It is not every day that cycling trips lead me to cut price designer shoes. The last cycling trip, for example, took me to Badplaas. Other cycling destinations that spring to mind are shopping meccas like Op-die-Berg, Grabouw, Viscos and Himeville.
You get my point.
Aspen, however, is a little gem of an exception – if your Daddy's a billionaire. Still, I was content just to stare lovingly at the window displays of Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, J Crew and Fendi. I tried to go in to some of these stores to stare lovingly at the wares from the inside, but a part of me always feels like the salesgirls are onto me…they take one look at my Havaianas and they know I have absolutely no intention of buying a single thing. I've always admired a good friend of mine who has absolutely no qualms entering any sort of luxury store whatsoever – even the ones with those 2m-wide tuxedoed doormen out front. Her policy goes like this: "If I earn more than the shop assistants, I'll be coming inside – in my takkies". Great policy. My shrink and I are working on it.
Anyhoo, things got infinitely more exciting yesterday when The Sister and I discovered "the consignment store". We ventured in a little apprehensively, expecting a bit of an Oxfam-style set up. What we found was a little bit of heaven. So, "consignment store" is code for second-hand. Instinctively, we'd already worked that out. But here, they don't degrade their vintage designer merchandise by using terms like "second-hand". No. One refers to the luxury items as "new or like new" and on occasion you may hear, in hushed tones, the term "previously owned". Whilst the word "new" deserves a bit of an eye-brow raise, the words "like new" are totally authentic. Imagine a store filled with tons of immaculately preserved Kate Spade pumps, Manolo Blahnik slingbacks, Robert Cavalli cocktail dresses and Chanel handbags – all looking as good as new. In fact, looking even better with their significantly reduced price-tags.
Between us, The Sister and I may have tried on every piece of footwear in our size, determined to provide these orphaned shoes with a loving new home…
I fell for a pair of pointy Yves St Laurents with heels alot higher than anything I've worn since the start of my sabbatical. My half-hearted lament of "but when would I wear them?" was met with the following shocked retort from The Sister: "When would you NOT wear them?"
Besides, who can say no to a pair of Yves St Laurents with a Nine West price tag?
So, just to prove to myself that my new acquisition had deep-seated logical foundations, I wore them to dinner last night. I have to say that the three and a half blocks between the hotel and the restaurant resembled physical torture I haven't experienced since compulsory cross country in high school.
I'm blaming it on Aspen's cobbled streets – quaint to look at but very hard to navigate in stilettos. When I turned to The Sister for sympathy – or perhaps to blame her for talking me into buying this weapons of torture – she was like, "Duh! You put your plakkies in your handbag and your change your shoes around the corner from the restaurant! And PS: You'd never survive in London."