Thursday, 19 February 2009

Cos your feets too big...

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.


justme said...

I really, really, hate buying shoes, because although my feel are 'only' size 7, they are WIDE. And shoes, even sensible flat ones, which feel comfortable are almost impossible to find. I love summer, because I can live in flip flop type things, some of which are even pretty. I do not own a pair of high heels. I could not walk in them, and have NEVER found a pair which are comfortable enough to wear. I feel your pain!

notSupermum said...

I feel for you, I really do. I'm 48 now, but when I was a teenager and took a size 7 it was very difficult to find shoes to fit because often shoe shops only stocked up to a size 6. My mum would drag me from shop to shop and only go to the doorway then shout "what size do you go up to?" and we only went in the ones with size 7s. Like you, I would feel obliged to get the only pair they had just because they fit me.

I hope you find something you like in your size. Good luck!

katyboo1 said...

Poor you.
My grandmother had size thirteen feet if it's any comfort to you. Plus, these were in the days when they didn't make any big women's shoes at all. For the longest time she would just wear mens shoes. She would dream of beautiful shoes. She was always really happy that I had normal feet and would often point this out as a great blessing when I was a gangling, hormonal teenager who hated how I looked.

I hope you find shoes that are lovely,comfortable and fabulous tomorrow.

Special K said...

Okay...this is BIG stuff here! Isn't it funny how we are plagued by our "size-identity?" I bought a pair of shoes last year bright red, a little too big for me...and I LOVE them. Because they are slightly off. and I make a go of them anyway...
I added you to my reader! (check my site out:) Thanks for the laugh

notSupermum said...

Hi, there's an award waiting for you on my blog.

Welsh Girl said...

Justme - and it is pain! There are few things worse than shoes that don't fit!
Not Supermum - god - I think I've turned into your mother as I am reduced to shouting through shop doorways now. What is the world coming to.
Katyboo - wise, wise grandmother!Special K - how lovely. I'll pop over in a moment.
Not Supermum - ooooh. Thank you!!!

Milla said...

that is sad, WG. So arbitrary and as you say humiliating and utterly not your fault. Wear jolly socks instead. And don't you just hate people who think they're all cute and special and sweet and "tiny" just because they're 5.2" or something. It 's only a few inches different forgodssake! (I'm 5'7.5" btw but feel about 6', perhaps it's an arrogance thing!)

Welsh Girl said...

God. Girls who classify themselves as 'tiny' make me want to put on my ugliest size 9 shoes and jump up and down on them.

Actually, it brings to mind a moment at University (slightly unrelated but I'll tell you anyway). There was a group of us in the pub and I announced I was going to go home. It was late and everyone looked up and said 'oh, ok. Bye!' etc etc. I got caught up talking to someone at the door and another girl who definitely fell in the 'I'm Tiny' category got up and also said she was going home. Immediately all the boys stood up and said that she couldn't possibly go home on her own and that somebody must accompany her.

I know that physically she is small therefore more vulnerable but it still p****es me off to this day. I'd love to have had that same care shown to me but because I'm tall with big feet nobody bothers...

OH well, no point sobbing over spilt and curdled milk. There are some things I can never achieve and being tiny is one of them.

nixdminx said...

You know my song - that's what I grew up to and my Mum used to sidle up to other Mums and point at my feet sayi'reng they're SOOO big. One day she did it to a woman trying on jesus boots (surely you remember those). The poor woman turned round and said 'These are all I can wear, they're size 10'. My Mother gave me cigarettes to stop growing and I made it to 5ft 10 and size 7 feet - phew!
There are loads of shops that go up to your size now btw, bon chance!

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