This is entirely fiction. Completely. Utterly. Except for any true bits
July 24th. Am just deciding between jam and marmalade when First Of Her Name announces that today we are choosing shoes. Since marmalade is gift from Fiancé’s mother, the choice is essentially made for me.
When I query whether my presence will be required for the acquisition of every item of clothing she will be wearing at the event, she bristles asking, in a voice that had been known to kill viruses and hustle a previously infectious child to school, what on Earth I might mean.
Realising my error – blamed on the sugar rush that choosing jam has induced – I compound the error by attempting a smidgen of levity. ‘Perhaps I can cast an expert eye over your smalls?’
To which the response, accompanying a shaking of the comment section of the Daily Execution, is instant. ‘The last time you bought me underwear you chose something akin to the bag in which my grandmother used to boil puddings during the Depression.’
A trifle harsh, I think coming from the woman who had forced me to channel my inner sausage by attempting the impossible of dressing in Spanx. ‘What sort of shoes are you thinking of, Diamond In My Light Firmament? A discreet heel? Something kittenish? Perhaps an a la mode pair of boots?’
‘Yours, not mine.’
Editor’s note: I was later informed by First Of Her Name that ‘I have my eye on some Jimmy Choos,’ which I mistakenly thought must be some modern piece of rhyming slang. Later I was informed by the Male Heir that James Choos is a bespoke cobblers famed for his vertiginous heels, red soles and a price somewhere between the GDP of Estonia and First Born’s fake tanning bills. Since the engagement these have been astronomical – apparently she is trying to find just the right shade for the big day, which according to the Fiancé is somewhere between a Bedouin tribe-person’s neck and an orangutan.
10.49. I am informed that ‘comfort is not a consideration’ after I try on the sort of footwear one saw in Hammer horror films of the 1960s.
11.29. A telephone debate with the First Born has determined that a light tan ‘verging on deep umber’ is correct. I assume this is some development in the fake tan conundrum but apparently relates to the shade of brown for my shoes.
11.30. Try and fail to hide my low mood at prospect of returning to Torquemada’s Brogue Boutique and the greasily unctuous Tarquin who fawned over us two hours ago. I am saved by the appearance of Dolores, part of the coven to which First Of Her Name belongs who queries our plans. She scoffs at Tarquin, insisting on dragging us to Sons Of Satan who apparently did wonders with Derek’s bunions.
12.30. Shoes chosen, Sir would like to keep the box, thank you and credit card oddly intact, we stand on pavement. I feel indebted to Dolores. Close my eyes and brace for a double mwah air brush only to find myself head butting nothing. Dolores and First Of Her Name are climbing into a cab, waving me goodbye, explaining that Harrods ‘calls’.
1pm. Meet Fiancé and Male Heir in The Gentleman’s Relish for a swift pint during their lunch. Regale them with stories about footwear. Male Heir: ‘Did you remember to put in your orthotics, Dad?’
2.49pm: Sons of Satan do not have right shoes in larger size that will accommodate corrective soles but promise ‘a delivery is imminent’. They agree to let me keep the wrong size on the strict understanding I will not use them or I will have to pay twice. Explain that if I turn up without them tonight I will have so much skin flayed from my flanks that I could tan the result and craft my own set.
3.30pm. Return to pub for consoling solo pint. Am accosted by Tarquin who offers to do something stimulating but illegal in thirty per cent of nations registered with the UN, using only his ebony shoe tree and a tub of Cherry Blossom light tan polish. Tell him that if the replacements do not arrive in time for the Big Day, I’m his man.