Two little Boston Terrier girls bring their Momo & Mr.Momo to Paris for a long stay. These are the tales of their very fine adventures.

14.6.07

Madam! The Feet - Too Large - L&P Say Mon Dieu !


Really???? I didn't know that until you told me, the entire store, and pretty much the people on the street as well. HELLO. NOT. DEAF. Usually it is the Americans who speak loud and slow to the French as though they are deaf and stupid. Guess it was dumb American day.

Here is the story. Last week I wandered in to a shoe store near our itty bitty apartment because the sign said they had shoes up to two sizes bigger than my giant feet and I could use some shoes. That is, after two weeks of reading the sign and finally translating it. I had L&P with me and they were amazingly good girls. The saleswoman spoke no English, but could say "ok". I felt bad telling her that most of the shoes were "non ok" but she was still nice and cheerfully fetched more shoes in my size. I got three reasonable pairs of shoes and felt sure I had discovered a great store.

So I go back today in search of sandals and maybe some good shoes that I can actually walk around in. I am always perplexed at women who can wear heels and look happy walking around. I figured perhaps their shoes fit? Or they take some pretty good happy drugs. So I thought I would try it. The shoe shopping for heels, not the drugs, though after today I probably should have some of those too.

I learned the first time that you have to pick your selections from the window display outside because they have nothing but purses on display inside. Yes, odd, but heck, all shopping here is strange in some way. So I take my time, in the rain (did I mention it was raining - again?) picking out my choices. The saleswoman who was "assigned" to me came out of the store and dragged me in after I showed her my choices and the look on her face was a photo moment when she looked down at my feet. At least my pedicure was new. Her eyes popped out of her head like she had never seen big feet in Birkenstocks before. Lord knows -she works in a shoes store that sells up to size 15 women's shoes for peets sake. Mine are an 11.5 or 12, and while yes, that is canoe paddle material, it ain't as big as she ought to be used to in that store. My favorite saleswoman, alas, was "assigned" to someone else. (The manager, the only man in the shop, assigns someone to every customer as they arrive- when he isn't outside smoking).

Every shoe I pointed out was given the big "sigh" and a large "non - the feet - too large". I told her that they will fit if she gets the right size, and I am trying to say this in French because she knows only the phrase, "the feet -too large - those shoe no good" (pointing to my Birks). She repeated this with every shoe I picked out.

Once you point out your choices, you are taken upstairs - where I can only guess are the bigger shoes since I was directed up there before. Downstairs is reserved for smaller feet apparently. Thankfully there is a catalog upstairs and I could point to a picture of the shoe, checking the size range, and she would respond each time, "non non, the feet-too large". I would show her the size range printed in the catalog, and say oui, oui. We went on like this for everything. I found one great shoe, I loved this shoe but it was, wait for it........too big. Yes, indeed. Too big. She said "smaller one done". I asked if more will come in, and got "non, non, all done". Then she said "you take". I said maybe. She said, "you take". I said, uh, shrug? I pointed to another shoe and she said, "non non". I said oui, oui and showed her the numbers in the catalog.

She goes off to the stockroom, barely three feet away, swearing this time, like if I can't understand French, I can't hear her. Humm. What do you think the most popular phrases are in all the French phrase books? Oh yeah. Those. I actually thought it was pretty funny because she did keep coming out with shoes in my size though she was swearing like a sailor the entire time.

She did insist that one or two of them were very good. "Very good shoe". One was way too narrow and the other one, while nice, had my heel hanging off the end. That could hurt pretty quickly.

Then came the best part. She practically spit when she came back the last time to tell me "non, non" in my size. "American took all the shoe". I was getting the impression she thought all American women had big feet and it upset her very much that they took all the "shoe". I think the logic of this being a shoe store with big sizes might have escaped her - the rest of American women with regular size feet would not show up at her store.

So, the big decibel chatter continued and now we had 6 pairs of unusable shoes on the floor and she wanted me to pick one. Huh? Pick one what? Even the pair that was too big was now up for grabs because apparently she was done. I had taken up 20 minutes of her time, and she was pointing to her watch to tell me to hurry up and pick. She included a few extra impatient mumblings (again the phrase book comes in pretty darn handy).

I almost bought the shoes that were too large, but the back looked stupid with that large gap. I just couldn't do it. And the clincher was the way she huffed and puffed and talked more loudly as I was thinking. I have noticed that thinking about a potential purchase is not always allowed when you shop here. Just as I was on the fence and could have gone either way, she started in on the putting stuff away, and telling everyone loudly and slowly again, because Americans are deaf and stupid - "feet too large". All the way down to the first floor through the first floor and out the door. Meantime my feet got an audience from everyone there. And no one fainted. Alas, my big feet didn't traumatize anyone. She even wandered up to the cashier on the way out and told her "feet - too large", and then said several other things, some of which I could understand. Back at you lady. Sheesh. It's just feet. But their feelings were a bit hurt.

So there you go. Shoe shopping in France for amazons - not the best past time. Last time L&P and Momo rated it a pretty good 8. This time Momo rates it a big fat minus 10. And if L&P were there they would have voluntarily peed on her feet.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lulu & Phoebe,

I'm a woofer from Toulouse and I've just discovered your blog. You both are beautiful girls. As you can see, BT are very rare in France. Most of people think I'm a starving french bouledogue, lol. They usally think I have a very bad moma!
I hope you enjoy Paris!

Cosmo from Toulouse.

Lulu and Phoebe said...

Cosmo - we are enjoying Paris very much! We especially enjoy our morning croissants!

Elizabeth said...

What store is this? My American friend who is living in Paris would love to know....

Liz

Lulu and Phoebe said...

Lol. I assume she speaks French? This particular store is Jean Thiot in the 8th - 82, Blvd. Haussmann M°Havre-Caumartin,St-Lazare,RER Auber.

They also have a website.