A shoe store, I have found, is something that has the capacity to start wars. There’s the wife to husband, girlfriend to boyfriend or even daughter to father argument of ‘but I love them, I just can’t afford them, please’. This is the most popular, if any of these men refuse this request, I’m sure we are all familiar with the wrath they will feel along with the silent treatment for at least a few hours.
There’s also the ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have these in your size’ argument, this is usually met with panicking, sweating women asking frantically if they can be ordered online or at least in another store. With size two and a half feet, US size 5 and european 34/35, that woman is usually me. There is one way of avoiding this argument, if the sales assistant comes out with two boxes neither of which are your size, it’s probably a good idea to walk away. Neither will fit and can only lead to disappointment. Women shoe salesman always speak to me so calmly and with such great sympathy in their voice as they politely tell me ‘no’. I feel they understand the loss that’s occurring, you just don’t get that kind of sympathy with male shoe salesmen, you can tell they’re more annoyed about the loss of their commission.
The final shoe argument is the one that can turn friends against friends, mothers against daughters and can lead to full on fights between strangers, this is called the ‘I saw it first’ argument. I inherited my ridiculously small feet from my mother, she has the same size only wider, this means the shoes that are just that too big for me, she could pull off. I’ve also done battle with strangers in sales before now to which I have seen a pair of shoes, gone to take my shoe off to try it, had someone take the shoe from me and then ran over to where the woman was and stolen them back. The arguments between my mother over 20 years have been catastrophic, we now know when it comes to shoe shopping, she’ll start on one side of the store and I’ll start on the other and whoever sees them first, gets them and that’s tough luck.
Most men don’t understand the fascination that women have with shoes, the rush that women get when the most gorgeous shoes fit perfectly and look beautiful. Yes, they will hurt after ten minutes and yes, if we try to dance we will probably slip and yes, if we attempt to walk on cobble stones we probably will break an ankle. But, what a small price to pay for something that will give us sophistication, elegance and grace and good golly they make my legs looks good!