Thursday, 17 April 2014

To Whom Do I Bequeath…? by Naomi Elana Zener



Last night I sat down to dinner in front of the TV with the hubby, a routine established when you have two kids in two years and one of those wallet emptying ankle biters is under six months of age. I turned to him, glued to an infomercial for a water hose that shrivels (the obvious allegory not being lost on me in that moment) between periods – hockey periods that is, to ask him a question most couples dread.

“Honey, when I die, do you think you would remarry?”

I was ignored.

“Well, if you do get remarried, make sure that you wait a few years and ensure that the kids like her,” I continued. “I know we have done our estate planning, but what do you plan on doing with my shoes? I didn’t make any specific provisions for them.”

This caught his attention.

“You’re dead and still worrying about your shoes?” he asked. “Seriously?”

“Seriously.”

You see, I own literally hundreds of pairs of shoes, and not your average garden variety “Made in Italy” hoofers, and certainly not anything from a bargain basement or ones that were “Made in China.” Over a lifetime to date, I have curated carefully a collection of high-end designer footwear: Prada, Manolo, Miu Miu, Gianvito Rossi, Valentino, and names only shoe connoisseurs would recognize. To many this may seem to be a frivolity, but for me it’s a passion. It’s almost like collecting art (which we do and it all goes to the kidlets). It wasn’t until I had children and they started to suck my bank account dry, when I was required to divert my shoe budget away from shoe collecting (hoarding according to the husband) and put it towards childhood necessities, such as clothing, toys, dentist visits and multiple visits to McDonalds.

Having hatched a daughter on our first go, I had an heiress to whom I planned on bequeathing my shoes, providing she followed in my footsteps genetically inheriting my shoe size. But, in a fit of panic, worried that her foot would outgrow mine, I needed a back up plan. Something, to ensure that the generations to come from the fruit of my loins and their loins thereafter, would have the footwear to sport on dates, to the office, to parties and on red carpets (if they should be so lucky) when they could advise that they were vintage bequests carefully preserved by a long line of my progeny.

“I know you’ll keep them for our daughter, but what about if she outgrows them? I know she’ll love my taste since I’ll raise her to love it, but I need a back up plan to make sure that the shoes stay in the family,” I advised my husband, who returned to zoning me out.

“I’m not kidding. I think I need to change my will,” I pressed.

“Fine. Change your will. What do you want to do with your shoes?” husband asked humouring me. “Create a trust fund?”

“That’s not a half-bad idea,” I retorted. “Maybe I could leave them in trust to our daughter for her to keep for her lifetime, or until the shoes no longer fit her feet, with a proviso that upon her demise they go to her daughter, and if she doesn’t have one, to our son’s daughter.”

“And, if neither has a daughter?” my husband offered.

“Then to charity. Maybe to abused women starting over who need great shoes to wear at job interviews,” I replied. “I could leave them to Dress For Success, or something like that.”

“Great honey, wonderful idea. Now, can I get back to watching the hockey game?”

Of course he doesn’t care, he only has six pairs of shoes, all of which I bought for him, and has no appreciation of their pedigree.


© 2014. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.

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