It used to be, that if I went shopping early enough in the season, I could find the one "sample" size in a particular design that might (and I emphasize might) fit me. Of course this excursion precluded me from ever purchasing my footwear on sale. Today, the sample sizes are at least a 5 1/2, so even if I was interested in mortgaging my house for boots, it has become impossible. (Shoe warehouses like DSW and Broadway Shoes may be great for the average shoe shopper, but are instruments of torture for me. All those shoes and nary a one for me!! It is like taking me to Hershey Pennsylvania and telling me that they ran out of chocolate. Oh, the humanity!) The suggestion that I look in the children's department has been made to me on several occasions, and believe me, I have shopped in the "Kiddie Kobbler" section of the store more than once. The issues here are twofold. Firstly, kids shoes are designed less for style and more to encourage appropriate walking and posture in younger bodies. (Stunning that we should demand such things for our children, but be totally oblivious to them as we get older. I mean, no body was designed to be carried in 4 1/2 inch stiletto heels!) The square toe and wedge heel has a purpose and is probably far more comfortable, but the "Mary-Jane" patent leather party shoe isn't quite what I had in mind for my little black evening dress. Secondly, kids shoes look great in pink and hot green with maybe a bow here and a buckle there, but again, not really appropriate on this 46 year old foot.
I have also be directed to a wonderful Asian-run mall in the north part of my city. Asian women, I am told, tend to have smaller feet and this mall caters to the community. I did try it once or twice, but again, not quite my style. There used to be a wonderful store down here in the south called Marmi's and they dealt exclusively in petite sizes, but they have recently closed shop and I am back to square one. I have about reached my limit. I have ranted in this space before about the world ignoring those of us that don't conform with the average; those of us who are slightly outside of the box. My conclusion this time is that I will just go barefoot. So, if you see me traipsing around the city this summer without suitable footwear, understand that it is not my choice. I intend to challenge all of those establishments that state "No shirt, no shoes, no service!" I promise you all that I will wear a shirt. (Sorry to all of you who got too excited for a minute!) The shoes might a bit more difficult to come by.