Tuesday, 1 April 2014

green shoes and happiness

"Shoes see everything; there are no secrets we can keep from our shoes.” 
(Alexander McCall Smith, "The Double Comfort Safari Club")

One of my favorite literary character is Mma Grace Matsuki.
She is the assistant of Mma Ramotswe in the Alexander McCall Smith's "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" books: she scored 97% at her exam at the Botswana College of Secretarial and Office Skills, later set up a typing school for men and helped Mma Ramotswe solving cases and drinking tea. 

I love Grace, because she's not perfect, she's not a spotless heroine; on the contrary, she's a full rounded human character: she can be extremely sharp but also jump to the wrong conclusion. She is kind and gentle, yet bossy and with no filter when speaking. 
The contrast makes her stand out, feel so human. It's easy to relate with her. Even more so because of her passion for shoes: she can't resist shoes, they're the only luxury she allows herself to enjoy. Shoes are her conscience: when she's in doubt, she looks down at her feet and argues with her shoes.

There was a time where I didn't care about shoes: I had two pair of fake Dr Martens I bought at the market and a pair of sandals for the summer. That was it.
Looks like a million light years ago. I eventually developed a love for shoes, just like Mma Matsuki.
And, let's face it, just like Imelda Marcos.

The problems for fulfilling my love for shoes at a Marcos-level were, and still are, basically three: I don't have the patience to go shoe-shopping; I don't have enough money to go extreme shoe-shopping; I'm extremely picky when it comes to shoes and clothes. If I see something I really like and it's reasonably priced, I won't spend debating whether I should get it or not. 
But, if I don't find it, I end up spending a lot of days debating what to get, going into different shops and very possibly not buying anything. I spent the whole winter pondering about a new pair of boots and ended up not buying anything because there was nothing I really wanted to get. It was frustrating because, with the vague hope of finding something nice, I endured way too many afternoon in the middle of the Milan weekend shopping orde. 

On the other hand, if I see something I like, I won't rest till I got it.
That's what happened with the last 2 pair of shoes I bought. In the middle between the 2 pairs I saw one pair of shoes that tempted me a lot: it was so insane I honestly thought about buying it. But alas, my bank account resembles more the one of Mma Matsuki (and she's a fictional character!) than Imelda's one, so the only thing I could do was trying them on and taking a picture of them:



I had to told myself that yes, they were nice, but too expensive (300$ discounted!!!) and very unpractical: I couldn't really picture myself hopping on the first train towards Gobba wearing such a pair of shoes!

On the other hand I could picture myself very well with my shiny new shoes... 



Part of me wondered whether it made sense buying 2 pair of shoes in such a short span of time. So tonight I took a look at them, put them on and asked them directly.
We all agreed that they might not be real happiness, but we're fine sharing a part of the walk together. And looking at them on my feet, we came to the conclusion that we do fit very well together.

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