Thank you all for your great shoe advice. My mom thanks you, too. Unbeknownst to me, she was in the market for some shoe inspiration, too.
For now, I have purchased these:
Katia, by Fluevog. Pretty, huh? I just can't seem to move beyond the Mary Jane, alas. Would have loved something in a color other than black, but had to stick with what was on sale chez Fluevog, and in a style I liked, black was my option. If I love these and feel like it's worth it, I can always get something else in this brand in a more fun color.
It turns out that when you buy a pair of really expensive shoes online, a sales rep calls you to discuss the size and confirm your shipping address and let you know when to expect your goods. How lovely!
It's now hours after I initially started this post and I've enjoyed a lovely evening of wine and snacks and IKEA furniture assembly and a visit from my best friend and the ensuing great conversation. Time to turn in.