The Indicator Of Real Friendship (Or: How A True Friend Understands The Importance Of A Good Shoe)

So, as you are probably, by now, well aware, I Am Not Shopping. And this is causing me a LOT of difficulty...I'm actually really, really struggling to stay true to my cause, and quit buying what I don't need/can't afford, etc, but Really Really Want.

My main efforts so far have been concentrated in the key area of Avoidance. I've furtively been ignoring sale signs and the lure of new season luxe from all my favourite shops. Until today.
And what a day on which to crack. I had spent the morning being picked on by my two favourite co-workers (only in jest, you understand...but my fashion-starved mind was finding it very hard to take, and, well, lets just say, hiding my half-eaten apricot danish at 9.15 this morning may have been the final straw.) So yes, I buckled under the pressure and partook in a little visit to that high street stalwart and everybodys favourite place to throw money around...Topshop.

Massive, Massive Mistake. Huge. Not only were there rail upon rail of fresh new fash fodder to feast my hungry eyes on, but there was also, in a final ironic and insulting twist, new sale merch begging to be perused. I almost passed out, if not due to all this style overload, then because of the tropical temperatures on the womens floor....air conditioning much? Before I was forced to beat a hasty retreat (I could barely see, it was that humid up there) I did manage to spot the one thing that makes every girl stop in her tracks....sale shoesssssssss.

They were there in their hundreds. Well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but they were there nonetheless, and nestled amongst last seasons platforms and leather ankle boots, I found my Next Great Purchase. Were I still allowed to make my Next Great Purchase, mind. Cream, round toed, mid heeled courts with an adorable leather ruffle on the front. You know, the perfect, go-with-everything shoe. 2 pairs left. Size 7 (no good) Size 3 (jackpot). And only £20. Sold. And then I remembered. I'm not meant to be shopping. I'm meant to be saving. I'm broke, and I don't need more shoes. But everyone needs shoes, they're like a given. Shoes are the ultimate outfit dealbreakers. This pair would have been like the firm handshake, close-the-deal equivalent to any outfit. They are here, in my size, in the sale. I touch them. I put them down. With sagging shoulders and the onset of the style blues, I trudge back to work, only to gripe to aforementioned co-workers about my dilemma, and the trials of life sans money. I described the shoes to one co-worker, who promptly exclaimed with delight that they were the exact pair she had been lusting after for agessss, and that she was going to skip right round to Toppers on her lunch break and try them on. Back she came from lunch with a spring in her step and a shiny carrier bag in her hand, which held within the shoes I so desperately wanted to own. Except, she bought the 7. Which meant, mine were still there, kidnapped amidst a plethora of last seasons styles....I was already planning the outfits I would wear, how perfectly they would lift everything in my wardrobe and breathe life into all my jaded merchandise collected from seasons past. Seriously, I couldn't even look at her pair, such was the complete and utter shoe-envy. 'Don't show me. Don't EVEN show me!' It was all too much to bear.

Now, this young lady is much better at managing her money than I am, despite consuming her bodyweight in alcohol most weekends...she always seems to have enough money to last her, whilst I just don't even know where mine goes. 'Just off to check the bank balance' she chirped, skipping out the door. Downturned of mouth and feeling a good dose of shoe depression coming on, I waited for her to come back so I could go upstairs and make myself a cup of tea. She duly returned, and as she walked through the door, pushed something into my hand. £20. 'Now go and buy your shoes.'

Of course I didn't take the money, but I was bowled over to be offered it. Finally, someone else who appreciates the necessity of a good shoe, and realises that one doesn't always have the means to achieve the aims. She put the smile back on my face there and then, because it snapped me back to reality for a second, cleared the footwear-fog and enabled me to see what actually matters....true friendship. And if that isn't worth celebrating by taking a new pair of shoes out for a spin, then I don't know what is.
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