This is a kind of fairytale appendix, if you will, a note to the ugly sisters, to help them in their plight. If this is you, take special note. I have something of a sympathy for the ugly sisters in the footwear department. Not for normal shoes, I have fairly normal sized and not overly wide or enormous trotters, but when it comes to boots I run into something of a barrier. A peerie coo barrier. Big calf gate. Now this is not a call for, but oh no you have such dainty legs! But you have lovely legs, don't say that! kinds of sympathy. It is a simple fact, verifiable by tape measure. I am somewhat limited in my choice of boots, and really have to try them on, opportunities for which, when you live far far away, are few and far between.
On a recent trip to the mainland, or "down the road" (the aeroplane road of course) I had a few ideas in mind. Now, I've never been shopping with a boy before but, as accommodating as mine is, I didn't think he'd be keen for lots of traipsing. Neither am I these days, to be honest. I wouldn't say I've ever been a huge fan of shopping, I could take it or leave it, I used to buy things I didn't really like, for no real reason, but now I don't have shops it all seems a bit much going proper city shopping. There are just so many things. So I'd done some research. I had a really nice pair of cowboy boots from Dorothy Perkins once, I thought I'd quite like some more. But being a lady, who wears lady shoes, obviously they don't just make the same nice things again like they do for boys, they make them in different styles, and different colours, and heights and lengths and...sole designs(probably), so if you ever find something nice you should have the foresight to buy 8 of it. Which is easy enough to see, in hindsight.
So, I'd sought out some bootie options, and on the pretence of being on our way home, managed to steer Sir Shop-a-lot into the St Enoch's Centre, where lo-and-behold, there was a Dorothy Perkins. Bee line for the shoes, find two pairs of boots, next step is to find a helpful lady. Now it was medium busy, one lady was on the phone, one on the till another finding things, I wasn't in any hurry, so I hovered, expectantly, about 3" off the ground.
Eventually what seemed, at first, to be a helpful lady appeared. She was from the brusque, scary, middle-aged Glasgow lady school of helpful.
"Uhh...can I try these in a 6 please?"
"Can you not just try the 5, I've been up and down that stairs that many times today already."
"Uhh...well, I'm really more of a 6" I'm not very good at forceful. And the peerie viking, well what hope for him? He's never even driven on a motorway, he was intimidated by a train ticket machine, in Edinburgh, what hope for a scary lady, in Glasgow? I really was in this alone.
"Well, they're big made. Some people take a size smaller." Ok...that sounds almost helpful. Sounds like I'm giving them a shot.
So I sat myself down, took my own shoes off, and tried the boot on. My toes got to the heel, and would go no further. I couldn't get round the heel corner, I did a wee wiggle and pull for show, but it was going nowhere. My heel was still entirely outside the boot.
"Oh! No luck! I think I'll have to try the 6! Sorry!" I said...with light gaeity, as the exclamation marks might suggest, hoping she wouldn't stab me, or breathe fire on me, once I'd extracted my foot from the boot.
"Haud on" we'll switch to some poor interpretation of dialect writing here, "Ah'll get ye a wee bag, it'll slide right in...." she bellowed as she wandered away.
A wee bag...I must have misheard her, or it's what they call a shoe horn in "the business". I was worried...I'd seen a shoe horn, but I'd never used one...I was going to be shamed..."You're no lady! You can't even use a shoe horn! I bet you don't even own one of those defluffing lint taker-offer things! You shouldn't be allowed near fashion, get out of our shop!" I began to worry, looking to my hapless islander for help. He shrugged.
And I saw her coming back, with an approx 10"x8" Dorothy Perkins plastic bag. The kind you might get jewellery in. She handed it to me. I looked at her. This doesn't look like a size 6 tan, low rise cowboy boot, I thought.
"Put your foot in the bag."
"Put your foot in the bag."
"Uhh..." I waited for the most recent incarnation of Jeremy Beadle to leap out from behind the sale stand.
"Put. Your. FOOT. In. The. BAG...it'll slide right in." Foot in bag was evidently not optional.
And so I did. I put my foot in the bag.
"Now put the boot on." She clearly thought I had some kind of learning difficulty by this point. I was convincing myself I was the strange one - how could I not know about this? I'm such an islander...
And I did, I got it on. It did indeed slide right in. The one downside being that I now had a plastic bag in my shoe.
"That's better isn't it? How are they? Do you want to try the other foot?"
"Yes, they are simply splendid! I intend to wear these every day, can I have a year's supply of footbags to go with them? Must I wear socks too? Are the boots waterproof on the inside, surely I will drown in my own footsweat, or develop trenchfoot, if I walk about for the rest of my life with too small shoes and bags on my feet, you chump!" I wish I'd said.
"Hmm...I think they might still be a little tight." Obviously...I just had to lube up to get them on. "Would it be ok, do you think, if I could try the 6?" Person who is paid to work here...to fetch things and convince me to buy them, it will surely do you good to go up and down the stairs a few times, and if it really is such a horrible inconvenience I will happily go myself. Is more like what I actually said.
Needless to say I had to buy them, whether I liked them or not, given the scary lady's exertions in getting them for me. Though I really wish I'd thanked her, and promised to buy them online. I'd really need to grow a set and say these things.
The boots are fine. And, ugly sisters, the next time they come with a glass slipper, just put your foot in a bag. It'll slide right in.