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Shoe Personalities: Daltord from Robert Clergerie

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoes tell us much about the wearer

Daltord from Robert Clergerie

The Daltord from Robert Clergerie, $595.

Manolo says, it is not easy being the assistant general counsel for the major, Fortune 500, consumer goods corporation, but after several years of clawing your way upward, working 80-hour weeks, and cutting the throats of your competitors and yes, occasionally, your friends, you have achieved just that.

All you have to do now is wait for the general counsel–the genial dunderhead with the 4 handicap and the 28-year-old trophy wife–to mess up, and his job is yours. And you deserve it, too, having sacrificed your first marriage on the altar of your ambition, opening its chest as if you were the Aztec priestess armed with the ragged obsidian knife.

But, whatever, right? It was worth it. You have no regrets. None… Not one.

Yes, occasionally, at night, while you are waiting for the Ambien to kick in, you think about what it was like when you were eleven. About your mother, mostly.

There is this recurring image of her standing at the kitchen sink, slicing tomatoes for the dinner salad. She is humming. You do not even know what the song is, but you know it sounds happy, because your mother, for all of her many faults, always seemed happy, bustling around the house, or playing tennis, helping at the church, going to the garden club.

She should have been miserable, five children in seven years, with your father only making the civil engineer’s salary. But she wasn’t. Not even when the breast cancer was eating away at her. Instead, she was still writing you these chipper letters talking about how poorly her azaleas were doing, and how she was going to give this yellow Hermés scarf that never suited her to the church’s spring jumble sale. She was only three years older than you are now.

Jan is just like her, with her four boys, her petty hobbies– crocheting!–and her rented summer cottage at Cape May. She and Mac have been together 29 years now, married for 26 of them.

You keep trying to get them to come spend the week or two at your place in Paris. It’s not much, just the two-bedroom flat on the third floor of the nondescript building, but the location is spectacular, in the 7e arrondissement just the short distance to the Rue Cler. (You bought these shoes at the Clergerie shop on the Champs-Élysées, which isn’t too far away.)

You should just send them the plane tickets. Get Pat, their oldest, to help you arrange it. Make it the surprise for them, something romantic. You can be there for the couple of days, and then let them have the place to themselves for the rest of the week.

And thinking of this, of your sister Jan and her stolid husband in Paris, actually makes you happy, which reminds you of something else your mother used to say, something you have always regarded as ridiculous, to wit: “The best way to cure insomnia is to help other people.”

Maybe there is something to that.

Shoe Personalities: Trinkletina from Irregular Choice

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoes tell us much about the wearer

Trinkletina from Irregular Choice

The Trinkletina from Irregular Choice, $145.

Manolo says, your life really changed for the better when you finally got enough money to have the full sleeve tattoo on your left arm colored in. Yes, it hurt like crazy for more than two weeks, but now all these cute young guys with mustaches and fedoras are giving you compliments on it.

It is of the geisha riding a Chinese-style dragon, wielding the broad sword, and looking very kick ass. You have named the geisha, “Trixie”, because you secretly wish that was your name, or at the least, your nickname. Trixie is so much cooler than “Jessica”.

If you had to characterize your style, you would say it was “eclectic-retro”, although it is not really that easy to find the 1940s clothing in your size (most of those girls were so tiny back then), so you mix and match, which is why you thought these shoes were so fun.

When asked, you admit to being 29, or “29 and one half” if you are being funny, but you have to be careful not to mention that you graduated from high school in 1997, because then people will do the addition in their heads. In your darker moments, when you’re alone in your tiny studio apartment, you realize this is sort of like how you call yourself the “mixologist”, when you’re really just the bartender who just pops open the cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and pours the shots of Jamesons.

That is how you met your last boyfriend, “Loser Bob”, who was the sort of free-lance bicycle repairman and scrap metal collector. Going with him for nearly two years was not the best decision you ever made.

But these shoes, wearing them really cheers you up.

Shoe Personalities: Mix No. 6 Ariel Sandal

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoes tell us much about the wearer

Mix N. 6 Ariel SandalMix N. 6 Ariel Sandal

The Mix N. 6 Ariel Sandal, $44.95

Manolo says, you love it that your mother named you after one of the Disney princesses, well not really a princess, but a mermaid who becomes a princess, which is way more cooler, because it’s a like a transformation, and transformations are good, right? Unless you become a werewolf, like Jacob, then that would be bad, because you’re totally Team Edward.

Do you want to hear like the funniest thing, ever?

Your best friend from grade school was this Hispanic girl named Belle, which was totally hilarious because it’s from Beauty and the Beast. You were like the two Disney princesses in together in one class.

But then when you got into seventh grade, and you sort of drifted apart, kinda like how that happens all the time. And when Belle invited you to her quinceañera, you didn’t go, because you really didn’t know anyone there, except these two Mexican girls who were in you homeroom class, and this boy, Arturo, whose locker was next to yours.

But, hey, that’s cool, right? People grow, and change. Transformation, right?

Speaking of transformation, you just landed this really great job down at the Aéropostale at the Plaza. The pay is not the greatest, but you totally get a discount on everything in the store, and the manager says they’ll work around your class schedule at Citrus when you start there in the fall. (You’re not looking forward to that, but Mom says you have to, that you can’t go through life with just a high school diploma, because you won’t get anywhere with that.)

Transformation, right? Mom’s big on transformation.

P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s internet friend Amber for suggesting this shoe for the Shoe Personalities.

Shoe Personalities: Zuden-6 from Miss Me?

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoes tell us much about the wearer

Zuden-6 from Miss Me

The Zuden-6 from Miss Me?, $39.99.

Manolo says, hi, you’re Courtney, and you are originally from Alabama, from like this little town halfway between Cullman and Gadsden, and you were the salutatorian of your high school class, but now, at Vandy, that doesn’t really count for much.

You know, it is just these sorority girls from Atlanta, who all have the blonde hair and drive BMWs. That, or acerbic Northern girls with dark hair, from places you’ve never heard of in New Jersey and Connecticut, who always seem despondent but aren’t.

You really, really, really tried to fit in last year, but it was super hard. Let me tell you, those sorority girls spend money. When the Nordstroms opened at Green Hills, the Tri-Delts were lined up around the block, like it was the new cupcake store, or something.

So, in November, you saved up the little bit from what Momma and Daddy send you each month, and you bought some new clothes for the Rush Week, this sort of reddish patterned dress from Forever 21, and these shoes, which look vaguely like what some of the girls were wearing last fall.

You knew weren’t going to get into TriDelt or Kappa Kappa Gamma, because, you know, that’s crazy talk. A) Daddy is the soybean farmer, not the banker, and B) despite what your PawPaw says, you are not “the most beautiful sugar lump in the whole wide world,” especially not since you put on ten of the freshman fifteen.

But, you thought you had the good chance at one of the other houses.

You didn’t, not really.

It was probably the shoes, you know, they weren’t that comfortable, and they actually weren’t what the other girls were wearing by January.

Strangely, you were not as upset about not being asked back as you thought you would be. Your classes went really well last year, and you had the great summer back home. You lost some weight, and two weeks at the Gulf Shoes put highlights in your hair and freckles on your face, which you think look cute.

This year should be great, right?

Shoe Personalities: Keen Newport H2

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoes tell us much about the wearer


Keen Newport H2

The Keen Newport H2, priced at $100.

Manolo says, your name is Rick. Not Ricky, Rick, and you work as the engineer for one of the oil companies doing tolerance analysis, but that is not important.

What is important is that you like to run. No, you love to run, really run. Ten, fifteen, twenty miles the day, much more on the weekends.

Although you run the very respectable marathon times, you have this awkward gait that forces you, when you are in the race, to run more frantically. Thus, it is not unusual for bystanders to shout as you go by, “What’s chasing you, buddy!” (Mark, one of your old running “friends,” would always shout back “Zombies!” People would laugh, which is why you prefer to run alone now.)

You started running again twelve years ago, to combat the onset of the middle-aged spread. And today, you weigh five pounds less (actually 4.65lbs less this morning) than you did when you were in college.

“The best shape of your life,” you like to announce frequently to whoever will listen. Your wife, Debbie, she doesn’t like to run, or exercise much at all, which is why she put on that weight, fifteen pounds. She was not that good looking to begin with, but she was nice to you in your senior year, when the other girls would not give you the time of day. And she has been the good mother to Rick, Jr., taking him to his trombone lessons and making sure he does his homework.

Most mornings you’re up early, four-thirty, and out on the road by five, running. Because of this, you maintain the strict 8:30PM bedtime. Debbie doesn’t seem to mind. She doesn’t like to have people talking to her when she’s watching Mark Harmon on NCIS.

You like these Keen shoes because they’re outdoorsy, and they look cool with your favorite work pants, those khakis ones that convert into shorts by unzipping the legs. So clever. They must have been designed by the engineer.

Shoe Personalities: Phluff Daddy from O’Neill

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoe tell us much about the wearer

Phluff Daddy from O'Neill

The Phluff Daddy from O’Neill, $18.

Your name is Kenny. Not Kenneth, Kenny, and you own only four pairs of the long pants, two of them blue jeans.

Your best friend in the whole world is the chocolate lab named Bo, who wears the red bandanna around his neck, limps from the little bit of doggy arthritis, and is the sort of chick magnet (although he seems to mostly draw only single-mom divorcees who work in diners, and college girls studying recreation science).

You spend most of your time riding your mountain bike around town, reading undergraduate philosophy books, or hanging out at the indie coffee shop downtown, talking to college girls who are studying recreation science.

You’re 36-years-old and you’ve never left this town. Why should you? You were born here, went to school here, and graduated from college here (English, ’98). You even live in the tiny, two-bedroom house your grandmother left you up in the Avenues, stretching out that legacy into infinity (if you can keep your expenses down).

Some mornings, while you’re eating your bacon and eggs in the harvest-yellow kitchen with the avocado green stove, you look at the newspaper and think that maybe you should sell that house and get out of that town.

But then Bo hobbles in and puts his nose on your bare leg beneath your cargo shorts, and you think “Not yet, boy. Now while you’re still around.”

Shoe Personalities: Kenley Lace from Promiscuous

N.B. Psychologists have proven what we already know, shoe tell us much about the wearer

The Kenley Lace from Promiscuous, $48.99.

Kenley Lace from Promiscuous

Your stage name is Mercedes Luv, and you keep telling people that you are just doing this until you complete your phlebotomist certification.

Although, who are you kidding? Right?

On the good night you will bring home, what? $800, maybe more.

And you really need that money. Mama can’t help you, her back all messed up like that, and Krystal’s baby-daddy, Ronny, is off somewhere, doing something, sending only half what the state says you deserve.

So, each night, you get up on the stage, and dance, and take your clothes off, and men hand you money for doing that. But, it is not as bad as it sounds. You were a baton girl in high school, so you’re used to having people stare at you, and you figure you have only the couple more years before you will be too old to make any real money, and then you will have to quit, right?

Shoe Personalities: Ronnie Boot from Jeffery-West

N.B. Manolo says, because psychologists have proven what we already know, that shoes reflect the traits of those who wear them, the Manolo challenged his internet friends to say what sort of people would wear three different shoes. This shoe below is the third of three.

Number 3:
The Ronnie Men’s Boot from Jeffery-West, selling for the $545.

Jeffrey-West Ronnie Boot

Your name is not Sergio, but you wish it were. Your real name is Barry. You are 34 years old, and during the weekdays you work as the limo driver, taking businessmen back and forth to the LaGuardia and the JFK.

You live in Queens, with your widowed mother, the 74-year-old, would-be cat hoarder, who collects Madame Alexander dolls and suffers from the mild case of OCD. You would move out and get your own place, but as the only child you’re “all she’s got, know what I mean?”

Happily, your life is not all limo trips and repeatedly making sure the stove has been turned off.

On the Saturday nights you like to jam yourself into your pair of the too-small Armani Exchange jeans, and head downtown, to hit the clubs…although, over the past few months, your increasing inability to get past the doormen has almost not made it worth going. “Hey, back behind the rope, champ.”

Shoe Personalities: Super Birki White Flowers

N.B. Manolo says, because psychologists have proven what we already know, that shoes reflect the traits of those who wear them, the Manolo challenged his internet friends to say what sort of people would wear three different shoes. This shoe below is the second of three.

Number 2:
The Birki’s Super Birki White Flower Clogs.

Super Birki White Flower Clog

Your name is Joyce, and you are the grandmother of three wonderful “grandbabies”, named Tyler, Braxton, and Kody, by your daughter Linda, the stay-at-home mom/part-time beauty consultant. (Your son, the disappointing Jerry, has not yet settled down at 38, the life of the beer truck driver apparently being unconducive to long term relationships.)

You and your husband Ron are both recently retired. You from 30 years as the relief school bus driver, Ron after 36 years down at the waste treatment facility, where he ended his career as the assistant supervisor.

Now you are ready to really live!

To that end you have purchased the lightly-used, 32 foot, Fleetwood Motorhome which you plan on using to tour this great nation of ours, from the sea to the shining sea! Just you and Ron, and your two Pekinese, Lucy and Ricky.

People do not generally know this about you, but you have the wild-child side, which sadly, now mostly expresses itself in the dishes you take to the potluck church socials, dishes such as Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Salad, and Tater Tot à la Bankok.

P.S. Shoe personality Number 1

Shoe Personalities: Zanotti Platform Sandals E20274

Manolo says, yesterday, the Manolo reported on the new study which revealed that which was already known, that the shoes say much about the wearers.

At the end of the article, the Manolo challenged his internet friends to say what sort of person would be suitable to each of the three very different shoes. Because the Manolo’s internet friends are the smart and witty bunch, there were many good answers left in the comments section.

But now, allow the Manolo to tell you exactly what sort of person wears this…

Number 1:
The E20274 Platform Sandal from Giuseppe Zanotti.

Giuseppe Zanotti E20274 Platform Sandal

Your name is Madison, but you go by Bambi. You are five feet ten inches tall, blonde, and have the surgically enhanced 38DDD bosom, and you are from Crawfordsville, IN, although you like to hide this last fact.

At the moment, you are “dating” the son of the oil sheikh named Samir who has the degree in finance from Arizona State University. You say “dating” because, while it is fun flying in the private jet with the zebra-leather interior to Monaco and Dubai and Singapore, you know that this relationship is not really going anywhere, indeed you suspect that Sam already has the first wife, if not the second wife, back home in Kuwait. But you keep these suspicions to yourself, because, well, because the last time you were in the Abu Dhabi, at the Mall of the Emirates, you went shoe shopping with Samir’s Black Card, and these Zanotti platform sandals were part of haul you brought back to the royal suite.

But maybe, sometimes, you think, it might not be worth it.

Sometimes, in those few minutes when Samir has stepped away from the VIP lounge, and you’re waiting for the waiter to deliver the next bottle of Dom Perignon, you wonder what comes next, and if you could ever really go home.