Allaire from Liam Fahy For the Monday

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are furiously attempting to find suitable gifts for the most difficult person on your list, your mother.

What does one get for the woman whose chief entertainments seem to be working at the soup kitchen and attempting to run down pedestrians in crosswalks?

“That is a woman in a hurry,” says your husband Gary, half-admiringly, as your mother squeals tires away from your home on Saturday, “and she’s probably going to kill someone.”

But, you were not paying attention. Your mind had already begun to wrestle with the eternal problem, what to get someone who has everything, wants nothing, and is crazy.

Buying the gift for your mother-in-law, Blanche of the Biker Gang, was easy. You bought her the new e-book gadget thing and loaded it up with the collected works of Zane Grey.

“The perfect gift,” said Gary, “she can keep it in the saddle bags on her bike.”

But for your mother, the dangerous woman of seventy-something, such things would probably not be suitable. She has never been the great reader, picking up mystery novels, and then putting them down before the ending, often with the announcement that “I figured out who did it. No reason to finish.”

She is not possessed of great vanity or girlish charm, which would enable you to give her the perfume or the Hermés accessories. Indeed, for the past fifteen years the ladies at the Villa Charisma Hair Salon have been perming your mother’s hair into the short ‘do most favored by progressive nuns and prison matrons.

Nor is she especially sentimental. Yes, there are the obligatory photos of you and your siblings, and the various grandchildren on the walls of her home, but nothing like the shrines to family you have seen in the homes of many persons of your acquaintance.

It has always been easy to shop for your father, as he has the panoply of esoteric hobbies, such as marquetry, model railroadry, and antique car restorationry, which keep him out in his workshop and away from your mother for much of each day, and which have the bewildering number of accessories and publications suitable for giving as the gifts.

The problem is that the main occupations of your mother are charitable and religious.

She plays the organ at the church on Sundays, (famously adding modern flourishes to traditional hymns, such as the time she slipped the bar of Hoagy Carmichael into “The Old Rugged Cross”). Then she works at the Humane Society on Mondays, the local soup kitchen on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and with foster children who have aged out of the system on Fridays. She sends checks to anti-malaria organizations in Africa, prepares Christmas gift boxes for orphans in Honduras, and has been known to bring random crusty punks home for sauerkraut and kielbasa supper.

She drives like the maniac because she feels that time to do good is limited.

“You know what she’d like best,” says Gary, as you walk up the driveway together, “that we go down and help her serve Christmas dinner at that soup kitchen.”

He’s right, of course…

Look! Shoes!
Allaire Sandal from Liam Fahy

Here is the Allaire strappy sandal from the hot young designer Liam Fahy; the perfect momentary diversion, before you concentrate on the things that matter most.

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10 Responses to “Allaire from Liam Fahy For the Monday”




  1. Eric Says:

    Thanks a lot MtSb, I had to go look up marquetry.




  2. Dani Says:

    “perming your mother’s hair into the short ‘do most favored by progressive nuns and prison matrons.”
    That line right there is going to make me smile all day. Though we live thousands of miles apart, I know exactly the style to which you refer. The perpetuation of that haircut is a very minor Mystery as such things go, but I have no doubt that it is one.




  3. annie Says:

    For the difficult mother, flowers and food.




  4. Bronwyn Says:

    The Manolo has gone all Christmas Spirit-y and taken Gary along for the ride. Nice.




  5. Lori Says:

    Except for the crazy driving, this person sounds just like my Aunt Helen.

    Beautiful shoes, but I’m having a hard time imagining Aunt Helen of the poodle perm, senior nutrition program and church organ wearing them.




  6. Manolo the Shoeblogger Says:

    No, no. These are not gifts for the mothers, or the Aunt Helens.

    These are to sooth the jangly holiday nerves of the Manolo’s beloved readers, who like to look at the expensive shoes and daydream about wearing them. It is the sort of therapy.




  7. Lori Says:

    Ah, that makes more sense–thanks for the clarification.




  8. Downunder Sugarglider Says:

    Hmmm – that Gary, often wiser than one would imagine from first impressions




  9. theDiva Says:

    I really want to be like Mom when I grow up. Especially the squealing tires part.




  10. Lisa from SoCal Says:

    I am going to die because I do not have these shoes. I personally favor the cash donation to the soup kitchen in Mom’s honor.













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