Diane Lane made me buy new shoes

?Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come.? ??Under The Tuscan Sun?

Diane Lane made me buy a new pair of shoes. I debated for awhile, cussing myself for driving 30 minutes out of my way in the first place. But before this particular road trip, I had watched the movie ?Under the Tuscan Sun.?

The above quote from the hopelessly charming Realtor, Martini, stuck with me. That movie is loaded with some great lines, but his short story about the trainless track in the Alps is one of my favorites. And on this particular day, in this particular store, I was moved to tie it into my purchase of some strappy heels.

I knew I had Diane?s blessing at the moment I touched the straps. I sensed confirmation that if I did indeed buy them, an occasion to wear them would follow. (Build it and they will come? Most definitely.) I think of them as an investment in my social life (as opposed to a chink in my wallet.)

No matter. There?s something about slipping on a pair of impossibly gorgeous shoes that stirs up a peaceful exhale. And how responsible am I to buy shoes instead of a Tuscan villa? I?m working on being more frugal.

I am approaching a similar dilemma about a piano. My daughters and I don?t play, technically. But back in another life, I could read music. That coupled with the fact that I?ve always wished I had learned to play, has been enough reason to consider it. I?m in limbo until my brother, the music guy, reports back to me on the quality and tune-ability of the one he came across.

I like the idea of a piano serving as the theme music in my home life. If I could swing it, I?d ditch Pandora radio and hire someone to sit in the corner of my living room and play live music all day.

Or I could take a chance on our own musical potential, get a piano before any of us can play it, skip the paid musician and use my built-in child labor as they learn it. All in the name of culture, of course.

The chicken-and-the-egg debate, I suppose. Which comes first? The chicken or the egg? The ability or the instrument? The shoe or the occasion to wear it? I suppose one is pointless without the other in each case. The order may not matter all that much.

I?ll find the perfect place to wear my shoes. Maybe just deciding to put them on could transform a day into ?perfect.? Ideally, I would be dining on linguini chicken pesto and apple crostata at a corner table in an Italian restaurant serenaded by the sound of a single violin.

More likely it?ll be SpaghettiOs and a pack of Nutter Butters at my dining room table, entertained by a couple of beginners on an old upright piano.

Whatever. My shoes still kill.

Comments or questions on this column can be directed to shelley@hillsborofreepress.com

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