Monday, April 27, 2015

Living in Genres

There’s something about spring that lifts my spirits, no matter what else is going on around me. Could it be the fresh smells of nature, the chirping birds or going outside without being weighted down by my bulky winter coat? Well, all of those things are definitely inspirational, but what comes with spring that really gets me excited?

The shoes.

As soon as the weather starts to change, I race to get my first, regularly scheduled, warm-weather pedicure. Not just the, ‘I’ve got a wedding, better get to the salon,’ pedicure. Sorry feet, you do get neglected in the winter.

And then I shop. When there’s even a hint of a budding flower, the stores overflow with open-toed shoes of every kind. From flip-flops to peep-toes, sandals to sling backs, the possibilities are endless.

Last week, I walked into the most heavenly display of new shoes for the new season. With boxes in both arms, under my chin and balanced on my head, I narrowed it down, and chose one pair. Adorable sandals with a zipper up the front and a high heel in the back. When I got home, put them in my closet and welcomed them among all their new shoe friends, I was happy to discover that they were different from anything else I had.

But that’s not always the case.

With shoes, sure, I can pick all different styles and colors. But with a lot of other things in my life, once I find something I’m enjoy, I tend to stick with it for a while.

I even do it with books. Once I find a genre I like, I devour everything within its limits, not acknowledging that there’s anything else out there for a while. I become almost compulsive about it. E-readers feed into my addiction, too. At least when I used to shop for my books in stores, I could browse the shelves, and would pick up whatever caught my eye, no matter what it was about. Now, the second I finish a book I like, I search my e-reader for another in its genre and start it a second later. It’s so easy.

I go through phases. A while back, I was obsessed with historical fiction. If it was a period piece that took place in another country, I was all over it. Then there was the mystery phase, the classics phase (with a sub-phase of Russian authors), the young adult phase and the new adult/romance phase. And for one period of time, I only read picture books – let’s call that the mommy phase. Lately, I’ve been feasting on anything dystopian society related. Give me a dysfunctional, futuristic culture and I’m a happy camper.

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing to get stuck in genres the way I do. At least if I switch them periodically, I can pretend to be well-rounded. I have to be careful to keep it to books, though. One day, I might wake up, open my closet and find twenty pairs of high-heeled, zippered sandals.

Then I’ll really know it’s spring.

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