Tuesday, 20 May 2008

For want of a shoe !

My feet have been giving me trouble ….thankfully not the kind of trouble that requires the services of expensive podiatrists or prescription medication, but trouble of a different kind…
I’ve trouble getting them covered!! Now, my feet are very small for an adult, so I always have a good deal of trouble hunting for shoes (or sandals, slippers, or whatever the occasion demands…).
My doting friends have christened me from time to time with many a moniker, ranging from Vaman, to Stuart Little… one friend even used to insist that i take a picture of my feet….
Even back home, in India, I had difficulty finding shoes, but at least managed to find something that fit my feet…even if it was mostly non-branded stuff…
No major brands would have shoes my size…even good old Bata, had most of its good designs starting from size 4 onwards (mine is smaller than that!), so I rarely had the privilege of buy their footwear, which is more famous for the weird improper fractions they have as prices, than for their style…
Well, as a kid, I didn’t have much of a problem finding school or casual shoes… (at least, I don’t remember… may be I should ask my mom if she had trouble finding shoes that fit me)…but I guess the real problem was that as I grew up in age, my feet for some reason failed to catch up with the years, and remained kid- sized !
Even when I got sandals from non branded stores, I used to ask the store people to punch extra holes in the strap, as the straps would be loose even after buckling them in the last hole….

After marriage, there was another twist to the tale, as the other half turned out to be a firm believer in branded stuff… (I had to convince him that there was no such thing as a branded salwar, and that they varied with every store)
according to him, if I couldn’t have branded shoes, I should atleast have them bought from a major retailer…I on the other hand, could never bring myself to spend some extra hundreds just because it came from a fancy store in an upscale mall…finally, I gave in, and spent hours walking up and down malls looking for shoes….
I bet it would have been easier for Cinderella’s prince to find feet to fit the solitary glass shoe…..

The real problem started a few months back…. I travelled for the first time to the US of A, and since I was landing there in the middle of winter, armed myself with a pair of sneakers in addition to my strappy sandals. Of course, the sneaker has its own story…as usual, we hunted down the aisles of branded stores, and when we managed to find a model which both the OH and I liked, the only pair that the store had in my size was old and a little damaged, so they had to order another and it had to be picked up after a few days…finally, I was the proud owner of a nike sneaker, after setting the indulgent hubs back by almost a couple of thousand INR !
Well, after a few months here, my sandals gave away…and the hunt began…we started store hopping, and mall hopping... To start with, American shoe sizes are different from Indian sizes....and in between every size, they have a half-size too, so you have 6 ½, 7 ½, etc… and they are also much more expensive, compared to India…seeing the shoes, I guessed the feet of the average American woman should be larger than her Indian counter part, and they should be having a great sense of balance, to walk without falling with the pointy heels that most shoes have….so now, in addition to finding a size that fit, I also had to look out for shoes which were not stilettos, pencil heels or any other contraption that would require me to have the skill, balance and dexterity of a tight rope walker !
Phew, this time I even tried kid’s shoes….really…the sizes were more closer to mine…but I didn’t want to be seen around town in shoes that had pink butterflies, pretty bows or polka dots on them !
The OH mumbled something about trying to find a -2 size… out of sheer exhaustion and exasperation, he came up with a solution, though temporary….he bought a couple of tubes of super strength adhesive and stuck my sandal where it had come off….
Now, is my want of a shoe a lost battle ?
I’ll let you know if I find a shoe before the glue wears off…..watch this space….

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