Diary Of A Shoe Lover – Episode 6 – The Great Intervention
*Sigh*… Shame will not even let me clock in here. I have really been humbled. The other night at Ai’s house, i got an E-mail alert from my bank, turns out my account balance could not buy me a one way ticket to Abuja, and payday was still about 20 days away. I couldn’t mention it to the girls. Going through my statement, it turns out all my money had been going recklessly on shoes. To think i still had debts to pay. I have no savings, no investments, no back up and i work so hard and earn so well. My parents must not know about this, they wouldn’t let me hear the last of it. My dad would be so so disappointed. Damn, i bet you are too.
Thank God for Hakeem whose advice redeemed me. I have a lot of work to do on my finances. A whole lot of work. Meanwhile, plans for Ivie’s wedding is underway, her dad wants to get it done as soon as possible. Surprisingly, they agreed on something small both for the bride price payment and the church wedding. It will be my first time in Benin and i’m looking forward to it.
After seeing my account balance in black and white, i literally went into freeze mode. I had less than N25,000 in heaven and on earth plus debts that were way over that amount which i had incurred sub-consciously buying this and that and most especially footwear.
I managed to keep it together for the rest of the night with the girls, and i couldn’t help but compare myself to Carrie Bradshaw, the character in the Sex And The City series we were watching. Such a big shame. Hakeem called me that weekend, he had gone back to base the day after my brother’s anniversary. We chatted a few times via Whatsapp but that was the first time we talked over the phone.
It was just the call i needed, i had been so ashamed of myself i couldn’t share my financial woes with anyone. Somehow i was able to blurt it out to him after a few minutes of conversation.
“I knew this your shoe addiction would put you in trouble this girl” He said. I was glad i couldn’t see his face, i wouldn’t have been able to stand the judgmental looks i may have gotten.
“I can’t even live with myself now, Hakeem. I feel so screwed” I said, really trying to come to terms with my reality.
“You feel screwed?, you are screwed. But that’s not the point. We need to get you out of that screwed mode.” He said.
“What do you have in mind?” I asked, hoping he really had a way out for me.
“First, how much do you owe in total?” He asked
I did a quick mental calculation and gasped at the amount i came up to “Damn, dude i’m really screwed o”. I sighed deeply. “From what i can remember, i owe N175,000. I have it written out somewhere, i’d check and be sure.”
“I’m shaking my head for you. With all the shoes you’re buying, you still don’t have a boyfriend. Rubbish” He teased.
“Add to my woes o, uncle, add to it. Thank you, if you have no solution, please get off my phone and don’t piss me off”, i answered, starting to get really nervous and even more ashamed.
“And how many shoes do you have?” He asked as a matter of fact.
“I lost count after my last spree, but i think getting close to 270. Those are the ones in my closet sha, i have some in the store i haven’t touched in 2 years, i don’t know about those.” I answered, actually feeling stupid as i said the words out loud.
“And does that even sound right to you?” He asked, i remained quiet.
“No, i’m sure it doesnt” He continued.
“Anyway, Let’s not waste too much time, here’s what you’d do and no I’m not suggesting, i’m telling you. You’re going to get out all the shoes you have stored up, get them cleaned and have a yard sale. Sell them for the least possible price. I bet you haven’t worn most of them more than once or twice. Salewa, who has 250 + shoes at a time? Who?” He said, waiting to get a response from me.
“Thanks Hakeem, sounds like a brilliant idea, i’d get to it immediately, thanks a lot, i’d keep you posted” I replied, sounding dejected.
“Ok, whatever you make from this sales should be to pay off all your debts, then we can start to think about getting you into a serious savings plan. You’re an adult now, you need to be responsible for yourself babe. I have to go now, i’d call you later” He said.
“Ok, speak to you later” I replied and hung up.
I had never felt as foolish as i did that moment. I had gotten myself to the point where i had to sell my things to offset my debts, na wa. I was even toying with the idea of ditching the suggestion, but i knew Hakeem wouldn’t let me off so easily. I called Aishat a few hours later to spill the beans and also told her about the plan.
“That sounds like a really great idea babe, but you sef, so you still have shoes in the store. Abeg, that’s a waste, a big waste. I’m with Hakeem on this one, i may have a few items to sell myself – bags, shoes, jewellry i know i’m not going to use” She said, sounding excited
“Really?, let’s do it together then, i feel better now” I replied, sighing.
“Let’s get Ivie in on this” Aishat suggested.
Before long, Hakeem’s idea became a full blown plan. I got my sister in law, Moji involved as well. I eventually told my mum and of course i got a good talking to. We got a venue and picked a date, then launched a social media campaign to create awareness. I picked out some more shoes from the ones in my shoe closet, it broke my heart to see them go, but i needed to be realistic. I hadn’t worn a lot of them in so long.
Ivie had some of her luxury pieces to sell off at give away prices as well and so did Sis Moji and some of her friends. By the time i was done, i had over a 100 pairs of shoes to sell. I pegged them at N2,500 each. The plan was to pay off my debts from the sales, give a percentage to charity and save the rest. Ivie suggested we run the sales for a full weekend and since the venue was free, it was a welcome idea.
Sis Moji got small chops from Ipanu Foods for the shoppers. My brother Dayo, took care of the music and we even got a photographer for the 3 days sales. I kept Hakeem updated on all the plans and he was at the forefront of our social media campaign. We even had a blue color theme on the last day of the sales. It was a huge success and the turn out was overwhelming.
I was able to sell up to 84 pairs of shoes plus some bags and clothes i had put up too. We had good sales in all and the last day was a party. We all turned up in shades of blue and it was really colorful. I got a surprise that morning before we set up for sales that got me swooning.
“Aunt Salewa, there’s a delivery man at the door with a package for you” Said Ngozi, our live in help.
I put my robe over my night dress and went downstairs. I signed for the package, looking at the box and wondering what it was.
Getting to my room, i unwrapped it, it was an Aquazzura shoe box. I opened it to see a hand written note.
“I’m really proud of you babe, didn’t think you’d go through with it. This is to say well done”, it was signed HAKEEM.
I sat there grinning like an idiot, it was the most beautiful pair of sandals ever and it fit perfectly with my blue jumpsuit. I immediately returned the pair i had planned to wear and set my new sandals in place.
Hakeem did know how to get a girl’s heart smiling. I wonder why he wasn’t dating, he had to be the most thoughtful and caring guy i know.
I was getting quite emotional, so i left off calling him till later and just sent a message instead.
Shally Too Cute: “I got my shoes, i take that as an i’m sorry for the endless insults”
Hakeem: “You’re welcome, have a nice last day of sales”
Shally Too Cute: “Thank you Hakeem, THANK YOU”
Hakeem: “Thank you too, i’d call you later at night”
At the end of it all, i made a total of N317,000, Aishat made a little above N150,000 and Ivie made N200,000. I didn’t get the exact figures for my sis in law, but she made a good sum of money too. We packed up the remaining items left unsold for charity, added some cash gift and called it a day. We partied till the late hours of the night and even my dad showed up looking all dapper.
It really was a success and i couldn’t say thank you enough to Hakeem for the great intervention.