My Jimmy Choos Bring Summer Blues
While I was at my grandmother’s house about two months ago, I noticed my ever so stylish aunt wearing a fantastic pair of flat snakeskin gladiator sandals. Knowing that we have the same shoe size, I asked her if I could try them on. I slipped my feet into them, zipped myself up and watched my feet turned into what I call “duck’s feet” to dainty, exquisite things. “Jimmy Choo,” my aunt said with a knowing smile as she answered my thoughts. And that is where I headed the next morning. “I’m sorry but I think your aunt took the only size 40 we had,” the elderly blue-eyed Lebanese salesman told me as I sulked on the couch in Jimmy Choo’s showroom at The Avenues Mall. Even though my feet are an exact size 40, I still tried on the 41s but sadly, they were too loose. “What about the tan or orange ones?” I shook my head then but now, I regret not snagging the tan pair. Since the salesman said that it was highly unlikely that they would receive another batch, I asked him if he could contact any Jimmy Choo store in the world to ask about the sandals. “I am in no position to do that,” he replied, “But you can contact them yourself and ask if they have them in stock.” He gave me the Jimmy Choo brochure and I ended up contacting every (clueless) showroom in the Middle East asking them about the Wish flat in snakeskin but to no avail. I spent quite a while on the Internet, crossing my fingers whenever I went to Net-a-Porter’s website, browsing through eBay, Googling here and there and even emailing Jimmy Choo’s headquarters, but still, I could not find them anywhere.
The thing is, I never had that shoegasmic experience many women have over a fabulous pair of heels. I think that is mostly due to growing up in a family that has been in the shoe business until the mid-90’s. The three main reasons of why I loved the Jimmy Choos sandals is that one, they were unbelievably comfortable and two, they were great for day and night and lastly, they covered the one thing I absolutely dread to expose to the world: my feet. It is not about being a size 40. Standing at 174 centimeters, I need a sturdy pair of feet to hold me up. It is more about their shape. A long time ago, I was sitting beside my father in my family’s living room. He had propped one leg over the other and was casually wriggling his toes. I started to examine them and slowly realized where the source of my fatty toes, tendency to develop a corn on my third toe that is already hunched over (I call it the hunchback of Kuwait) and most of all, how my toes sort of spread to the side when I stand up as opposed to looking the same when I hold them up in the air came from. In short, they are not the prettiest sight. And years of wearing closed shoes so as to cover them up did not help either. “They’re not that bad!” my mother would say. I would give her a knowing look before saying, “Why didn’t you give me your toe genes!” She would innocently look down at her beautiful white feet, shrug and smile before saying, “Well at least you have feet! Some people are born without them!”
About two weeks ago, my husband and I were invited to a family dinner. As we said hello to a mutual acquaintance, my husband followed my curious gaze and said, “Aren’t those the shoes you wanted?” Naturally, I had told my husband all about my Choo debacle and asked him to make some time to drop by Jimmy Choo's showroom in the UAE when he was there a month ago for business, hence his ability to recall the darned shoe. In any case, back to the girl we said hello to. I smiled, cocked my head at her and said, “You know, I would have killed to get those in snakeskin.” The girl, someone I bump into every three months or so, widened her eyes and grabbed my hand, “You’re looking for them as well!?” Turns out, she too was on the hunt for Jimmy Choo’s snakeskin Wish sandals. “I was at Harrod’s in London in the spring. For some reason, the showroom there had only one pair of the snakeskin sandals,” she told me. When the girl asked the saleswoman about the other pair’s whereabouts, the saleswoman answered her that another woman tried them on and was probably wandering around Harrod’s with the snakeskin sandal on one foot and her own shoe on the other. Eventually, the girl bought the tan sandals and called it a day. “They are the most comfortable things ever!” I smiled and nodded in agreement as I looked at them admiringly. “And they’re great for…” I started before she completed my sentence with me rather loudly, “Day and night!” As we stood there that evening, sharing our blue, Jimmy Choo stories, I wondered to myself if it really is too late or impossible for me to be united with my perfect, comfy and elegant Choo.
Paul Simon - Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
KC & the Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes
Depeche Mode - Walking in My Shoes
The Beatles - Old Brown Shoe