Lessons of youth

When I was in Sydney last week, I bought some new shoes:


sneakers to replace current pair so treadless they are likely to land self on backside anytime soon.

So what? you think. No big deal.

But is big deal for following reasons:

1. Am tall, and have feet big enough to balance height. Sensible plan, yes? No, not according to shoe manufacturers of my youth, who believed girly shoes should be girly size, ie proportionate to 5’5’’ girlies maximum, not unnatural giants of 5’10”. Subsequent repeated humiliation annihilated any teenage burgeoning of interest in shopping for footwear (or clothes, come to that. Same problem.) Has never recovered.
2. Treadless sneakers only 8 years old, and only worn in winter. What is world coming to, that shoes not lasting forever?

But despite general antipathy to whole project, am thrilled with my new shoes! They fit! And what’s more, they are just marginally OTT for hoary old bat, thus providing sneaky fillip of rebellious pleasure. (But not mutton dressed as lamb, my children assure me, which would not be pleasurable but embarrassing.)

BUT… am having huge difficulty binning treacherous treadless pair and adopting new, funkier replacements owing to long, deep-seated aversion to watching new lose its shine and deteriorate into old and battered.

Har Har, you say. Clothes are meant to be worn, what you expect?

What I expect is that next time I want new shoes, will only be available my size in men’s dept, black or brown.

The lessons of youth are very sticky.


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19 Responses to Lessons of youth

  1. bkpyett says:

    Congratulations Helen on finding exciting shoes to fit you! I would have thought, now that there are more tall girls about, you wouldn’t find it so difficult. Comfort is everything!! ❤

  2. ooh, so swanky for sensible shoes!

  3. I am the shortest in a family of Amazons, even the women are close to and over 6 ft. tall. My husband’s family…same thing. I feel cheated, and was tired of hearing how “nice things come in small packages ! “. Just saying….hangs head with envy. ☺

    • Don’t hang head with envy. Just remember – all comments from Amazons arise from highly developed defence mechanism ingrained in those faced with pygmy boyfriends in teenage years, limited choice of apparel and universal assumption that tall girls are automatically brilliant copers needing no support, comfort or reassurance!

      • Laughing at the pygmy boyfriends..my youngest sis at 6 ft. was always hunched over to accommodate them. It just made her look even taller.☺ Sad about the assumption of coping with life. Never thought about that one.

    • Pygmy boyfriends in teenage years are enough to make you feel unnatural forever, believe me!
      One of my earliest memories was the preschool teacher admonishing me for crying for my mummy when ‘that little girl over there isn’t crying, and she’s smaller than you!’ But she was older.
      And think about it – tall women can’t get away with looking helpless and vulnerable!

  4. I’m short. Just plain short. I was short when I was younger and I am significantly shorter now. So if I am shrinking, how come I still have size 9 feet? My poor son wears 15EEE … talk about hard to find!

  5. Noah Weiss says:

    Feet never seem to be in tune with other body proportions. I like how ungrammatical the post was as well 🙂

  6. ChristineR says:

    “marginally OTT for hoary old bat”
    Snazzy, Helen, those colours are bound to ‘go’ with nearly everything. I’ve never thought about people with bigger feet than mine – I’m 5′.5 1/2″ and if I buy shoes at Rivers I have to go nearly the last shelf for mine. Whatever happened to good old 8 1/2, now I have to look at 39 or 40. 😮 I’m not adverse to buying men’s shoes if they are cheaper. I hate throwing anything out, too, and would rather wear shoes to holes first. 🙂

  7. Monicle says:

    I love those shoes. I would buy those shoes!

  8. Aunt Beulah says:

    Helen, at 5’10.5″ I identified with every word you wrote. Every one. Especially the fear of not being able to find shoes in size 11 and the compulsion to snatch them up in droves when I see them. Thank you for this post; misery truly does love company. You might be interested in my reaction when, at a recent medical appointment, a nurse took my height and told me I am now 5’10” even. I was dismayed; but my next thought was, “I hope my feet are shrinking as well.”

    • I’m shrinking too. Funny, isn’t it. After cursing my height for years, I’m now annoyed that I’m shrinking! But not my feet. Mostly I overcome the shoe problem by going barefoot, but my miserable feet have to be coddled in winter or they get chilblains. Lucky the winter here is short!

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