Lots of my recent blogs seem to be shopping related. This week I decided I needed some black shoes, suitable for work, to replace the pair I usually wear which I have had for absolutely ages, which have completely worn out – well, one of them has worn out, leading me to suspect that I must walk really unevenly.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted the perfect pair in M&S. this was in the “Footglove, extra bloody wide, suitable for people with ducks flippers” range. I should have bought them then really, but I’d gone for brown shoes – and come away with brown boots. In the two short weeks since my last visit, everything had been moved. Always a bad sign. Wintery type shoes had been banished to a couple of racks, and you couldn’t move for sandals. I actually managed to find one shoe that looked suitable (although it was brown) – it was size 6 but it was way to big and fally-offy. (Suddenly remembering the advert from the 70s where the shoe-shop bloke says “You don’t want it all sloppy, do you?”…. suddenly remembering the trifle the husband made last year. I digress.) OK, I thought, the size below should be perfect. Wrong – I couldn’t even get it near to my foot. On closer examination I realised there was a slight difference between the two shoes, the 6 was the wide fit and the five and a half wasn’t. They didn’t have a wide five and a half and they didn’t have a narrow 6 – and anyway, they were brown. I started to panic. I tried on some sandals which were really rather nice and comfortable. I will go back in three weeks to buy these when they have none left.
I tried on all the totally inappropriate shoes, but nothing fitted. I went round the racks again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Bitterly disappointed, I decided to try the Clarks shop, knowing I’d end up paying double. I found a shoe I liked within seconds of entering the shop and after ten minutes I managed to attract the attention of the “assistant” who was idly examining the ceiling. She brought me the other one and buggered off and hid behind a sale rack. Within seconds I decided that they would do – they looked OK and I am sure they will be fine once I have broken them in. I walked nearer to the door and instantly attracted the assistant’s attention – that usually works. I braced myself for the usual hard sell on cleaning stuff.
First she told me that the shoes were not “weatherproof”. Now, call me old fashioned, but the one thing I usually look for in a shoe is its weatherproof quality. Had I not been concerned about having dry feet in the rain I could have had the bloody M&S sandals. Apparently, if I wanted them to be “weatherproof” then I needed a weatherproofing spray which I would need use every week. This is a blatant con. I have never needed to weatherproof my shoes before. I wondered what sort of weather they were crap in. Rain, I suppose. Snow – goes without saying. What else? Will my feet will get badly sunburnt in the summer? Maybe the shoes will blow away on a particularly gusty day. If not, then just be honest and say: “By the way, these £50 shoes leak to buggery.”
I declined her generous offer without even asking how much the spray cost. By the size of the can I was guessing £6 or £7, which means it would definitely be £9.99. I told her I already had some. She gave me a scathing look of disbelief, and I thought she was going to argue that it had only been invented this week so I couldn’t possibly have any. Instead she pointed out that because they were two coloured (black with a little bit of purple) I would need a special neutral shoe cleaning cream. I resented the implication that I was so stupid I’d clean the purple bits with black shoe polish. I can tell you now that is never going to happen. I’ve had my last pair for 8 years and never cleaned them. You see, if you don’t clean them all the dust and crap they pick up from the street waterproofs them naturally – and that’s my story and I am sticking to it.
After a bit more shopping and lunch in BHS I waited for my lift home and spotted the husband leaving the office at 2:20 pm, complete with bag so obviously finished for the day. However, he didn’t walk to the bus-stop the way I thought he would, he went a very convoluted route which involved passing a nearby pub. This may explain (a) why he took 2 hours to get his sorry ass home, (b) why he feels sick, and (c) why I am up here writing this blog and not downstairs cooking his tea. I think I should do more “spying” – I might follow him next time, and see where he really goes – when I’ve broken-in the new shoes, of course.