Men and their shoes

I left BTL after my last class today and a man on the street stopped to look me up and down.

I blinked, bemused, and turned around the corner towards Saint Lazare.

Pardon Mademoiselle?

I turned and he was behind me – 6’2”, wiry with glasses and greying brown hair. “Hi,” I said.

Vous ne parlez pas le français?

Oui, un peu, mais très mal.”

“Okay,” he switched to English. “I work in fashion and I saw your beautiful shoes.”

I looked down to remind myself of which shoes I was wearing (no, I’m not much of a shoe person. Yes, I think many of them are beautiful, but they aren’t usually ones that I can comfortably walk in, and I’d prefer to spend my money on moisturisers). They were black suede heels with patent-leather toes and heels – a gift from my mum from Myer. They were lovely, but after 18-months of wear and tear I wasn’t expecting compliments for them.

“When did you get them?” he asked.

“Oh, over a year ago in Australia.”

“And that’s where you are from?”


“And what brand are they?”

I had no idea (have since taken them off and checked – Annapelle). “I don’t know – I know where I bought them, but it’s a big department store.”

“Okay,” he nodded with a smile, “and are they comfortable?”

I frowned in confusion – where was this going? “Yes . . . as far as heels are concerned.”

“Oh, you don’t like high-heels?”

I shrugged, “as long as I don’t have to walk.”

“Then you only wear high-heels for work?”

“Yes,” I nodded, “I need to wear business dress.”

“And you think that means heels?”

“No . . . not all the time.”

“Then why are you wearing them today?”

I shrugged helplessly, “I don’t know, I felt like it?”

I’d taken a departure from my usual teaching uniform today and was wearing a knee-length red winter coat over black pants and a black woollen turtleneck – as I’ve been feeling a bit plump lately, I was after the sleekness that top-to-toe black can provide. I must say the end result wasn’t bad. I wore the shoes because they went with the outfit, they make me feel pretty before my feet start hurting, and, as I’m not taking them with me when I leave Paris, it was one of my last chances to wear them.

“Because the weather is nice?” he prodded.

“Yeah, because it’s a beautiful day.” Agreeing seemed to be the quickest option.

He nodded and smiled again, “well I just wanted to say that your shoes are beautiful.”

“Okay, thank you,” I grinned and turned back towards Saint Lazare.

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