I own at least 40 pairs of high heels. It could be quite a bit more than that, however as they’re dotted around various locations within Aberdeen City, counting them merely to provide you with an accurate statistic is not a task that I would be willing to perform. As a result of the huge quantity of shoes at my disposal, I don’t often have to re-heel them, and even when they get to that stage I just shift them to the back of the cupboard and forget about it for a few weeks, and instead promote a pair I previously found less appealing to the top of the pile.
However, two of my very favourite ‘old faithful’s have developed the click of death, namely where the nail on the underside of your stiletto is exposed and every time you take a step you make a high pitched clip clop sound. I was hoping to pass this noise off as some sort of arthritis to my work colleagues, however it has become unbearable, and the prospect of walking to a meeting 200m across the site fills me with dread at how much that will wear down my rapidly eroding heels.
As it is socially unacceptable to ask your boss for a piggy-back, it was time for me to take action, but as usual, I procrastinated/forgot. I should have taken my shoes out with me on my travels on Saturday, taken them to a local cobbler and had them done fairly quickly and relatively inexpensively. But I didn’t. I took them out with me on Sunday instead. This meant taking them to Timpson’s.
I actually can’t fault their service, they were ready in half an hour, just enough time for me to launch full scale warfare on the Co-op reduced section and obliterate the local population of reduced chicken fillets and venison sausages… then leave my card in the machine… panic… waddle back as fast as I could given that I was carrying my own weight in reduced meat products and garble something incomprehensible to the security guard that vaguely represented “……LOST!……HSBC!…..MONEY!”
Upon my triumphant return to Timpson’s, nothing could have quite prepared me for the shock I was about to receive.
£7.95! Seven bloody pounds, ninety five bloody pence! That works out at £32 per hour (there were 2 pairs in half an hour for those of you that are poor at maths or have ineffective short term memories). OK maybe £30 but the little heel things themselves cannot be that expensive!
This may pose more incredulity for me than most, given that most of my shoes only cost a maximum of £10. If you spend £80 on your shoes, you are paying 10% of their original worth to keep them in your closet for another 2 years. Fairly good value some might argue. But to me, I am paying 80% of my purchase price. An unfortunate side effect, perhaps, of buying most of ones shoes in charity shops.
When a jacket that I paid £6 for gets a hole in it, I just stitch it up, it’s nice and cheap, and though the craftsmanship may not be that of a tailor, it’s good enough for me. But I cannot re-heel my own shoes. This is a price that I must pay. And many people will be saying oh pipe down woman! It’s only 10% of the value of your shoes at full price, whether you bought them second hand or not!
This also reminds me of the time that I bought a silk Whistles dress for £10 in a charity shop…. and then it cost me £12.50 to get it dry cleaned. After I provided myself with emergency first aid, I thought to myself that I would risk a hand wash instead. And it turned out OK. No one needed mouth to mouth, and my dress survived the ordeal unscathed.