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The Bones of the San Valentine

Manolo says, many happy returns for the Día de San Valentín! May your day be filled with joy and chocolate hearts and trinkets made of pure love (and diamonds)!

And now, let us not forget the reason for the season…

The Reliquary of Saint Valentine in the church of San Anton in Madrid

The Reliquary of Saint Valentine in the church of San Anton in Madrid

Yes, those are indeed the boney remains of the San Valentín, or at the least one of the many relics that are claimed to exist.

This nearly complete set of bones, which is one of the lesser known, is in the Real Iglesia de San Anton, on the Calle Horteleza, very near to the place where the tiny Manolo first found employment, many decades ago, in the shoe shop of the Mercurio Albornoz y Bahmonde. Often were the times when the little Manolo would go into the church for mass, only to discover the lovers who bore the cross of stars kneeling in supplication before this reliquary.

As you may see in the picture above, however, the bones of the Saint Valentine are the not especially big deal to the priests who run parish of San Anton. When the Manolo last paid the visit, the reliquary was covered with the dust, sitting alone in the rarely-visited side chapel. (Please to make your own metaphor, personal or global, about the state of modern love.)

And, now, because the Manolo is the beneficent dictator, the shoes suitable for the day of San Valentine!

Louboutin Iriza Strass Crystal Pumps

Here from the super fantastic Christin Louboutin is the Iriza Strass Crystal Pump, the most fabulous sort of shoe to wear to the mass of devotion to the Saint Valentine. And then, afterwards, to the muy romantico dinner tête-à-tête with that certain someone who has your heart locked up in their reliquary of love.

Manolo the Columnist: Demi from Coach

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

Dear Manolo,

Can you recommend a pair of office-suitable flats for the impoverished working girl who’s just started her first job?

Erika

Manolo says, as always the Manolo gives the same advice, to not purchase the cheap shoes of suffering and pain, made from the dubious petroleum-and-asbestos-based products that is advertised as being “leather-like”, but to save the moneys and invest them in the high quality shoes of great comfort and super fantasticness. For it is the well-known fact that beautiful shoes that are well-made and fit properly will make you stand up straighter and feel more confident, which will, in the turn, make your bosses recognize you as someone with whom to be reckoned.

And yet, how well the Manolo knows what it is like to be the impoverished young working person. Indeed, when the Manolo began his career in the shoe industry, so many years ago, as the eleven-year-old Second Assistant Shoeshine Boy in the shop of the Mercurio Albornoz y Bahamonde, he was paid in empty aluminum cans, lunchroom leftovers, and whatever spare change fell from the pockets of the customers. (Oh, you should have seen the magnificent scramble whenever the 100-peseta coin struck the ground!)

Thus, the Manolo sympathizes with his friends who find themselves working for The Man for wages that would not support the pigeon who lived rough in the park. Here is the Demi from Coach, the two-toned ballet flat which is on the sale for $99!

demi-from-coach

Manolo the Columnist: Camelia from Taryn Rose

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

Dear Manolo,

I was recently promoted to a fairly important job, one that requires I be presentable for the public and the press. Because I work in a place with long, long hallways, can you recommend a pair of shoes that will allow me to walk about comfortably while still looking professional?

Allison

Manolo says, oh how well the Manolo remembers that day at the shoe shop of the Mercurio Albornoz y Bahamonde when he was finally allowed to interact with the public.

The Manolo had begun his career in the backroom of the shop, as the Second Assistant to the Associate Boot Black, working diligently, ten hours each day, keeping the shoeshine rags in good order. But after only seven months of this hard work the Manolo was promoted to management, as the Sub-Director of Tissue Paper, responsible for helping the Director of the Boxing and Re-Boxing oversee the placement of the shoes into the boxes. It was in this role, that the Manolo finally encountered the customers.

Happily, the Manolo felt confident as he carried the bundles of fresh tissue paper to the stock boys in the front, because he knew that all of the customers were admiring the beautiful two-tone, black-and-white spectator oxfords that the Manolo wore on that first day in his new position.

Such is the power of handsome and appropriate shoes!

Look, here is the Camelia from the Taryn Rose, the smart, comfortable pump with the little flowery cutout details.

Camelia from Taryn Rose

Manolo the Columnist: Amorita from Betsey Johnson

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

Dear Manolo,

I’m twenty-six years old and I feel I’m stuck in a rut. I know that I’m lucky to have any sort of job in this current economy, even if it’s low paid and a bit of a dead end, but I can’t help but think that things should be better for me. Please recommend some fun, but reasonably priced shoes to help me get past my “quarter-life crisis”.

Chrissy

Manolo says, the Manolo sympathizes with his friend, for he too experienced the similar sort of thing when he had his “eighth-life crisis”.

When the Manolo was twelve years of the age, he found himself stuck as the Second Assistant Shoeshine Boy in the shoe shop of the Mercurio Albornoz y Bahamonde, seemingly unable to take one more step up the ladder of career achievement. It was most dispiriting.

Happily, the Manolo’s solution finally arrived when he decided to go back to school at night, to complete his 8th grade degree. The very next year, all of this hard work paid off, and the Manolo was promoted to the management: Associate Shoeshine Boy in Charge of Laces. This exalted position even included it’s own wooden crate, upon which the Manolo could squat while he labored!

Look! Here is the Amorita from Betsey Johnson, both fun and on the sale!

Amorita from Betsey Johnson

Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I’ve just got my first big career break, an upper-midlevel management position at a new company. I’ve jut turned 27, fairly young for this position, and I’ll be supervising several people who are older and have been in the field longer than I have, so I need to look professional and authoritative without being stodgy. Please help.

Leigh

Manolo says, how the Manolo remembers his own precipitous climb up the corporate ladder at the shoe store of Señor Mercurio Albornoz y Bahamonde.

Already, by the age of twelve the youthful Manolo had achieved the exalted rank of Manager of Lacing in the Department of Boot-Blacking, where he was in command of four other shoeshine boys, including the very resentful Teofilo, who at 57 years of age, was understandably bitter at having been passed over for the promotion.

But, such was the cutthroat and competitive nature of professional shoe shining, in which only the best succeed.

Naturally, at the shoe shop of Señor Mecurio everyone understood the importance of having impressive and authoritative feetwear, shoes which instantly conveyed the importance of their owners.

Here, in the soft black patent leather, is the National from Stuart Weitzman, the handsome shoe with the air of competent authority.

National by Weitzman   Manolo Likes!  CLick!

Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo:

I’m a working girl, and worse, a shop girl. Normally, I’m restricted to plastic shoes from discount dealers, but this year my family gave me $200. I’ve decided the best way to spend it is on a new pair of cute, flirty but practical, black work shoes. What would you recommend that can be worn while climbing ladders, and can be teamed with both pants and skirts?

Valeria

Manolo says, how well, the Manolo remembers his own days as the young shop boy, working in the famous shoe store of the Mercurio Bahamonde y Albornoz. Each morning the Manolo was up early and off to the shop, where he spent the day blissfully working among beautiful shoes and the people who loved them.

Of the course, the salary that Don Mercurio provided was meager, although one could supplement it by taking home packing material, which could be fashioned into perfectly comfortable sleepwear and bedding. And how luxurious it was, in the young Manolo’s tiny, seventh floor, walkup flat, to lie there snuggly warm in the giant pile of tissue paper, shredded cardboard, and packing peanuts.

Look it is the Zia from Juicy Couture, the adorable little black flat that is both flirty and practical.

Zia by Juicy Couture    Manolo Likes! Click!

The Shoesense Review!

Manolo says, here is another review of The Consolation of the Shoes, this one from the Manolo’s internet friend, the Shoesense writing at the ShoeBlog.

What follows is a tour de force like no other–for although it is solidly grounded in that best and most elegant of philosophical tradition of the Socratic inquiry, Manolo’s opus is at the same time breezy, funny, unpretentious, and eminently readable. The Manolo is trying to both grasp the meaning of Lady Fashion’s words and to find that elusive perfect pair of shoes. His quest is peppered with the occasional accounts of Manolo’s pitiable childhood, the description of the boisterous, mustachioed senor Mercurio, Manolo’s first employer, and others of the sort, but also the metaphysical musings on that very serious topic that we all love dearly, the Shoes. Revelations spring out of Manolo’s variegated and amusing prose like rare resplendent orchid flowers from the luxuriant tropical vegetation…

Ayyyyy! How can the Manolo express his gratitude for such the marvelous words?

Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I’m a poor girl starting at the bottom of the corporate ladder, and I need something that is both cheerful and not terribly expensive to wear to work this spring.

Laura

Manolo says, ah the bottom of the corporate ladder. How the Manolo remembers those long ago days in his first job, starting on the lowest rung as the Second Assistant Shoeshine Boy in the shoe shop of the Mercurio Albornoz y Bahamonde.

Yes, the pay was not much—the few fistfuls of pesetas and all the lunchroom leftovers he could steal—but the opportunity for advancement was unlimited.

And through hard work and dedication and the long and arduous hours of polishing the Manolo eventually managed to climb the ladder of success, all the way up to the exalted position of Associate Shoeshine Boy in Charge of Laces! He even had his own corner box on which he could squat while he labored!

Ayyyyyy! Those were heady days of success for the young Manolo.

But, then, sadly, the shoe shining was outsourced to street urchins and the Manolo found himself having to start all over again at the ripe age of thirteen. But such is corporate life.

Here is the Cargo from the Franco Sarto, the cute and breezy wedge heel shoe that would enliven the spring day of corporate climbing.

Cargo by Franco Sarto   Manolo Likes!  Click!