Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lets Talk Shoes

The Quest


The result


No, I haven't freaked out, and yes, its still me writing. Over the past few weeks I have taken my first dip into the world of women's shoes. No, I'm not wearing them. I was buying them. I am not completely unaware when it comes to women's shoes. I certainly enjoy seeing them on women. But, aside from knowing that the thing on the bottom was a heel, I was pretty ignorant. Sure, I know from hearing the screams of women in the office that Nordstroms is having a shoe sale, but I never really gave it a thought.

Well, in the search of a perfect birthday present, I decided I would buy some shoes. A few weeks ago the woman I was buying them for and I had been in a store and she practically died when she saw a pair of what I now know are YSL Tributes. YSL Tribute T-Straps to be exact. Seeing the reaction on her face, I decided that shoes would be a really great birthday gift. I think that every guy is always trying to find a gift that they know their significant other will really love. We don't usually succeed, and so the opportunity was too good to pass up.

So, I began my search. Unfortunately for me, I chose a recession to do it in. You might be asking yourself why that really matters. Well, it means that stores were trying to figure out a way to get people to actually spend money. As I discovered last weekend, the way they do this is by having sales. Specifically, sales on shoes. Women's shoes.

Ummm. I know from television and stereotypes about women that they will fight over a pair of shoes. I also thought that is all it really was. Stereotypes. I was wrong. Last week I discovered that women really will fight, hoard and claw their way to any shoe they like, especially if it is on sale at a huge discount.

I was out of place. There are three stores on Wilshire here in LA that are next door to each other. Barneys , Saks, and Nieman Marcus. At each of those stores I was the only guy there alone. In fact the only men I saw other than me were men who looked as if the idea of death would be a sweet alternative to the madness they were witnessing. It is one thing to be there alone as I was searching for the perfect pair of shoes and quite another to know that Best Buy is not anywhere close.

My first mistake in all of this was believing that because I had been in a store before that I could somehow translate that to the art of shoe shopping. Not so. I had selected several online. Not alone. She had helped and I had about 30 shoes I could choose from, but the purple YSL Tributes were the Mother Load. The gold that I needed to find.

Saks was my first stop. Umm. Bad idea. It was chaos. There were literally hundreds of women who had piles of shoes in their hands. Sales people were cowering in the corner whimpering for their Mom. What the store had done was leave one pair of each shoe out in front on display. Then, if you had a question about shoe size or availability you waited in line with the shoe. Well, women were not taking one shoe. They each had ten to fifteen pairs of shoes. As a result, there were no shoes on the actual sales floor. Instead they were all in the hands of women who were in a line that stretched fifty deep. The wait was around two hours just to find out if they had that shoe in your size. If they didn't, your wait was for nothing. No one seemed to mind though. Apparently a discount that size on designer shoes was worth any suffering. But, I'm a guy so I moved on.

Niemans was my next stop. Busy. Crowded. Sale was going on, but there was no madness. There was though a pair of Mustard color Tributes and they were the right size. Grabbed them. Had to have them. They were not the purple but was I ever actually going to see the purple in person anyway? Meanwhile I asked the sales person about a pair of Burberry heels that were also on my list and were on the Niemans website. Umm, they only carry them online, not in the store. But no problem sir, there is a Burberry store just down the street. Great. I bought the mustard shoes.

So, two blocks down and I'm at Burberry. Almost empty. Obviously the store doesn't need any money because they are not having a sale. So, despite the absence of customers, no one really seems in a hurry to help a lone guy in the women's shoe department. Maybe they just think I have some strange fetish. I don't know, but they are not helping me. So, finally I ask someone if they could help me. They do, and I show them the shoe on display. Do they have the right size? They will check for me. 20 minutes later they come back and say they don't have anything in that size but will take my name and number and let me know when they come in. Great.

On to Barney's. Very helpful people, but sorry sir, all sold out of all the Tributes. Maybe they would get some in next week. We do have some great bags on sale though. Really? Well this whole shoe thing could really backfire, so maybe a nice bag would be good. OK, what the hell. Now I have one bag and one pair of Tributes, but in the wrong color. Back to Niemans.

Now why am I going back there? Well, if I can't find the Burberry shoes maybe I can find something close. My friendly sales person there says how about this pair of heels. Marked down from $900. Yeah. Those are nice. Black. hot. OK, I will get them. Now two pairs of shoes and one bag, but still neither of the two shoes at the top of my list.

Brainstorm. I'm looking for YSL shoes but have not done the obvious. I call YSL and ask if they have any Tributes. Of course they do. I didn't realize until later that YSL calls almost every damn shoe they make a Tribute. So, I trek the four blocks over to YSL and ask for the person who helped me on the phone. While I'm waiting, I see them. The purple shoes. The quest is over. I can hear the angels in my head singing.

One problem. They don't have the right size. The only size they have is almost two sizes bigger than the ones I need. This is going to require a text. "I found your shoes. Can you wear them two sizes too big?" The response. "Hell yes. I will make them fit."

Great. I am so happy. Thrilled beyond belief. After waiting for 20 minutes for them to put one pair of shoes in a bag the size of a small home, I am headed back to Niemans and my car.

Wow. I get home and I can't wait to show her the shoes. In a text I told her that I had not realized that the purple Tributes were a different style than the mustard Tributes, and that I thought all of the t-straps were the same. "Umm, the t strap Tributes are all the same style, hence the name," she said. "No, they aren't," I said. Uh oh. I mean, how am I supposed to know that they make more than one Tribute style in that purple color? I take a photo of the shoes next to each other and send it to her.

Later I heard she was laughing and crying and didn't know what to say. I got the wrong purple shoes. I got Tributes, but not t-strap Tributes. "The vamp is completely different." The vamp? What the hell is a vamp? Apparently the vamp is something down at the bottom that goes over the tops of the feet. I had got it wrong. 8 hours of shopping for nothing. I didn't get either of the two things I went to get specifically for her. Sure, I got three pairs of shoes she would love and a bag, but not the ones that would get the look. That squeal. I was so frustrated with myself. What could I do?

I will tell you what I did. I went to 20 or 25 stores. Scoured every internet site. Made hundreds of phone calls. Oh, and I also ended up buying another bag at Niemans and some perfume and some chocolate. Had to make up for not getting the purple shoes.

So, yesterday. I got a call from Burberry. Good news; they had the right size. Would I have time to come in? Of course. I could get one pair and things would be great. I text her and say they have your size. Do you still want them? Of course she says yes, and so I tell her I am about to buy them. Success. I get there and look at the box. It's the wrong size.

They apologize and will get back in touch with me when they come in. So, the end result of all this is that I didn't get anything I started out to get. The lesson learned here is that I should have dived into that free for all at Saks and got the shoes. Now I know why they were doing what they were doing.

65 comments:

Snautrag said...

Ent. Marry me.

KellyLynn said...

I'm glad you at least found something reasonable.
I've never understood the fascination with shoes. Maybe it's because the idea of trying to find sexy, yet comfortable, shoes made to fit my Fred Flintstone-like feet makes me cringe. I have, like, eight pairs of shoes altogether, counting my sneakers and my snow boots. When I do buy shoes, I carefully pick ones that will go with as much as possible (either brown or black), and then wear them until they fall apart. I do have sexy, flirty high heels as part of my collection, but they only come out when I either need to impress someone or the more comfortable pair of shoes breaks.
But it is pretty romantic that you went through all of that just to find something to make your lady friend happy.

Lian said...

LOL, love the story Enty!

I feel sorry for you - this weekend was the extra special once-only super sale at Saks, so it must have been crazy. Hopefully, the woman in question appreciates your effort!

(the YSL Tributes are gorgeous... and hard to find :-/)

Manda said...

I am not a shoe person

Bags however are another story:)

Manda said...

I am not a shoe person

Bags however are another story:)

Ms. said...

Wow. Enty, I'd adore you for just going shopping for me. I feel your pain - I loathe shopping.

PK said...

lmao, that was great~ nice lil treat after being on my feet cooking for 7 hours straight... thx!!

DNfromMN said...

Enty's whipped. FW is a lucky lady.

Amber said...

Respect to you sir. hahaha

Now you'll have no problem NEXT TIME.

palealebrew10 said...

i've never been much of a shoe person, but that second shoe is delish. for some odd reason, i have a dress obsession-though most of them just hang there untouched in my closet. i have about 60 dresses-pretty ridiculous.

Skezix22 said...

Any man that goes through that much trouble for a woman gets an A-freakin'-plus for effort in my book. Good job big guy! My birthday is in January, I wear a 9.

lapin said...

Rare commenter...

I LOVE SHOES, often to the detriment of my credit balance, but Ent, this is downright silly?!

I mean it's highly romantic and sweet that you would go to such lengths but...

REALLY? Your account sounds a little like indenture. There are so many shoes in the world and eventually what you want shows up somewhere on the internet, even if it's a season behind, but then really good fashion is supposed to be timeless, right?

You get an A for effort, regardless of the results and that matters.

Norah said...

THE YSL TRIBUTES ARE AMAZINGGGG.
i was saving up to get them before i saw the new balenciaga boots.

if the woman who your buying shoes for is a fashion ho, to really impress her, buy her the balenciaga boots.
then buy me some also.

redhotpepper said...

I second what snautrag said! Oh wait, I'm already married but he is out of town. You are one sweet guy for even trying.

Now, my birthday is next Thursday and I'm a 5-1/2, which is a challenge in itself.

not a famous adrian said...

That is seriously one of the sweetest stories I ever read.
FW really is one lucky lady--I hope it works for you.

But I will give you a tip for next time--find a salesperson who will take your info & keep it on file. Then they call YOU & let you know when the sales are, when something you want is coming in, or if they can get it for you from a different location. They will also give you a current store coupon if you don't have one. Shoe departments are usually on commission, & they aim to get you what you want.

Julie said...

i am not a shoe person either...but i could be.
if i didn't have a broken foot right now, i would be ripping louboutins out of bitches hands left and right for black friday.

ok, not really. we're poor. i can't afford louboutins and i'd be an asshole to buy them, at any price.

but omg. kudos for going beyond the call of duty for shoes. Ladyfriend owes you some supernooky for that!

Ace Tomato said...

The Quest for Shoes is one I know well. Bless you ENT - very few men can survive the trenches.

AprilinParis said...

The. cutest. story. ever. You're a doll for going through all of that for her shoes. And her shoes are GORGEOUS; she has great taste!

Carlina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
canadachick said...

AWWW Thanks for the effort Ent I will be expecting the shoes to arrive shortly .....hahahhaa
See this is why you've been married so many times....you're a catch !!

Jerry said...

Ent -- who do you want playing you in the movie version?

And since everyone else is putting in their birthday shoe requests, my b-day is January 12th and I wear New Balance, size 10½ quad wide.

Green Of Eye, Sharp Of Claw said...

You, Sir, are a sweetheart. If my other half took half the trouble you did to find the perfect pressie i'd melt. For some reason your tale of shopping brightened up my morning :)

Nature Girl said...

Oh Enty, I have a crush on you. You can take me shoe shopping at Holt Renfrew next time you come to Toronto :)

FW IS a lucky lady!

Mamacita said...

I always suspected but now I know for sure...Enty is a WOMAN because no man would go through this to buy a gift. They just would not. Ever. Not even Tom Cruise who i suspect loves shopping for women's stuff.

not a famous adrian said...

Oh Mamacita--they certainly would!!
When I was 1st married, my husband decided I wanted a sweater monogramed with my new initials.( Not sure why.) This was pre-internet days, & he spent over a month going to every store in NYC that he could think of trying to find one for me. And I mean every store, because he picked me up something from each & everyone as he searched. He left work earlier than I did, & I never knew what he was going through till he finally broke down & told me he couldn't locate a monogramed sweated for me. (shucks) It takes a special person who really wants to make someone happy, but they are out there. And thank goodness he still hasn't found one.

Harriet Hellfire said...

Haha, awesome story. My husband usually gets me gift cards to go shoe shopping with, he doesn't understand the world of women's shoes at all. Oddly though, when we do go clothes shopping, he can always tell if something will fit me and look good on me. He'll hold something up, and I'll say 'no, that won't fit' and he'll insist that it't the right size. And he's right. And it always looks good on me.

It's like he's just a little bit gay.

jax said...

what recession? lol.
i don't get the shoe thing either.
i mean i like them and have way too many but the high end stuff has all gone truckstop hooker meets the stripper pole to me.

FW better know what a gem she has.
*wink

john said...

Wow, does your lady have a magic vagina? This is quite the story my friend and I give you major up's for going this far but as they say, a job worth doing is worth doing well and props to you for carrying out the quest.

Dschingis said...

so you know why you get a divorce so often....

:-)))))

amster said...

I love the story.HOWEVER, there must be another reason why you went through all of that trouble other than to hear her "squeal in delight". Were you feeling guilty about something and this was a major suckup gift. That would probably be the only reason my hubby would even think of doing something like that. He hates to shop and has zero patience. Nice story though. I love both shoes and bags^sigh^.

alex.meow said...

no, marry me!!!!

jbeebs said...

Oh what a sweet story!

captivagrl said...

i always have more luck finding designer shoes and bags online. ent must really care for this woman to go to store after store.

JJ said...

I see how it is. Enty has found himself yet another true love and is leaving us to rot like a Travolta toupee.

When she marries you then leaves you for the pool man please promise that she won't get us in the custody battle. I hate being stuck in the middle.

And do we have to call her 'mom'?

shakey said...

You're a born writer, Ent. Very enjoyable read.

Let's hope you find out if those shoes match her earrings!

Siren said...

Any man who buys his woman "the" shoes she lusts after is a keeper. My hubby once went aove and beyond to get me the perfect pair of leopard print horsehair peep-toe platform pumps, and my life with him only got better from there.

Some assistance:
Saks has a toll-free number to order the purple YSL T-strap in her size.

The bad news is that YSL no longer makes the purple, from what I can tell. Better hurry.

newsgrrl said...

Bless you for trying!

kelly said...

Great story. I have been married since I was 19 (am now 43) and, while I love my husband more than ever, he just is not the type to do little romantic things. However, 2 Christmas's ago he saw a cup in an antique store window that he knew I would love and bought it for me. I still point it out to everyone who comes over. I am sure your sig other feels the same way I did that xmas day and she will remember this for a long time to come. You may not have gotten the shoes but I am positive you have deposited some brownie points that you can cash in should you (meaning when you)find yourself in the doghouse.

Miss X said...

Enty, where were you on Friday? I missed you!

Love the shoe story. Not sure how I'd justify spending that much on shoes. $50 to $100 is my limit. I do love shoes, though.

And, Enty clearly is a man in love or a man in the wrong to go to such lengths for shoes. He was clearly "hunting" versus a woman's shopping method of "gathering".

Rare Avis said...

Where are you today? Hope all is well...

selenakyle said...

Mmmm hmmm. I think Enty might be gettin' him some.

If so,
You go, Ent!

(If not, hope you're OK).

loco said...

I think our Entertainment Lawyer needs to find a more subtle way to work in product placements.

Jackie said...

Good job, Enty! That reminds me of my first Christmas with my bf. He waited online at a Chloe sample sale in NYC only to have it shut down because the line was blocking the Prada store's 5th Ave. entrance. He came back the next day and they weren't having the sale, but he made friends with the receptionist who told him to come back the next day and he could go to the private sale. He got me two handbags which I still worship to this day (along with him, of course, lol.) He left there thinking I would have really had a heart attack and appreciated it so much more. I still ask him to tell me all of the details, like it's a bedtime story. He's like, "Geez, I don't know. There were just lots of bags." My version of heaven!

RagDoll said...

The funny thing? Before I read the post, I looked at the pictures and I honestly swear this is the thought that came to mind:

"He bought the wrong Saint Laurent's...Can't he tell by the vamp?"

I swear, I actually did think that. I read way, way, way too many magazines (because lord knows it ain't like I OWN these types of shoes..)

K said...

You've got it baaaaad.

But am I the only one that would never, ever, ever spend that kind of money on shoes? Perhaps the girl of your dreams is a wee bit shallow . . .

Jewels said...

Oh dear...
Definite shoe girl - and bags, and sunglasses, and, oh, whatever... - You're such a doll Ent! :D

Jamie's Girl said...

you are such a wonderful man. My husband refuses to hear anything about shoes or purses. I am on my own!

Miss X said...

Can I brag a little about my own guy? He willingly goes shopping with me...no complaining, no rolling of the eyes. He gives me opinons, helps me find things. I think he's a keeper!!

Brainy said...

If he pays without complaint and carries the bags---KEEP HIM...CLOSE

TinyHats said...

Haha KellyLynn, I also have Flintstone feet. It totally sucks, but I have over 500 pairs of shoes. However, I do not have any YSL shoes that probably cost as much as my monthly mortgage payment. And if someone actually bought me a pair, I certainly wouldn't be picky about the "vamp" (which, BTW, is the weirdest thing to call a part of a shoe), I'd just be happy that someone wanted to buy me an expensive-ass pair of shoes, because there's no way on Earth that anyone I know would spend that kind of money on shoes. My husband would laugh his ass off if I asked for a pair of shoes that cost that much (and I KNOW they have to be at least $800 if not more), and if I actually got a pair, my mother would slap me and my husband silly for spending so much on a pair of SHOES. But it would be nice to have a friend who bought me such an expensive birthday present...maybe I need to re-think my refusal to have friends, if this is what they do for you!

TinyHats said...

Oh, also...for you "fashionistas", why does it matter what the brand is? Like, why are Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks and things like that such a big deal? They're really not that original or special, and you could find something almost identical for like, a quarter of the price. So what is it about them? The only really expensive shoes I would buy are ones that are totally original, and cannot be found in a knock-off cheaper version.

But then again, I like really unique and different stuff. There were these shoes, I don't remember who they were by (I think Dolce and Gabbana or some shit like that), with a huge platform and spikes and metal snakes and stuff like that...they were totally unlike anything I've ever seen before, and that's the only type of "high class" shoe I would actually spend the money on, because they were so unique and so, so awesome. But I cannot imagine spending a lot of money on these shoes, or Jimmy Choos or whatever, because they are so ordinary and so easily found in a cheaper version. I have a pair almost exactly like those purple ones (I think it's called peep toe?) and they only cost $20 at Ross...and they are pretty well-made and look expensive, so what's the damn difference?

I'm really curious to know, but I'm thinking it's like flaunting your money...like a way to stick it to other women and keep them from being such catty bitches (because let's be honest here, women are HUGE cunts). It's like armor or something, right?

(So many words about shoes, but this has always puzzled me)

Jackie said...

I like the armor analogy, but for me it's more that I appreciate anything I find aesthetically pleasing and designer bags/shoes just fall into that category. It's like collecting art. My heart actually beats faster. It's kinda nuts! People may call it shallow, but the rush it gives you is just like you get with any other hobby you enjoy. Ad it's a way of expressing yourself. You feel more like yourself when you find things you really love. Even when it's a shoe, lol.

Mooshki said...

This story almost makes me wish I could shop for women's shoes. (Size 10 1/2 does NOT exist in the US.) Oh well, at least my men's shoes are comfy. Oh, and at least I'm not tempted to buy a pair of shoes that literally cost more than my rent.(From a quick Google, the purple pair run around $760.)

-Bigfoot

Wil said...

Oh my god .. I have either gotten really, really old or living in Minneapolis has beaten all the fun out of me .. probably a mixture of both. Frankly, I have several reason where this is totally beyond my understanding:

1. I live in Minneapolis - stuffing into .. and pulling out of your .. tiny designer bag a lovely pair of shoes whilst bending over ever so lady-like to yank of your snowboots and put on your pretty shoes .. ya .. I think not. Besides .. there is really no place here that warrants that kind of fashion .. it's Minnesota for fuck's sake. Why bother ...

2. Did I mention I live in Minnesota?

3. I have never had a boyfriend/husband/lover who made enough money to ever even think about buying me expensive accessories .. much less bought them for me.

4. Did I mention I live in Minnesota?

5. Five years ago, my life was reduced to the monthly struggle to afford my monthly needs of the drugs Prograf and Cellcept while having no job and a husband who bounces from job to job with little concern for benefits. So .. I need to find $1800 a month .. and usually that goes on credit cards that could be used for nice shoes/bags/scarves .. but again .. I live in Minnesota .. why bother.

God damn!! Now I have just been struck by the most horrible thought! It strikes me that Society is telling me .. as a woman .. I should expect these things, they prove I am worthwhile as a mate. Since I do not have them and have not gotten them .. I am therefore shit. Wow ..

Ya .. there is a reason there are no fashion magazines in my home. Who the hell needs a daily visual reminder you don't conform to Society's deal.

Mooshki said...

Hey, Wil, did I mention I also live in Minnesota?

Mooshki said...

Or that when I see women wearing Uggs in Southern California I want to smack them upside the head?

DNfromMN said...

mooshki - my mom is a 10, my female friend is an 11. Nordstrom and Schuler Shoes are your friend. :)

Mooshki said...

Thanks for the suggestions DN, but Schuler jumps from 10 to 11 like everyone else, and Nordstrom's is way out of my price range. At least it's nice to know that 10 1/2s do exist somewhere. I guess I'll have to start haunting their clearance racks!

EWWW, just did a sort at Nordstrom's by price, and most of the shoes in my range are from the Jessica Simpson collection. It figures!

Lian said...

Hey, I'm from Minnesota too :) I wear a 9.5 - 10, depending on brand, so it's not too hard to find stuff in my size. That and I shop a lot of sales :)

To answer another question - I have really wide feet, but I love dressing up. I've found that a lot of the cheaper stuff are very uncomfortable for me to wear. Once I find a brand that is very comfortable, I try to stick with it, since I do a lot of online shopping.

Bad Fish said...

Isn't this the woman who wouldn't give him the time of day when he professed his love?

You can't buy her love, EL. She sounds like a spoiled brat to me, anyway.

elizabeth said...

wow, this is kinda sad. first, you are not supposed to tell someone what their gift is. Who calls and says "do you still want...?" just do it or don't! second, you are kind of up this girl's a$$. As a woman, I would never say, oh yeah, continue to go shopping to get me shoes, she's materialistic and you are like a puppy following her around.
I would never want my boyfriend to be like this! And I would NEVER act like your "gf" did. Seems like she is using you. I'm sorry, but you should not be with someone who makes you jump through hoops and you should never fawn all over someone-ESPECIALLY in the beginning of a relationship! Play a little hard to get!

bramblewitch said...

Enty
You are a better man than I. Well, I am not a man, but I can't imagine you went through all of that for some shoes. And I have to say that the shoes you got are nicer than the shoes you were searching for!

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Nothing like buying someone's love and boring your readers at the same time.

califblondy said...

I'd rather somebody ask what I really want, than surprise me with something crappy.

Jesse D said...

HAHA Bigfoot Deux here. 12. Yes, 12. I only wear men's shoes because I literally cannot find women's shoes that fit, except Payless, and they make my back hurt. So it's men's shoes for me. And I cannot imagine spending more than $50 on a pair of shoes/bag. That blows my mind.