When we were in New York for the Westminster Dog Show last week, I had a free morning.
I didn't feel like visiting art museums, which is my Default Touristing Mode, and, casting about for something else to divert me for a morning, I realized I was in what is likely the Last American Bastion of the Department Store.
Now, I am old enough to remember when there were good department stores in most cities of any size, and they were Aladdin's Caves of treasures—everything you could want or need for your house or yourself. Perfume, furniture, clothing, silverware, shoes, china, and more. Quality items. Ministered to by trained salespeople.
I miss those stores.
I miss those days.
Kansas City, in its Halcyon Days of Yore, used to have more than one of those department stores. Alas, it now has only one, a lovely, exclusive place that specializes in Things For Very Singular Occasions (which are few and far between in my life) and Clothes You Will Never Be Chic Enough Or Anorexic Enough To Wear. I do like to visit it from time to time. It's like a museum of possible (but not probable) lives.
Local department stores of the more day-to-day useful sort, such as they are, are found a 30-minute drive away, in the suburbs, and with one exception, they are—well—down at the heels. Understaffed. A bit chintzy. Rather scruffy.
Might as well go to Target.
Might as well go to Target.
So I thought I'd treat myself while in the city and visit a couple of the grandes dames of department stores. And because I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking, I put on my Comfortable Shoes.
|I know; I know. My shoes are Tragic.|
You know the ones. With the thick, cushy soles and the round toe box. Because it is my Secret Shame that I can wear pretty shoes only if I don't have to walk more than 50 feet (and, frankly, they can't be too pretty, because it is a truism in women's shoes that the prettier the shoe the More It Hurts).
|If you are wearing these, I'm greenly envious.|
If you want to wear them, click this link.
|Very Pretty Shoe. I can't buy it,|
but perhaps you could. Click here.
And sure enough, while I was idly perusing the boots at Lord and Taylor (because it doesn't hurt to fantasize) and wishing my feet lacked nerve endings because I very much fancied an over-the-ankle black pair that was all buckles and attitude, a salesperson approached, and after a quick, derisive glance at my hideous Comfy Shoes that I'm sure she didn't intend for me to see, she asked me quite kindly if she could help me find anything. Because I was obviously having a Shoe Emergency right there in front of her very eyes. And she'd been trained to respond. I hesitated, thinking, maybe, just this once, since I am after all in department store Valhalla, I could throw myself on her mercy, and we could find a Pretty Boot that didn't hurt. Too much.
|The not-without-pain antidote|
to a Shoe Emergency. You
can find them here