Death of a Fantasy

Can one have an existential crisis in the middle of Neiman Marcus? The fact that I was actually in Neiman Marcus was crisis enough – beware the sale racks in that store, for they lull you into a false sense of “Hey, I could almost afford that!” However, there I was, in the shoe aisle, falling quickly out of love.

I came to see the Holy Grail of shoe-aholics – the Manolo Blahnik – and I was rewarded tenfold. There were Manolos of all styles and colors all around me. Giddy with delight, I slipped on the first pair.

Uh, wait. That hurts. Must be the wrong size. I went up half a size. Slipped it on. Huh? Is that supposed to fit that way? It was the right size, but somehow it just didn’t feel as good as I had fantasized. In fact, it was rather painful. Okay, try a different style. The peep-toe. There you go. Just slip your foot in and… oh. Wait. No, that fits everywhere else.

And so it went until I tried on nearly every pair in my size and one size above. My question – how does anyone walk in those absolutely-gorgeous-yet-completely-uncomfortable shoes? Am I too old for them? Are they too young for me? It’s the only time I’ve ever considered foot surgery, even though I was sure it wasn’t me. I have to believe that I was experiencing an abnormal reaction to an otherwise fantastic shoe brand. Still, the heartbreak I experienced was overwhelming. There they were – lined up and gorgeous, all in my size, all withing striking distance ($350 and up), but none of them wanted to be on my foot (and I’d had a pedicure, too).

I had to exorcise the feeling. I grabbed the closest thing – a gold bejeweled strappy thong heel by Emilio Pucci. I’d tried thong heels before and they never fit quite…. oh. Oh my. Oh wow. That’s luscious! And look at how it shines! Ladies, this shoe was so gorgeous a man sitting there waiting for his wife actually called her over and pointed to my foot. As they oo-ed and aahed at the shoe, I was giddy with delight. And damn, I wanted that shoe!

Alas, I’m against paying $362 for any shoe, so they stayed in the store. Besides, the chandelier decoration on the shoe, while stunning, just didn’t seem practical for the grocery store….

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November 16, 2007. shoes.

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