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Friday, April 1, 2011

A shoe fetish

Yesterday I went shopping, and got stupidly excited about a purchase.  It was a pair of shoes.

Ahhhh...well that makes sense, I hear you say.

Maybe.  They're school sandals for Miss5.

Ohhh....well, at least it was shopping, you say.  Damn straight!

You see, I've been searching for REASONABLY PRICED school sandals for almost a year.  Since Miss5 was a Miss4 half way through her first year of Kindergarten.  They don't exist.  It's an oxymoron.  It's as mythical and non-existent as the unicorn or Angelina Jolie having stretchmarks or a 'bad side' in photo's.

A unicorn was too easy. You try finding a bad pic of Ms Jolie...

Note to shoe manufacturers : A lot of schools have a navy blue uniform - be it shorts, skirts, dresses, part of the whole colour scheme of the school logo - whatever.  So why in the hell don't you make more styles and more affordable navy blue sandals for girls?

I did find some - but at $99.95 and $129.95 respectively, it would be a cold day in hell before I'd pay that much for something Miss5 was likely to break, lose, or grow out of within 12 months.  I don't even pay that much for my own shoes these days, and I look after my shoes.  I certainly don't take to them with a stapler just to see what will happen (ditto with the scissors).  Or, most recently, the bloody super glue.

I've been haunting my local Betts & Betts Kids store for a few months now.  They've had an ongoing sale of old stock, and I've found the ideal navy sandal for Miss5 to wear to school.  They were $74.99, and have been marked down to $22.49 - total bargain.  They're even the expensive leather with cushiony soles and aerodynamic design (just in case she needs to take off into the sky for some aerodynamic type activities?).
The back up to the Holy Grail, because it is the poor,
colour deficient cousin

I've coveted these shoes for, literally, 4 1/2 months.  I spotted them in November when they were insanely pricey.  I went back to visit them in December when they were marked down, but only by a poxy $5, which I took as a personal insult, vowing to shove them to the back where they couldn't be seen (partially to ensure nobody else bought them, should my resolve crumble and I feel the need to rush back and nab the whopping great bargain at $5 off).

So instead I haughtily stomped to my local shopping centre.  To the Asian shop that sells a bit of everything.  I dodged the impossibly stiff and enormous bras hanging from the roof, tripped over the Ben 10 inflatable mallet (Miss2 could totally kick ass with that), and pushed aside the collection of fake Hello Kitty everything (Mstr2 would be in his own personal Nirvana with all that pink cat stuff).  There, I found white sandals.

Hmph...white.  By this stage it's been 6 months since I started actively looking for school sandals.  It's been over 4 months since I found the beloved and perfect aerodynamic rip-off sandals.  These white ones, well they're kinda sorta in the theme of the school colours.  In as much as they go with the navy blue and green that are the school colours.  So I cave in, grab a pair, and slouch over to the counter with shades of Miss5 when she's told she can't watch have nuggets and chips for dinner again (...again).

They're only $14.95, but I am still quite begrudging about paying this.  The shop owner doesn't really notice, because she's too busy shooting off rapid fire Chinese at her husband who is deftly straddling shelves at head height, trying to dislodge a rogue bra that's enormous girth has swallowed a display of orange plastic thongs (of the shoe variety, not the underwear).

$14.95.  Not a sale.  Regular price.  Imagine my total shock and disappointment when the heel comes apart on one shoe within a week.

I super glue it back together - covertly - since Miss5 has already shown an interest in the super glue, and I don't want to foster it by showing her that the stuff does have a legitimate use beyond gluing your fingers to the bench top (ashamed to admit, I did let her stand there for 5 minutes, fingers glued to the bench top, while I gave the twins a biscuit each at the other end of the kitchen, and told Miss5 she'd have to walk over and get her own if she wanted one.  It did get my point across better than any stern words would've done).

A few days later, the straps completely come out of the sole of the other shoe.  I'm all out of super glue at this point, so I give up and start sending Miss5 to school in bright pink sandals until I can find something more appropriate.

By now I am at my wits end and about to resort to these bad boys...
That was in February, one week after school commenced.  Every day, she gets dressed for school.  Every day, my left eye twitches and my jaw tightens when I assess her grooming from top to bottom, and rest on those bloody pink sandals.  I drop her off at school, and spend the time with my eyes planted on the ground checking out what other kids are wearing.  They don't have big fat orange and pink flowers on the front of their sandals.  Some of them even have the navy blue aerodynamic super sandals that I've had my eye on.  Which look even more pretty when teamed with the navy blue school skirt.  I sigh...

So back to yesterday.  I'm walking past Betts & Betts Kids once again.  I roll my eyes at their stupid taunting Sale sign, because the sale has been going on forever.  And every time I go past I walk in and check out the coveted aerodynamic super sandals.

Today - not only did they have Miss5's size - but they were even further reduced.  The fact that I've been hiding them at the back of the full-priced shoes has clearly paid off.

Formerly $74.99.  Now......drum roll please.....$22.49!
The Holy Grail of childrens' school sandals.
Yours for a mere $74.99 - unless you hide them,
then you can wait it out until they're reduced

I quite literally did a little "Woohoo!", which I had intended to do in my head, but had been so overcome by sheer joy and triumph that I did it for real.

The only problem, the pair I'm holding are too small.

There's a Mother on the other side of the sale table, sifting through the mountain of shoes.  I see the shoes I want right in front of her, at the precise moment that she picks them up.  Our eyes meet, she looks at me holding the same shoes (only half the size - no way I was going to mash Miss5's toes into this pair even if I used a crow bar and all of my motherly determination and resolve).  She smiles, I smile.  We bond over our shared interest in these super sandals.  They are magical I tell you!

Her toddler starts whining for a drink, and in the split second her attention is diverted and she has put down MY shoes to get her son a drink, I have used my Go Go Gadget Arms to reach over and pluck MY shoes from in front of her.  I high tail it to the counter, probably looking like a total shop lifter, because I'm so on edge that I'm bouncing and tapping the counter with my credit card.

I'm desperate to get out of there NOW.  I pay, I leave.  I do everything to avoid making eye contact with the other mother who is now looking around her and in the top of her pram for the shoes I have just nabbed from under her nose.

As I walk out the shop, it is a total adrenalin rush.  Not unlike the afterglow of sex.  For real.  No seriously, I mean it.  My insides had turned to jelly, I am bouncing on my feet, light as air.  I am buzzing.

All from buying a $74.99 pair of childrens' sandals for $22.49.  Magical aerodynamic super sandals.  That they probably super-size for astronauts to use in space.  I'm just saying.

I did not kill my buzz by toting up the cost of whiny long distance phone calls to my mother, bemoaning the rip off that was the original price of $74.99.  Nor the exorbitant fuel prices chewed up in trolling other Betts & Betts Kids stores within a 30 minute drive of my home.  Because I know they would most likely equal or exceed the $52.50 I saved today.

Too late.

Alas, now, as I'm coming down from my high, starting to suffer the withdrawals of a shopping junkie in the cold light of evening when the shops are all closed - I have to ask myself - when did I become so pathetically obsessed with navy blue aerodynamic childrens' super sandals?  And what will I be like in 12 months' time when they no longer fit, and this obsession starts all over again?

No time to answer that question now - as I can tell you, I shoved the holy grail of aerodynamic school sandals at Miss5 when she returned from school yesterday.  Her response was a bit Myeh... and not appropriately Woohoo! for my liking.  But I forgive her.  I'm still a little high from the triumph over shopping adversity.

Anywho, I'm not entirely sure when I last measured Miss5's foot, or how dyslexic my memory is in the digits on the soles of her shoes to denote the size.  Because, it seems, I was picturing BIG FOOT when I purchased her sandals.  They will fit her in approximately 12 - 18 months time.

Son of a.....


  1. Nice Photo of Angelina Jolie. HAHAHA...

    and ouch! I can't wait to start hunting for sandals for the lil tiger. *ew*

  2. navy blue sandals? Would never have through of such things. I had to wear black shoes in school, no questions.

  3. LOL, I feel your pain. Seagull may only be 2, but after months of wearing foot splints due to metatarsus adductus (the bones in his feet were turned inward), we have finally got the bloody things straight. Not only do we have to make sure that his shoes are really straight through the inside edge so the bones in his feet don't have room to turn, but we have to drive all the bloody way to Melbourne (2 hour drive) to get them because nowhere here seems to stock what we need. At the end of that drive, we are paying at least $80 for a pair of shoes that he outgrows and completely trashes in 3 months.

    The other week I decided to get Seagull a pair of runners as well as a normal pair of shoes. The final year podiatry student at Athlete's Foot convinced me to buy a pair of runners that have ended up being a size too large. Yes, it means that I now have a pair of shoes that will fit in a few months time, but it doesn't help me now!

  4. My Mum always had a thing about getting my sister and I 'proper lace up shoes'. I hated them, but to this day I thank her. So I've been really disappointed with the options available to Australian children. Decent shoes (Clarke's) do cost a lot ($100+) and get grown out of before you can say 'shoe shine!'. The rest are just crap. I have not found a solution yet, but I'm considering surfing the American market to see if there is more choice there and better quality.

  5. Who the hell thinks of these school colours? Have they not heard "blue and green must never be seen"? Sheesh!
    Major kudos for your first Flog, my lovely. I'm so proud it brings a tear to my eye.

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