Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dear ebay, I Love You, Love Yelena

Once upon a time there was a special pair of shoes. These shoes were first spied in a glossy magazine, most likely the New York Times Fashions of the Times magazine. A little girl and her mother (fine the girl was not so little inasmuch as she lived on her own and had to pay her own electricity bill) squealed at the very sight of them. They were *perfect* shoes. The little girl and her mother saw the price of the shoes and sighed in consternation. $395 in 2001 was a pretty price for a pair of shoes. But these shoes were the kind of beautiful shoes that wouldn't last until sale time. So the little girl and her mother closed the Fashions of the Times magazine and tried to forget about the *perfect* shoes.

A couple months later, the little girl was in San Francisco visiting a boy previously referred to as devoted partner. She took the BART into the city bright and early and prepared to be dazzled by this, her first visit to the city. Sadly, the little girl had not been informed that San Francisco is a backwards hayseed town where stores and such do not open until 10 and yea, sometimes 11 in the morning. She walked about downtown, drawing gasps of horror as she smoked from the crunchy granola types who didn't have jobs and were therefore roaming the streets gasping at visiting smokers. When, at last, the 11 hour struck, the little girl was primed and ready to enter the Neiman Marcus, a dazzlingly fun store not present in the New York metro area, yet fondly remembered from trips to Miami with the little girl's shopping obsessed father.

And there they were. The *perfect* shoes. Gleaming in all their perfectionness. The little girl sheepishly asked the shoe salesman what the largest size available was, the little girl having freakishly large feet that really should have come with about 5 extra height inches. The salesman replied that a size 10 was available. The little girl sighed and asked to see them, knowing in her heart of hearts that a size 10 was not going to fit; that a size 11 was what she needed. When the shoe salesman brought the shoes to the little girl, she slipped them onto her outsized freak feet tentatively. But wait. They fit.


What's more, they made the little girl's legs look OMGPonies hawt. The trap had been set with expert precision. The look of the lion with dripping antelope haunch was on the face of the shoe salesman. He knew he had one. He knew the little girl would gladly hand over $395 to him for these shoes, not for one second even considering if she a) had $395 or b) that this would be the first pair of designer shoes she had EVER purchased for full price (and come to think of it, they remain the only pair of designer shoes the little girl has paid full price for). It was a fait accompli. The girl left the store very poor and very happy. The *perfect* shoes were hers.

(It should be noted in a stars aligning kind of way that two additional things happened. 1. The little girl's mother and shopping obsessed father found a pair on sale months later for the mother, though they were quick to point out that no size 10 was left, and the mother settled for a pair a full size smaller than what she traditionally wore and in the time honored tradition of women and shoes merely shoved her foot in until it fit (the little girl is reminded of a similar story involving a pair of size 9 Christian Lacroix shoes that left welts on her feet, so small were they); 2. Also months later, perhaps even a year, the little girl found a pair of the shoes on ebay in the less amazing white color, but still amazing style, for nary $100.)

To justify the purchase, the little girl wore the shoes TO DEATH. She wore them anywhere she could. In a now infamous story, she wore them on an impromptu hike in Fontaine de Vaucluse that ended up being a 3km trek terminating in the crossing of a river over stones. She wore the shoes out, taking them to shoemaker after shoemaker all the way to the manufacturer's shoemaker to try to breathe new life into them. But to no avail. The shoes had run their course and were now only usable if the little girl didn't need to stand or walk. They sat in her closet, staring at her mournfully, while she did the only thing she could think of: search for another pair on ebay.

By now, though, the shoes were seven or so years out of date. The listings on ebay covered mostly the past two seasons' collections. Still, the little girl would periodically check to see if, by some miracle, there was an extant pair in good condition ready for a new home. She was never lucky.

Until last week. Lazily browsing through search results with nary a hope of finding what she sought, the little girl saw them: GUCCI SANDAL HEELS SZ 10B RARE HEEL. It wasn't possible. The shoes showed little to no sign of wear. The seller claimed they had been worn only a couple of times. The price? An unbelievable $85 (and the little girl had a $20 coupon). Not believing her good fortune, the little girl snapped at them thinking that in the worst case scenario, they would be good for another summer season and she'd only be out $65.

The shoes arrived yesterday. Smelling of new leather and OMGPonies leg hawtness. Slipping them on her feet, the little girl felt herself returned to that May morning in 2001, in the provincial and anti-smoking town of San Francisco, offering her succulent hindquarters to the apex predators known as Neiman Marcus shoe salesmen. The little girl knows better now. She will not hike in the *perfect* shoes; she will not even spend the day walking in them. She will treat them as the little miracles they are and she will hope that they will have a rich and rewarding life together.

She will also continue to troll ebay for a just in case backup pair.

No comments:

Post a Comment