There's a fabulous song by Fats Waller called 'Cos your feets too big'. When we were little we used to run around the lawn screaming the words out and laughing hysterically. Little did I know how prophetic this would be.
You see, I'm tall. Just under six foot and I have correspondingly large feet. Size 9 to be exact. This is useful if you want to go water skiing and don't have any skis but downright hideous if you worship at the altar of beautiful shoes, or for that matter just want everyday shoes.
I could take vanity out of the issue and persuade myself that shoes are just for protecting your feet and stopping you getting cold toes but I am fooling myself. Shoes say something about you. About the woman you want to be, the mood you are in. Killer heels for vamp days, pretty strappy things for days when you want to pretend you are a feminine and enchanting mille feuille of a girl. Knee high boots for Saturdays spent strolling through Borough Market, ballet slippers for supper with friends. The list goes on.
Fairytales are filled with women whose feet predetermine their destiny. There is the Devil wears Prada, when Anne Hathaway's transformation from student shabbiness to New York uber cool is marked by the day she is given new and ravishing designer shoes. Cinderella's life revolves around her tiny feet with their double glazed slippers, The Little Mermaid's story revolves around her tiny white feet being stabbed by red hot knives in order to get the Prince (no happiness without pain in the feet seems to be the moral). I could go on.
It seems that my feet are never going to lead me down the fairytale ending. Quite aside from the fact that the killer heels add so much to my height that I have to have an oxygen tank to cope with the thin air, they make me far too tall for men to want to talk to me and too tall to hear what my more vertically challenged friends are saying. It's irrelevant anyway because the shoe shops just won't stock shoes in my size.
Somebody out there has decided that girls with big feet don't deserve pretty shoes, or necessarily want them. Apparently we are so ashamed of our monstrously sized feet that we wish to hide them in remedial style shoes in various shades of dog pooh.
I walk past shoe shops and peer through the windows like The Little Matchgirl, gazing at what I can never have. Occasionally I brave the doors and go in and ask longingly what size the shoes go up to. Invariably the assistant says 'size 8' and when I say that won't do as I am a size 9 they look faintly horrified at the thought of feet that big and their sigh of relief as I leave their emporium of beauty sends me on my way. Often I boil with rage when they crush my hopes. Why is this avenue of loveliness shut to me? 'It's not fair' I sob in my head.
Now that shoes have become so affordable everyone seems to have the loveliest of shoes. I find that I buy shoes just because they fit me, even if I hate them. Anything to fulfill the craving for shoes. If I were a millionaire I would have shoes made for me. Sparkly shoes, strappy shoes, shoes in every colour (Ok, not yellow or peach but every other colour). It would be heaven.
I know that there are websites out there now that do shoes for bigger feet but the choice is limited and often the only lovely ones are too narrow and often the more mundane shoes are only just a size 9, making them wildly uncomfortable. I once found the most beautiful pair of shoes and ordered them. They arrived and were a thing of such beauty that I scarcely dared lift them from their nest of crisp tissue paper. It was a soul destroying moment when I tried to put them on and discovered that they were never ever going to fit. They were sent back in a tear stained box.
The reason for this blog is that the dull, dull, dull pair of brown shoes that I wear everyday are wearing out and I must face the prospect of a search for a replacement pair of everyday shoes. I am off to London tomorrow, the mecca of footwear. The only thing I can guarantee is that I will want to cry during the search and will end up buying ugly shoes just because they fit. It's cos my feets too big.
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