Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jewish assimilation in France

I'd made it nearly a week without buying non-essential items (if we're including mascara as essential - given that it was to replace one that is too old and needs to be thrown out, yes, we are). Then I realized it is not only the sales, but the second round of discounts, and that if I'm going to buy anything in this dreaded currency before I leave here at the end of June, now is the time. That, and the very shoes I'd wanted to find back home, since seeing them on a woman in Battery Park City of all places, were right there in the window of a store that happened to be right next to the place I bought the boots I so adored my last time studying in Paris.

Because stores here note the prices in the window, I didn't even have to go in to realize they were within my if-I'm-going-to-buy-shoes-in-Paris price range. However, convinced I could get a better deal elsewhere, I kept an eye out for something along those lines in the next few hours of wandering, trying to get the OMG-Paris-shoes out of my system. (Over the summer I'd somehow resisted, ending up only with cheap walking-around sneakers, slippers because I hadn't brought any, and rain boots for the same reason.)

All wandered out, and schlepping around some Monoprix dishes and a few very reduced items from a children's-but-not-really t-shirt store that shall not be named, I wound up back at the original establishment. The shoes were, I could now definitively say, my favorite in my price range in the entire 6th Arrondissement. (The shoe-shopping urge is indeed out of my system after this expedition. And did I ever see a lot of bored-looking boyfriends and husbands. My current interest in looking at shoes equals theirs.)

So I went in and asked for my size. The woman at the store told me they had only the size below, but that this would be fine because the shoes are Italian, and their feet, she explained, are bigger than ours. I must have somehow forgotten that I was in France, and although she used "nous," was thinking, why would Italians be thought to have bigger feet than Americans? I then realized the bizarre truth, which is that despite having seen me, despite having heard me speak, this woman thought I was... French. A true, delicate-footed Frenchwoman.

This is not, however, why I bought the shoes. The vanity relevant to this story is that they make me taller. They fill a particular gap in my footwear collection - comfortable shoes with a heel, whereas otherwise I have a pair of boots and another of sandals that accomplish this most daunting of tasks. I can now be a giant of 5'5" year-round.

1 comment:

Withywindle said...

Linus: I am a giant!

Lucy: Giants are thirty feet tall.

[Linus looks thoughtful.]

Linus: I'm a giant among lesser men!