Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Sunday, May 05, 2013

ArchAngel is No Angel at all

I think I have thrown away more shoes than I’ve kept them – expensive branded ones, low cost locally made ones, cheap ones from night markets.

Shoes just hate my bunion-ed, calloused, and skinny feet with long bony toes.  Apart from my Asics running shoes (and they have to be Asics, not Nike), very few fit well.  Most give me blisters – at the heels, at the ankles, and the toes – anywhere I try to avoid them, that’s where blisters attack even more.

And so it was with a hopeful heart that I visited the ArchAngel shoe store at Purvis Street.  It had been highly recommended by at least two friends.  They are supposed to sell super comfy shoes, super good-for-your-feet shoes, super ‘’supportive’’ shoes that are supposed to be ‘’good for you’’.  Actually, they are super ugly to me too. 

But I am nearing 50 – I don’t need to strut around in dangerously high stilettos, and even if I fell from wearing them, I doubt I would fall into the rescuing arms of any tall, dark and handsome (and eligible) man.  Besides, mature women are supposed to be more poised and self confident and can hold her own (style) – including ugly shoes, I guess.

What the self righteous woman at the shop did was to condemn all shoes in the world, except those that are sold at her store.  Worse, she made me feel like I’ve been torturing my feet all my life.  The only way to protect your feet, it seems, is to wear her special pair of sandals at home: ‘’Don’t you feel pain at your heels when you walk at home?’’ she asked incredulously.  ‘’No, why?’’  I asked, even more incredulous.  ‘’The floor is so hard!  You must be sooooo lucky you are not in pain,’’ she declared.  I wanted to retort – for someone who runs marathons, trains almost daily and have had personal training for 7 years, I know how to take care of my JOINTS and legs, and spine, and core muscles to support my body, and would not be such a softie that I would feel pain just walking around at home!

She looked at what I was wearing – a low wedge heel – and immediately pronounced that it was ‘’very bad’’ because it was ‘’no support in front’’.  I told her I used that for short distance walking, like walking from the office nearby to her store during lunch.  Usually I would wear flats as I did not want to stress my calves.  ‘’Flat shoes are bad too,’’ she was quick to retort.  Yes, yes, I know by now that flat shoes, heels, flip flops, slingbacks, peeptoes, wedges, stilettos - anything her shop does not sell, are ‘’bad’’.

Then she proceeded to do a few ‘’demo’s and tests’’ by making me hold my hands in front of me for her to push them down.  In so doing, I leaned forward.  ‘’That, shows your feet are very weak,’’ she pronounced smugly.  Any fool knows that if you pushed me forward, I would lean forward.  In fact, had I resisted and locked my knees, I would have hurt my legs even more!

If she were really educated about feet and strength, she would have known that what is ‘’good’’ for you to protect yourself is not just shoes, but posture, core strength and flexibility – all of which have got nothing to do with shoes.

And if she were really smart about winning over a prospective customer, she should really go for a crash course on tact and basic etiquette.


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