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The Column of the Manolo | Manolo's Shoe Blog

The Column of the Manolo

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I’ve been hired by the development department of my alma mater to be a fundraiser in the upper Midwest. I’ll be traveling a lot this fall, and I need to look sharp, so I’m looking for a pair of boots that will see me through from the airport to the boardroom, and back again. What would you recommend?


Manolo says, ayyyyy! The Manolo’s friend has gone over to the dark side, joining up with the only organization more persistent than the IRS, more tricksy than the CIA, more capable of finding fugitives than the FBI: your college’s fundraising department.

Trust the Manolo, the National Security Administation wishes it had the intelligence gathering capabilities of the average middle-sized liberal arts college development department, so efficient are the fundraisers at figuring out where to direct the guilt-inducing letters and politely hectoring phone calls.

“Hello, Mr. Gibbletson? This is Clancy Snaffleton from Faber College, and I’m calling to remind you that the Annual Fund needs your contribution. What’s that, sir? You’re in the Federal Witness Protection Program? Well, sir, we have our ways. Now how about the Class of ’78 Homecoming Fund?”

Here is the Mango from La Canadienne, in the black crinkle finish that is both attractive and weatherproof.

Mango from La Canadienne    Manolo Likes!  Click!

10 Responses to “The Column of the Manolo”

  1. The Thoughtful Dresser September 19, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    There is a joke along those lines about three men shipwrecked on a desert island, one Catholic, one Protestant and one Jewish. To cut a long story short, the Catholic begins to pray, the Protestant gets to work building a raft and the Jewish guy lies down on the sand and starts sunbathing. When asked why he explains that two years ago he gave $50,000 to the United Jewish Israel Appeal, a year ago he gave $50,000, and it’s donation time this week so ‘they’ll find me.’

  2. Evie September 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    Oh, it’s so true. And the ruthlessness doesn’t end there: my small liberal arts college actually sent postcards asking for donations to the newest class of alumni less than one month after they graduated. We’re thinking, “we’re not DONATING money, we still OWE you money!”

    Nevertheless, kudos to the Manolo for recommending boots that are not only chic but also weatherproof!

  3. Jenifer September 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    Love La Canadiennes! Cute and oh so comfy.

  4. Cami September 19, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    This is clearly a joke… No one who is starting out in development can afford boots that cost more than $300 of the American dollars…

  5. qc September 19, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    When my husband got a “begging” letter he wrote across it, “I still owe you money! Why would I want to give you more?!” then sent it back to them. Ever since then (12 years) we have been alumni donation letter free.

    And when his private high school sent him a letter asking him what he was currently doing and could he donate, he wrote back that he had no extra money because he was using it to fund his quest for world domination. Then he invited them to donate to his cause.

  6. daisyj. September 19, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Those boots are perfect– If only I was not on a buying freeze for the fall! And it is so true about the college fundraising departments; I don’t know how they got my cell phone number, but considering it was the graduate school where I had an absolutely horrible, disastrous experience that was calling me repeatedly, I’m afraid I felt the need to be a little bit. . . firm. (But not too much– one does need to have some pity on the poor work-study students forced to turn telemarketer for their beer money.)

  7. rb September 19, 2008 at 4:45 pm #

    Airport to Boardroom? Don’t know if you’ve flown lately (last 7 years?) but Boots + Security Checkpoints = Bad Idea.

    cute boots though.

  8. sfmike September 20, 2008 at 1:12 am #

    Agree with rb on the impracticality of the boots at the security checkpoint, and adore your observation about development departments (of any institution) being ten times more resourceful than our vaunted federal security services. Of course, you’re perfectly correct. Is that why you’re moving to Buenos Aires, by the way?

  9. Diane September 20, 2008 at 11:43 pm #

    Wow, I can’t help but wonder about import/transport/etc fees Zappos has to pay for these – I live in the city where they’re made and on average cost about half that. I’ve not seen that particular model, but I can’t imagine it’s normally twice as expensive as all their other styles were last winter. Those are lovely though, I might have to go look into a pair.

    As for travel practicality, they don’t look so hard to slip on and off, at least. I made the mistake of wearing 18″ lace-up Doc Martens while travelling not so long ago – that was a disaster.

  10. Kimberly September 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm #

    “As for travel practicality, they don’t look so hard to slip on and off, at least. I made the mistake of wearing 18″ lace-up Doc Martens while travelling not so long ago – that was a disaster.”

    So true, as I discovered last year, but it was worth to get the “Cool boots!” compliment from the handsome, younger, punky man being held up behind me as I unlaced my black & white tweed Docs.

    As for alumni department – the Manolo is not kidding. I have changed names and moved 9 times since my undergraduate days, and I no longer have a listed phone number. Yet my undergrad university found me AGAIN. How do they do it???