THE SHOE MAN!

THE SHOES, MAN!

Just when you think you’ve seen it all you get a surprise where you least expected it. I mean, though I am not a man, I prefer to know what’s going on in the world, and not mostly in the world of sports but rather in the whole wide world. Nothing should surprise us anymore, I often think. What seemed to be totally unbelievable TV shows plotlines have proved to be way behind the real life. It is enough to glance at the headlines to realize that there are numerous bizarre events which surpass everything we could imagine. And no, there is no method in the madness anymore. Yet a news report that grabbed my attention this weekend left me speechless. Theresa May, the UK new Prime Minister, and her shoes?! I mean, the woman is sixty years old! She has the right to wear whatever shoes and clothes she feels comfortable in! And let’s be honest, the media going ape about her kitten heels and placing lots of photos of her feet shod in Jimmy Choos or Christian Laboutins or whatever they are is way too much. Who wants to look at somebody’s feet for Christ’s sake, even if they belong to a PM?! OK, it’s good to know that the woman subscribes to VOGUE magazine, that she has her own fashion preferences and that she likes shoes. So does many a sensible woman regardless of her age and profession. I remember a well-known American TV anchor telling her interviewer that fifty percent of her success can be attributed to a good comfortable pair of shoes. As the saying goes, the best shoes are the ones that make you feel as if you could sleep in them, or those that you don’t feel at all. Remember that old Clint Eastwood movie where the female protagonist is a TV presenter? She walks around the studio all dressed up and dolled up, wearing backless flat slippers. It is a fact of life after all: we see only the top half of a TV host. They need to keep their feet comfortable during those sixty minutes or the whole “Britain/America Has Got Talent” show. In an old comedy, a young couple goes to a concert. The lady is all spiffed up, and she puts on a beautiful pair of new shoes. When they settle down, the lights dim and the curtains go up. The music starts; the camera pans down and we see her surreptitiously finally kick off those shoes. Then the camera moves up, to her face, and there are tears of great relief, of indescribable joy flowing down her cheeks. The man bends down to her and whispers tenderly, “For those tears darling I love you all the more!” Then there is that famous scene in Audrey Hepburn’s “Roman Holiday” where the camera goes under her huge royal skirt and shows us how she slides her tired feet out of the official festive high-heeled dancing pumps, and then frantically tries to put them back on. And of course anybody who has not watched The Shoes episode from “The IT Crowd” has missed a lot.

Ah, men’s objections to the way women dress and the total inability of a masculine mind to get our cravings and our fascination with shoes. As a child, I got a valuable lesson from my Granny. Grandpa passed away of a heart attack at the age of 65; she was about the same age. When she came to visit, I noticed that she blushed and fidgeted when I helped her with her warm coat. I didn’t have a clue until she explained it. Turned out all her life she’d wanted to have a warm coat with red lining, and Grandpa never allowed it to her on the grounds that “only sluts wear such things”. Now that he was gone she went and treated herself to a specially made grey coat with salmon-red lining. One couldn’t see it from the outside, but she knew it was inside and felt comforted by it. Being of a different generation, I was astonished by both facts, one, that Grandpa forbade Grandma something (surely they were both too old to care about such mundane things?); two, that she obeyed him. I tried to imagine my Dad telling Mom not to wear something, anything she wanted and failed. Granny said to me, “Remember child, when you are fifty years old, never pay attention to what people say and think about the way you dress, just go for it!” Well, Theresa May is over fifty and she is the PM, so she can go for whatever she fancies.

How is it for men? Well, I can cite only one example off the top of my head: Colin Farrell telling an interviewer how he loved his one comfortable pair of shoes and how he kept having them patched up because they were so easy on his feet.

Bottom line is if a woman feels good in kitten heels, flats, stiletto heels et cetera, if she occupies an official position which makes her stand and sit and walk around for hours on end; she definitely needs to wear the best and most comfortable shoes she owns.

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