Battling BSD (Bad Shoe Days)

Some women bemoan Bad Hair Days. I’m more fearful of Bad Shoe Days (BSDs), which are exponentially more detrimental to my mood….

I’m doing laps in a shoe store where the shelves showcase mouthwatering candy colors, glossy skins and sizeable heels for spring. I cradle eight or nine of my favorites in my arms and unload them, all at once, to the nearest sales associate. When he returns fifteen minutes later with boxes stacked so tall I can’t see his face, I’m still giddy, until he says the dreaded words: “Sorry Ma’am, I have nothing in your size.”

My retail buzz is killed: the reason first being obvious, and second being that I should not be referred to as Ma’am for another few years (Miss is a much more pleasant alternative for a woman under 30, no?). He exacerbates matters by telling me he has brought out shoes that “I’m certain to like just as much.” You know what happens next: He lifts the lid of each box to reveal wedges instead of stilettos, navy blues instead of cherry reds, and closed toe pumps when all I really want is a flirty pair of peep-toes. Am I too old to throw a temper tantrum?

No, says my mellow and sage girlfriend Kara, although she suggests that my energy is better spent shopping online. The problem is that I’ve always has this fear that online retailers advertise their goods with the exaggeration of a blind date. I imagine that when they arrive at my door, they won’t be as attractive or as colorful as claimed, or will be severely flawed beyond repair. Seven years ago, I tried purchasing a red swimsuit online to save myself the grief associated with bright lights and mirrors from all angles in department store fitting rooms. The darn thing turned out to be an atrocious shade of magenta, and it sagged on its hanger. After that debacle, I vowed never again to get my MasterCard entangled in the Web.

Until last night. It took me less than ten minutes to find the precise shoe I was craving at Zappos.com: this sculpted Gypsy wedge. That’s less than the time it took the sales associate to locate my shoes in the back of the big shot department store. And what do you know? It was a wedge I wanted after all.

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May 2008
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