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Boot and pointy boots

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Text From Are You Ready, Boots? , a short story by Maggie Alderson. Ladies ‘Night, HarperCollins Publishers, 2005. Maggie Alderson Are You Ready, Boots? ” Dang diddy dang diddy dang diddy dang … ” I sang to myself as I zipped the boot up to my knee, the soft black leather stretching to hug my calf.

I got up and looked at myself in the full-length mirror. ” Nancy Sinatra’ eat your heart out,” I said to my reflection. ” These boots were made 5 for me. ” I couldn’t believe my luck. Not only were these killer boots 50% off in the Barneys shoe department sale, they were even my size. And they weren’t just boots — they were actual Manolos2. Here I was in New York City, shopping just like Carrie’. Sex was the word for it — and for these very high-heeled, very black, very pointy boots. 10 Boots so high and black and pointy indeed, that all I could do after admiring myself in the mirror was to turn round to my pal Spencer and growl. Grrrrrrrr,” I said, copping4 a vamp pose with my booted leg forward, my teeth bared. ” Good Lord in the foothills, Miss Lulu,” said Spencer, in his hilarious southern accent — real: he had come to New York from Charleston when he was seventeen. ” You 15 are such a true minx in those boots, I swear I am quite afraid of you” Now totally overexcited — Spencer always had that effect on me, not unassisted by the second bottle of Cristal he had insisted on ordering for us at lunch — I asked the nearest sales assistant for the other boot. I zipped it on and set off stalking up and down the shoe department, working hose 20 heels like RuPau15. ” These boots were made for strutting,”

I sang to Spencer. ” Yes, ma’am,” he agreed. ” So why don’t you just strut right off and pay for them? It is nearly the cocktail hour and Spencer is one thirsty boy. ” I was still admiring the boots — while the sensible side of my brain tried to reason 25 with the champagne-fuddled one, which was insisting they were a bargain — when my other great New York pal, Betty, came shuffling over in a pair of red patent mules which were clearly three sizes too big for her. She looked like a little girl dressing up in mummy’s clothes. ” What do you think of these? she asked us. ” They’re only $95, down from $400. ” 30 ” They’d be real nice on The Hulk’,” said Spencer. ” If only the size had gone down along with the price they’d be great on you,” I added. ” But look — check out these boots. Aren’t they totally perfect? ” ” Wow,” said Betty, momentarily distracted from the tantalising bargains on her own feet. She was famous in our crowd for never paying the full price for anything; it was 35 like a religion with her. ” Those are so hot.

They look great on you. How much are they? ” ‘ sangerinde som havde et hit med These boots are made for walkin’ z dyrt skom? ke hovedpersonen i TV-serien Sex and the City ‘ stille sig an 5 drag queen 6 k? mpestor filmhelt Side 8 af 10 sider ” Who cares? ” I answered, strutting around a bit more. ” They make me feel like a Bond girl, I totally have to have them. ” I finally came to a halt in front of a full-length mirror, where I was quite mesmerised’ 40 by how good I thought the boots made me look. They seemed to lengthen and slenderise my legs. They made me look richer. Kinder. More intelligent. I felt like I had won the shoe lottery. ” These are the boots I’m going to be wearing when I meet my husband,” I proclaimed. 5 And they were. Kind of. I didn’t wear my kinky8 boots as Spencer had dubbed them — for six months after I bought them. Even though they were real Manolos and truly beautiful and half price in the sale, I felt so sick and ashamed about how much I had spent on them — money I could ill afford after blowing two months’ rent money on that four day trip to New York — I couldn’t bear to look at them, let alone wear them. 50 They were still in the Barneys carrier bag, which I had brought home in my suitcase as a style souvenir, stuffed under my bed.

And that’s where they stayed until one dreary winter Sunday evening. Spencer was over in London for one of his hectic visits and he called up to tell me I was coming out with him and six of his favourite boy pals that night to the launch of a new restaurant. [• •] 55 ” I’ll pick you up at eight, Missie Lulu,” said Spencer, firmly. He paused, then continued. ” Why don’t you wear those kinky boots you bought in Barneys that time? [… ] I like that look on you” [. .. ] Apart from anything else, the restaurant was in Mayfair 9 and the nylon mini was definitely not a West End look.

So instead I played it safe with a classic black shift dress and 60 some Jackie O 10-style ropes of pearls, with my kinky boots as a wicked statement at foot level. I pouted at my reflection one more time and ran downstairs. It was the usual night out with Spencer and his merrie” men. Hilarious laughter, totally unnecessary nastiness about everyone else there, and far too much to drink. I was on my way to the loo after about five glasses of champagne in half an hour 65 when I first spotted Charlie. You couldn’t miss him. He was seriously handsome with a great tan and floppy blonde hair, and wearing a beautiful suit.

He was standing alone in a corner of the restaurant and as I passed I could feel him checking me out. When I came out of the ladies, he was still there, still incredibly handsome, still — incredibly — alone, and still looking at me. And I could tell by that look that he definitely 70 wasn’t gay. He wasn’t admiring my dress or my French manicure — he was admiring me. I felt a bit giddy. I went back to the boys, but found it less easy to concentrate on their antics, even though Spencer had cranked himself up into his most evil mood and was doing impersonations of people simultaneously as they walked by.

It was hysterical but my gaze kept 75 returning to the mystery man in the corner. Still there. Still gorgeous. Still alone. I’m sure it was the boots that made me do it, because I can’t remember my brain actu- ‘ hypnotiseret fr? k 9 kvarter i London L0 Jackie Onassis 11 merry 80 Side 9 af 10 sider ally forming the thought, but suddenly my feet were on their way over to where Mr Cutie Dream Man was standing, ” Hi,” I said when I got there. ” You’ve been standing alone for ages. I’ve come to keep you company. ” His broad smile revealed perfect white teeth as he held out his hand to me.

His eyes were very pale blue. ” Great,” he said. ” I was hoping you would. I’m Charlie March-Edwards. How do you do? ” 85 Well, I did very well, and from that moment on we did very well together. That first fated encounter led to a drink after the party — Spencer and the boys hardly even acknowledged my departure, as they had spotted a group of Argentinean polo players in the corner — and a chaste kiss as he dropped me home. From that we moved on to a couple of dinner dates, a walk in the park, an exhibition, 90 a movie and finally into a relationship. A boyfriend. I really had a boyfriend.

A goodlooking boyfriend with a really good job in the City. He even had a Porsche. He was the full 99 with a Flake, sprinkles and raspberry sauce 12. Amazing. Even more amazingly, Charlie seemed to understand how it all worked. He was very cuddly, always rang me when he said he would, and after a few weeks of seeing a lot of 95 each other he said the words every single woman most dreams of hearing. ” I want to be your boyfriend, Lulu, your proper boyfriend. Are you cool with that? Will you be my girlfriend? Will you come and meet my parents? I’ve told them all about you. “

I smiled like a watermelon. Needless to say, Spencer didn’t approve. ” I don’t know, Miss Lulu,” he said, when I rang to tell him about the weekend with Charlie’s parents at their beautiful house in Berkshire. I was furious and gave him a taste of his own silence routine, until he continued. ” See, honey, I know all you girls think you want to marry stockbrokers and live in Chelsea and drive around in cars like trucks with two little tow-headed kids in back, and I do grant that Charles is way over on the handsome side of pretty, but are you sure he isn’t just an eensy weensy bit straight for you?

That’s straight as in dull, darlin’. You know, boring? ” ” You’re just jealous,” I said. I couldn’t believe Spencer wasn’t happy I’d found the perfect man. He had always been trying to set me up with people before, but I figured he just didn’t like the fact that I had found Charlie all on my own. But while I was furious with Spencer at the top level of my brain, I soon began to wonder if he hadn’t planted a tiny seed of doubt at a lower level. I started to notice little things about Charlie which hadn’t bothered me before. 2 k? mpe isvaffel; her ” han har det hele” 100 105 110 115 Side 10 af 10 sider For one thing, he told jokes. He didn’t crack jokes like Spencer and I did – off the cuff, spur of the moment one-liners. He repeated formulated jokes people had told him. And some of them were a little bit sexist and a little bit racist. I tried to dismiss it as one little fault in an otherwise perfect package, but then other things started to annoy me, 120 too. Like the skiing stories, and the anecdotes about his so wild (so not) days at school.

We’d both left school over ten years earlier, but Charlie was still talking about it. And then there were his friends, most of whom he had known since he was at that stupid snobby school, with their own repertoires of offensive jokes and un-hilarious skiing and 125 drinking stories. So the doubts were there, but they were only small annoyances in an otherwise glorious scenario, and Charlie didn’t seem to have any such problems with me. He was truly a loving and affectionate man and his parents seemed to like me too. So I wasn’t really surprised when he asked me to marry him. 30 OK, so it wasn’t the most original proposal – he took me away for the weekend to our favourite country house hotel and went down on one knee beneath the rose arbour, but it was still thrilling. And it was a huge diamond. I accepted. We went back to our room, called his parents and mine with the good news, made love with the ardour appropriate to the occasion and then started to get dressed for din- 135 ner. I’d had such a strong inkling that the big question was going to be popped that weekend that I had packed the kinky boots and the shift dress and pearls I’d been wearing the night we met, as a bit of fun.

I thought it would be rather witty to put them on and see if Charlie noticed. 140 He did. ” Oh no,” he said, coming out of the bathroom with a towel around his firm brown waist. ” You’re wearing those awful boots. I hate those boots. ” I was too stunned to speak. Charlie continued. ” Please don’t spoil this special night by wearing them, Lulu darling,” he said. 145 ” They’re so tarty. They nearly put me off you the night we met. They’re chav 13 boots. I was so relieved when you never wore them again. I looked at him and for the first time saw right through the dashing, handsome exterior, to the bigoted bore inside. Spencer had been right. Charlie was a handsome ass. As he opened the wardrobe to get out his Savile Row suit 14, lined with cyclamen pink, 150 his Paul Smith shirt and his Hermes tie 15 , I folded my arms and looked down at my kinky boots. They were so great. ” Are you ready boots? ” I said to them. ” Start walking. ” i3 tarvelig, billig 14 dyrt skr? ddersyet herretoj 15 designertoj

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