Monday, October 29, 2007

The Man Feet Conspiracy (for Marina the Nut)

Today, dear readers, we shall talk about shoes. It’s a light enough subject for everyone's hangover, and most important, if we don’t, we will receive a letter bomb from our cousin Marina. Marina thinks that every blogger is famous and powerful – which proves once again that you need more than a high IQ to understand the world – and therefore relies on us to “further” her “cause”.

Marina has “had it with shoe manufacturers, from Gucci to Gortz”. (Presumably the latter is a crappy German shoe manufacturer.)

Marina the Nut, you see, is a self-described “petite southern beauty” who lives in Germany. She wears a minute and permanently sold-out shoe size of “35 - and even a little smaller!” She claims, that she can have a fair chance to find a shoe that fits, only when she visits the children’s department.

And for years she has been buying “any relatively decent pair that fits” (including insoles) out of insecurity that it will take years before she finds another “decent pair that fits”. The availability situation got worse and worse year by year. Eventually there was not a single shop in her town that would sell adult shoes of size 35 (US 5.5?), “not even Gortz”. (“What do you expect when there are children’s shoes of size 47? What the hell are they feeding them? Is it the sausages?”) She was compelled to look for shoes every single time she traveled. When she went to France, she trusted that Paris would be the paradise of petite elegance. Oh how her hopes were shattered! Et tu, Printemps?

She was doomed to wear out her small, weird collection, having it perpetually repaired, till the end of time.

Until, that is, she discovered that Gucci had launched their on-line shop in Germany! Starting from size 34! Finally, her Visa Gold would be put to noble use! She ordered her first truely decent pair of shoes at exactly the right size (“34,5! Smaller than Kylie Minogue!”) as soon as the new winter collection came out – in the middle of a heat wave in July. Wise of her. The waiting list closed in the blink of an eye.

Alas, her dream shoes never arrived: three months later she was informed that her order was not available any more. Furious and frustrated, she went back online to discover that the “Absolute Average size 37” remained available in all models. Her high IQ could not conceive why any company – be it Gucci or Gortz – would produce too much of one size and too little of another and create such disparity of demand vs offer. Haven't their business strategists noticed the desperate market of little women out there who remain hungry and loaded?

And that’s how she turned paranoid – and very, very rude. In her words:

“I’m telling you, this is a conspiracy amongst those ugly, big, asexual towers of women, who are envious of their petite sisters. They want to destroy our looks. They are out for us. I Hate them and their ugly bony faces and their enormous lumberjack shoulders and their disgusting spider toes.”

She must have been in tears when she emailed us:

“I can take it from Gortz, but from Gucci? Do they really think it serves their image to produce shoes for my boss and her likes – and that includes Godzilla? She has man feet for chrissakes! Does Signora Giannini have man feet too?”


As a not-so-big woman with no man feet, Mimi (who is typing this, in case you're wondering), sympathizes by default. But Roufa (who is mumbling out his thoughts next to her), isn’t indifferent either. His wife’s little stiletto can stand on the palm of his hand. He can’t imagine there’s anything sensual about holding a freighter in your hand. And who would like to drink champagne out of a Viking’s clog? (He said that.)

In any case, we agreed to tell our cousin's story, and if anybody out there is reading, we would encourage you to write a few words of support for Marina. And who knows, if she is right and there are enough of you out there sharing her drama, maybe you can fight, impose your terms, turn the tables.

And if you have any tips for her, as to where, if at all, she can find shoes in Germany, in Europe, and neighborhood therof, you are welcome too. She isn't going to Singapore any time soon (a Burberry sales assistant in Frankfurt advised her to look there).


kab625 said...

She is experiencing the result of a trend, I swear. I think women's feet have gotten larger, so small shoes are hard to find. I've actually shopped for casual shoes in the children's department, buying the largest girl and even boy sizes. It creates an entirely new fashion statement

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Anonymous said...

I can totally sympathize with you!!! I'm 5' 1" tall; 115 pounds; and my shoe size is also a 35 or smaller. In US sizes, I can never find a 5 1/2 (the US-equivalent of something like a 35). And stores usually put their size 6 shoes (which I can sometimes wear depending on the style of shoe) out as their "display shoe" so as you can imagine, that shoe gets all worn-looking and handled. So when I do buy a pair of size 6 shoes, I get to buy that display shoe along with the other pristine shoe that's been sitting out back in its box. Yeah, so the shoes don't look exactly the same once I buy them. It's so frustrating for women our size!

I also think that pants are ridiculously long now. I wear a 28" inseam pant. Have you ever tried to find designer pants with that inseam? Good luck! Most "petite" pants have a 29 - 32" inseam! And they call them "petite"?!?

I have been struggling with this for years! It's time designers start to design for petite women. :)

Roufa Tav Gosou & Mimi Lass said...

Oh yes, we've experienced the display-shoe problem before... Roufa as a child, and Mimi, funny enough, when she was looking for white shoes to wear on her wedding day! One shoe white, one shoe pearl-gray at best...

And don't get her started on pants...

Well, get ready for the revolution!

Anonymous said...

Oh how nice to hear I am not alone, for year and year I searched the shoe shops of Aberdeen to find a shoe that fit. Always ending my search sat in the middle of the final store in tears, and then... Barratts, tall and small size arrive, oh bliss but no - even they dont bother to stock this range in the local store, oh says the assistant you are better to order on-line all well and good except I now have boxes upon boxes pile up in my wardrobe as I purchase the ever illusive shoe from the internet, is it a 34 a 35 or a 36. And then oh yes another website and so much help,I send my size, measurement and width, and the wonderful shoes arrives but no the fat foot wont quite fit. And all I want is to look good and walk proud. And as my life comes to mid way (50 looming) I wonder will I ever be able to wear that georgous skirt suit or will I be ever destined to trouser suits with boring shoes filled with insoles, with skirts that touch my ankles to hide the old fashioned sandle tucked underneath. Shoe manufacturers please listen, we dont want the world, just a fashionable shoe that fits..... bring on plastic surgery for small fat footed girls.... DB Abereenshire

Roufa Tav Gosou & Mimi Lass said...

Obviously you are not alone! If that helps at all.

Maureen said...

I can also sympathise 100%, my friends refuse to go shopping with me for shoes as it is always such a depressing outing! I am constantly frustrated. I'm a 35 or AUS size 5 and have started looking for someone who can make my shoes and I'll just have to wear the cost!

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to Marina's story! I'm barely 4'11" and am truly a size 4.5US, but have to wear size 5 (when I find them). When I lived in Belgium in the mid-80's, I was able to find size 35 shoes. A few years ago when I visited Europe, I couldn't find ANY small sizes. I ended up having to buy junior boots for my cold feet!

Roufa Tav Gosou & Mimi Lass said...

We should really start a movement!