owned. Each year I discover a renewed sense of respect for my feet as I comb through my closet.
I got to thinking about why I love shoes so much while mentally outlining this column and I came to the conclusion that a more appropriate question is, why wouldn't anyone love shoes?
Fundamentally they protect our feet and provide more comfort than going barefoot.
Certain shoes can help ease tension in our legs and back. Help us run faster, jump higher or perform to our utmost athletically.
Heels can provide short people, like myself, the opportunity to see what is on top of the refrigerator for a change.
They can even out dance partners, make a beautiful dress look even more amazing, lengthen and slim down a profile in a great pair of jeans, provide the perfect accessory for any outfit.
No matter how bad you ever feel about an outfit or yourself in that outfit, shoes always look good. They never let you down.
When you think about it, shoes are perhaps the only constant a person will ever have in regards to clothing. You can own a pair of shoes your entire adult life.
Shoes will always fit. There is no battle to get them on. No lying on the bed and trying to zip them up. No sucking in. No shimmying involved whatsoever.
For all of the naysayers who question my sanity when I purchase yet another pair of black stiletto pumps, I say there are worse fashion addictions -- refer to anything out of the 80s for proof.
So call me a footwear fiend. I don't mind. If the shoe fits ...