Like most women, I like to make an attempt at looking presentable when I leave the house. I don't think I am some sort of anti-feminist turncoat if I wear make-up or fishnet stockings (they create the illusion that I might have calves, cut me some freakin' slack...). But fashion doesn't rule my life and shopping for shoes is only done when absolutely essential.
When I need shoes, they are usually ballet flats from Sainsburys that cost a tenner, trainers or sandals. I have a pair of boots I bought to wear to Detroit four years ago that I have just had resoled because they are so damn comfortable. This is less traumatic than buying a new pair. Also, I cannot buy shoes online. I am the woman you will find rocking back and forth in the corner of the shoe shop unable to stop crying because nothing fits properly. With two club feet, one with a missing bone for good measure, you need to stand, walk, run, jump and dance in shoes without wincing before a purchase can be made.
Which brings me to today's debacle.
I must buy silver shoes to wear to be a bridesmaid in September. Yes, I know that is months away but with two club feet that have been surgically rebuilt 13 times, this is not something I should leave to the last minute. I happened to be in Oxford Street today so while I was there, I ducked into a few shoe stores. I wasn't planning on buying anything, I thought I'd just see what's out there.
Good grief. What madness is going on in women's shoe departments? There were plenty of cute flats and brogues, of which I completely approve, but I'd like something a tad dressier for bridesmaid duties. I need something in silver. With just a little heel, nothing towering, just enough to make me look a teeny bit taller than my five feet and one inch of rantiness. And a strap around the ankle would be nice to stop me walking out of the shoes as I walk up the aisle.
Did I find anything remotely relevant? Like hell.
Exhibit A: Plastic flip-flops for 30 quid. They were Ted Baker plastic flip-flops. I don't care. In my native Australia, they are called thongs, they're made of rubber and you used to buy them for a couple of bucks in supermarkets before Havianas happened.
Exhibit B: The horrendous return of cork wedges. People who were clearly born in the 90s were picking these up and seriously considering them without a trace of irony. They look like noticeboards. Can these children not see this?
Exhibit C: An especally vile pair in that boring beige colour Kate Middleton enjoys so much. But they had a platform-type thing under the foot that melded into the heel so it was a big, nasty chunk of Band-Aid coloured awfulness. They looked like the rejects from an artificial limb factory.
Exhibit D: Perspex heels. I have no more words here.
Exhibit E: Ker-razy colours. Now, I am not so shoe-illiterate that I don't appreciate a friskily coloured shoe. While red is as adventurous as I ever get, I understand that a shoe in yellow, lime green, orange or puce is amusing. But in between Josephine and her Technicolor Dream Shoes, can we have maybe a few more pairs in colours like black. I know. What a novel idea.
Exhibit F: Insanely high heels everywhere. If shoes weren't flat, they were sky-high. There is no middle ground here. If, like me, you resemble a newborn foal while trying to walk in heels, this limits your choices. Apparently, kitten heels have gone out of fashion. I do not care if kitten heels are naff. I want them back in shops now.
Alarmingly, however, the only person I have seen wearing kitten heels of late is Home Secretary, Theresa May. Oh Christ, I am now channelling Theresa May when I go shoe-shopping. Help me...