Tag Archives: shoes

Origins #7

21 Jan

After all the blabbing in the previous Origins post, we’re finally getting to the juicy stuff.

“You can afford it”

In the week leading up to the Friday after-work drinks I had scheduled with Rene Everlong to meet up with her and her colleagues, Rene was extra communicative with me. In one email, Rene asked me about my car. I explained what had happened and that I was considering buying a new car to get around in while the Capri was being worked on.

Rene asked me which car I had in mind, so I showed her the magnificent Focus RS which I had been lusting over since I heard it was coming to Australia.

Something like this

Something like this

I think they were asking something like $75,000 for one of these in Australia. I was making good money but it would have been very unrealistic for me to try and buy one in addition to paying off my mortgage on my shitty little apartment. Still, a man can dream. What caught me off guard in Rene’s response was that she said something along the lines of “You should totally get that. You can afford it!” I remember thinking, “How the hell would she know what I can afford?”. But whatever, I told her I’d think about it.

Talking about kids

On the Friday that I was set to meet up with Rene at the pub, I ended up falling into a long conversation with her sister, Laura at work. I don’t know how or why it came up but Laura was talking to me about things you should let people know before you get into a relationship. One of the things Laura pointed out is whether or not you want to have kids.

To baby or not to baby?

To baby or not to baby?

Laura was saying, “It’s such a big thing, and that people don’t want to waste time with someone who doesn’t want the same things as them”. I agreed with her. I still do. That’s such an important thing that you’d better get your opinion on it out of the way early. Can you imagine being with someone for 3 years and feeling like it might be time to have kids and not knowing if they even want kids? How the hell do people live that way?

It turns out there was a reason Laura was talking about that, but that’s for later. At the time, I didn’t know what was up, and something about that particular conversation further reinforced the vibe I’d been getting about Laura not really being solidly with her boyfriend anymore.

After work drinks

I was looking forward to catching up with Rene at the pub but at the same time, it wasn’t really a big deal to me. I half expected her to not show up, because she’d done that to me several times by then. But show up she did, and with colleagues in tow as promised.

We introduced everyone to each other, grabbed a few drinks and got the night under way. Having been introduced to the ‘weird’ guy, I was keeping an eye on him for any strange behaviour. He was a bit of a know-it-all and a bit loud, but there didn’t seem to be anything especially wrong with him.

Rene, on the other hand, was acting a bit different to usual. She got up to get a drink and came back with two glasses of red wine for herself and two pints of beer for me. We started chatting and were having a good time and I was trying to take it slow on the drinks but Rene kept asking my why I’d hardly touched my beers.

Somewhere in the conversation, she looks me right in the eyes and says… “How do you want to die?” I stopped and stared at her for a second and said “Hey, Rene, remember when you asked me what people shouldn’t do on a date? Just so you know… asking people how they want to die should go on that list.” She laughed and explained she’d been talking about that question with her colleagues earlier in the day. That made sense so I had a laugh and on went the evening.

Additional faces get in on the act

Friday night drinks was an institution by this point and because of its unfailing reliability and recurrence. We’d often have some people come join us from Everlong’s other office. The other office was the company’s headquarters, and occasionally the girls from the admin section there would come over and gossip up a storm with everyone from the office I worked at.

A few of those admin girls had come down to The Chesterfield this particular Friday night, including a young lady by the name of Tash. Tash had been with a boyfriend for a long time but they’d broken up recently. She’d always been quite the flirt, but since the break-up, the volume on that behaviour had cranked up to 11, and a fair bit of it was fired my way.

I didn’t mind. Tash was cool and fun and easy going and she worked at the other office anyway, so I wasn’t too stressed about it causing any dramas. I was quite willing to flirt back with her but I wasn’t trying to make anything happen with her. It was just a bit of fun.

In addition to Tash being there, Angelica had also turned up. I mentioned Angelica a while back, she’s the friend of a friend of one of my colleagues and I’d been getting up to some bedroom shenanigans with her since my birthday. It turned out the colleague who’s friends with her had told her to come down for some drinks with us.

I didn’t mind that either, because Angelica is also a really cool, fun individual. It was a bit strange about not knowing that the woman I’d been sleeping with was going to join us, but I figured that was just a part of the very casual approach we’d been taking to hanging out with each other.

You’re in charge of making sure I don’t embarrass the Everlong family name

Rene had made a point of being next to me as much as possible. She was keeping an eye on my drinks and any time it looked like it was getting half empty, she’d ask if I was ready for another. She was also doing a surprisingly good job of finding her way to the bottom of the glasses of wine she’d bought and seemed in a particularly energetic mood.

winess

At one point, Rene leans in and says, “You’re in charge of making sure I don’t embarrass Everlong family name tonight”. I was interested in this girl and all I took that as was her telling me she wanted me to be around her all night. I thought of that as a good thing. I told her “Sure” and just tried to keep a tally of how many drinks she’d had as the night progressed. I didn’t do a very good job of keeping track, mostly because she kept encouraging me to drink and because she kept telling me she “wants to have a fun night”.

I hate to see the evening sun go down

The drinks kept coming, the people kept laughing and having a good time, and the sun slowly sank behind the wall out back of The Chesterfield.

We’d started with a pretty big group that Friday night. We must have had about 20 people there at the peak of it. Everyone was enjoying themselves but as is usually the case on a Friday night, people had places to be. The numbers began to drop as some of the Everlong crew and all of Rene’s colleagues, including the not-so-creepy creepy guy, headed on their merry way.

That meant that Rene, who had now had 3 glasses of wine and was in no shape to drive, would be hanging out with us until she was either sober enough to drive, or decided to get a cab home instead.

Tonight, we feast!

By this point it was time to eat, and we were down to about 9 people. We headed over to the curry joint over the road who were always good at finding a way to fit us in. They squished a few tables together, shuffled some other diners around and managed to squeeze us in.

So there I am at the table with, among others, Tash, Angelica, and Rene. Each of these ladies had been showing me significant interest and I was just trying to keep cool in an unusual situation.

Out comes the food! It’s bloody great food there and everyone was chowing down and yapping it up. It was great!

I wish everyone would stop treating me like I’m Tim Everlong’s daughter

Rene was being quite friendly, and I, as usual, was trying not to reciprocate too much. She kept pointing out when I didn’t have a drink or if I was a bit reluctant to be too jokey with her or whatever, and I pointed out to her that it’s a risky thing for me to be getting too friendly with my boss’s daughter.

Rene looks at me with this frustrated, annoyed, half-defeated expression and says “I wish everyone would stop treating me like I’m Time Everlong’s daughter. Why can’t anyone just see me as my own person? Why can’t I just be Rene?”

It took me aback. I was surprised partly because Rene seemed to always be so associated with her family and I’d never noticed that it bothered her. It never occurred to me that anyone could be unhappy to be associated with a prominent family who are known for their charitable contributions and successful business ventures.

In the moment, though, I could see that it was a weight on her, so I decided I’d be a bit less guarded when dealing with her.

And then shit started to get weird…

Tash is sitting at the other end of the table, which made it difficult for us to talk directly. To remedy this, she starts messaging flirty things directly to my phone. Angelica, meanwhile is sitting across from me and has decided it’d be fun to start playing footsies with me under the table. And Rene is, of course, sitting right beside me and leaning into me, being very flirty and inappropriately touchy feely with me.

I admit that I was feeling pretty good about the fact that all three of these ladies were vying for my attention, but it’s not like I set up the situation to turn out that way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t like things to be complicated and I don’t like drama. Complicated usually means stressful, and I just don’t want stress in my life.

Anyway, all three girls were flirting with me and I was trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. Luckily, with a table of 9 people in a very busy restaurant there’s enough cross-talk that these shenanigans are going unheard by the other people at the table, which was a nice bonus, but it was still a very weird situation to be in.

It’s not like I was doing a good job of calming things down either. With Angelica being so friendly under the table and Rene being so friendly above it, and me with about 4 pints of beer in me and Rene demanding that I treat her like I’d treat anyone else, I was stupid enough to suggest Angelica and Rene should kiss. Angelica looked into it, and Rene half considered it but then laughed it off.

I think that’s pretty solid evidence that I was already not making the best decisions that night.

Tears in heaven

Just to add a bit more chaos to the mix, a little after the suggestion of a girl-girl kiss, I mentioned to Rene how highly I think of her sister, Laura. I praised how smart and sweet Laura is and said that I think her father must be so proud of her for running the office that I work at.

Rene suddenly starts crying, silently while looking at me.

I had absolutely no idea why there were tears running down her face from me complimenting her sister. I leaned in and asked her what’s going on and tried to make sure nobody else could see that she was crying. She tells me “It’s nothing. It’s OK. I’ll be fine. Please don’t worry about it.”

But she’d charged me with not letting her embarrass the family name, not to mention the fact that I liked her, so of course I was worried why she was crying. The last thing I wanted was to make her cry. Sure, I was being cheeky suggesting she kiss Angelica, but I genuinely cared about Rene. I didn’t want her to be upset, least of all because I said or did the wrong thing.

I didn’t see how complimenting Laura could possibly upset Rene but no matter how many times I asked Rene, she just kept telling me not to worry about it, so I stopped asking and tried to carry on with the night.

Karaoke dreaming

Everyone was finishing up with dinner and people were deciding what to do with the rest of their night. Rene had overcome what ever it was that had caused to her to cry. Angelica was still playing footsies with me under the table and Tash was still messaging me from the other end of the table and I was trying not to encourage any of them because, once Rene started crying, I was too worried about her to be very interested in flirting and playing around.

Then Rene sprang to life and told the entire table that she really wants to go do Karaoke and she wanted to know who would come with her. The response was not favourable. Everyone there was pretty happy to chill out with a few more drinks and then call it a night.

I didn’t want Rene driving or heading off by herself, and she’d just been crying too, so I told her I’d go with her. I was hoping that belting out some Karaoke might raise her spirits and she had charged me with keeping an eye on her. I won’t pretend I wasn’t keen to spend time with her alone, too, but that wasn’t the main reason I volunteered.

So Rene and I said our goodbyes and headed out of the restaurant.

Costume change

Having come straight from work, I still had my uniform on. My uniform only consisted of a polo shirt with the company name on it, but I thought it best to get out of that before heading into the city. I told Rene that we’d have to do a quick stop at my place so I could change, and then we’d be on our way. It’s a bit of a walk from that Restaurant to my shitty little apartment, so I asked Rene if she’d rather walk or catch a cab. She said something like “It’s a nice night, let’s walk and get some fresh air”.

That walk would normally take about 20 minutes if you’re stone cold sober, but we sure weren’t that night. It was pretty fun though. Rene seemed to be full of life again and we were laughing and playing around the whole way. She was comparing certain colleagues to certain cartoon characters and trying to show me on her iPad that they were twins.

It was really nice. I was finally getting to spend a bit of time with Rene away from everyone else and it seemed like whatever had made her cry had been and gone. I’ve had a few walks like that with girls. There’s just something about those occasions. There’s a tension in the air, but it’s a good tension. If you’ve experienced something like that, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Trollied

I mentioned that the walk was taking longer than normal. A side effect of this was that Rene’s shoes had started to get uncomfortable and were hurting her feet. Rene spots an abandoned shopping trolly and asks me if I’ll push her in that.

“Seriously?” I asked her. “Yeah, come on! It’ll be fun!”

Like this, sans groceries

Like this, sans groceries

You know how challenging it is to control a shopping trolly at the supermarket on those perfectly flat floors? You know how you’re constantly battling that one wheel that’s just doing its own damned thing? You know how a trolly just doesn’t give a shit about where you want it to go, be it in a straight line or to change direction?

Yeah, well you should try it on footpaths and roads on hilly streets when the cargo is your boss’s daughter! It was a challenge to say the least!

Again though, it was heaps of fun. We were giggling like school kids. I guess part of it was knowing that we were doing something completely ridiculous that we absolutely shouldn’t have been doing. Another part of that giggling might have had something to do with the fact that we were also getting closer and closer to my place…

Next time

I’ll tell you all about what went down with my boss’s daughter in my shitty little apartment. Spoiler alert, we didn’t end up going to karaoke.

Crazy bitch tip: If you can’t walk in your “shoes” for 20 minutes without suffering significant pain, stop calling them shoes.

Buy shoes that fit

14 Jun

Ladies, gentlemen, people on the spectrum that don’t identify as either, let me point out to you all that there is one rule of purchasing footwear to which you should always abide. That rule is to buy shoes that fit.

Ignoring reality

This rule applies to all adults in all circumstances (emergencies excepted). While you may be able to convince yourself that you fit into a smaller size pair of jeans than you really do by squishing your flesh and fat around until you finally get that button to hold, that only works because that’s a part of the body that happens to have flesh and fat. Either way, you’re not fooling anyone, we all still see that you don’t fit. In Australia we call this “Muffin Top”, see figure 1 and 2 below.

Figure 1: Muffin-top

Figure 1: Muffin-top

Figure 2: The classic muffin-top + tramp-stamp combo.

Figure 2: The classic muffin-top + tramp-stamp combo.

Muffin-top is unpleasant and is to be avoided but at least it’s not going to leave you permanently disfigured. Feet are a whole different world, however.

Feet are made of bones

This same effort towards self-deception does occur when it comes to footwear but it takes a bit more of a separation from reality. Behold figure 3, an instance in which the person wearing the footwear is the only person convinced that her shoes actually fit.

Figure 3: Toe danglers

Figure 3: Toe danglers

It’s quite possible that I know less about women’s shoes than anyone to have ever graced this planet, yet even I know that these don’t fit. You see, feet are made of bones, and bones aren’t as malleable as fat or flesh. You can’t really squish a bunch of bones into a poorly fitting container. This fact is the reason we see things like the “random toe overhang” or the rare but impressive “superfluous side toe”.

Toe popper

Figure 4: Toe-pop

Interestingly though, I believe this is actually a better than the disturbing trend which is rising in popularity in some of the wealthier parts of the world lately.

A trend has emerged

What trend? Yeah, umm, well… essentially there’s a brand of shoes out there that are very desirable but are designed to fit a only a few foot sizes. Instead of connecting the dots and recognising that expensive shoes should fit better than cheap shoes and that shoes that don’t fit are a bad way of spending your money, there are women out there in the modern world who are actually paying to have their feet reshaped by surgeons so that they can squeeze into the shoes they so desperately desire.

I know that my lack of fashion nous perhaps makes me a less credible voice on this matter but if you ask me, surgically modifying your body to fit it into anything is pretty fucking nuts. I’m talking crazy-bitch level nuts. I’m talking “I don’t know if your vote should be allowed to impact the democratic process of your country” nuts. I’m talking “Holy shit, some of these people are going to have children and apply the same line of thinking to them and then we’ll end up with a generation of children customised to fit into fictional daydream that relates in no way to reality” nuts.

In a bind

In case you’re unaware, a similar practice became popular in China about 900 years ago.

Apparently one of the emperor’s in house prostitutes filled out her shoes in an attractive way and also had a nice way of walking. Competitiveness being what it is amongst the wealthy, next thing you know wealthy men throughout the nation also wanted the women they owned to have a similarly nice way of filling out a shoe. Of course, it did not matter to these men that the way this was achieved was for the women’s feet to be so tightly bound that over time the bones would eventually curl and distort and grow into a shape that filled out the shoes well. Neither did these wealthy men show much concern that women whose feet were bound (often from childhood) would lose the ability to walk and would have to be carried around the place by servants. I mean, who cares right? As long as one of your favourite female possession can fill out a shoe, crippling her is a fair trade off. Totally, nothing wrong with that… unless, you know, you actually have a soul and consider mutilating and crippling people to be a bad thing.

Even going back about 700 years there were people in China fighting against this practice. They called it barbaric. An emperor even attempted to have the practice banned but no, mangled feet filling out pretty shoes continued right the way up until the early 1900s.

The Manchu Emperor Kangxi tried to ban footbinding in 1664 but failed.[1] In the 1800s (19th century), Chinese reformers challenged the practice but it was not until the early 20th century that foot binding began to die out, partly from changing social conditions and partly as a result of anti-foot binding campaigns.[2] Foot-binding resulted in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects, and some elderly Chinese women still survive today with disabilities related to their bound feet.[3]

Totally worth it to make a shoe fit nicely.

Totally worth it to make a shoe fit nicely.

Read more about this madness at wikipedia

Progress

100 years ago the Chinese outlawed the practice of warping feet and yet here we are today with women choosing to warp their own feet purely for the sake of fashion. That’s not progress. That’s a failure to educate human beings to value their bodies above a current trend or a temporary desire. Some things just aren’t made for you and that’s ok. Your life will not be better as a result of surgically modifying your feet to fit into a pair of shoes. For the love of all that is good in the world, please consider the fact that having a functioning pair of feet is something to be thankful for and that no pair of shoes is worth risking that.

Crazy bitch tip: For fuck’s sake, stop spending money on hacking into your body so you can then spend more money on shoes that were never designed to fit you in the first place. BUY SHOES THAT FIT.

 

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