My eldest's feet were turning a potential shade of green. They certainly smelt like it, anyway when he removed his Converse shoes. We agreed that he needed shoes for the summer and he already had the perfect pair in mind - Geox.
I had never heard of this make until I saw an ad on tele, which proves that television advertising works, I suppose. Most of the time, I strenuously try to ignore being influenced by the endless stream of fantastic goodies paraded before my eyes during episodes of House, Ghost-Whisperer and the like, but my son does not. He is thus more aware of what is available while I bathe in happy ignorance and try to make ends meet.
Our shoe discussion went along predicable lines.
Him: "Mummy, I need new shoes."
Me: "You certainly do. How about some nice summer sandals?"
(Contemptuous laugh) Him: "Do you want me to be the laughing stock of the school? No, I want a pair of Geox shoes."
Me: "Geox? What are they?"
(Enthusiastically) Him: "They allow your feet to breathe and are really cool."
Me: (thinks, cool = expensive) "Ah ha..."
Cool also means 'available in one or two select boutiques so don't think you can just go to the Halle aux Chaussures' as I found out when we tried the Halle aux Chaussures first. Then we tried Intersport where we were told that such shops are not allowed to sell this terribly select make and you can only get them in minuscule boutiques probably on the other side of town requiring a major expedition, sandwiches, and a survival blanket. Meanwhile, my shopping was starting to perish in the searing late morning sun.
In a last ditch effort, we went back to Carrouf and found a boutique that sold Converses. They didn't sell Geox shoes but told me that a shop called 'Botty' (yes, I know - priceless!) does them. Hurrah, thought I, there's one next to Intermarche next door. Then I remembered going in there when it first opened and having to be carried out on a stretcher after catching sight of the price tags.
With much trepidation, therefore, we hit the road down to Intermarche to investigate it's Botty (sorry, plus fort que moi...). Inside all was chaos, with one sales-lady and two sets of customers including a small girl who was having sandals for a wedding that afternoon bought for her by granny (I supposed). She was nothing if not fussy, starting as I'm sure she means to go on.
Finally it was our turn and my eldest got to try on a pair of the famous mark, Geox. They were available only in beige in that style. He pooh-poohed a much snazzier pair with colourful stripes down the side. No, he wanted either black or dark blue and if he couldn't have that because even if you are buying a select mark in a Botty boutique, you are restricted to an equally select choice of colours, he would make do with beige.
His choice made, I went to pay. Up until this point, I had not thought to look at the price despite knowing that shoes in Botty cost an arm and a leg. The sales-lady presented me with the price - 100Eur - which caused a sharp intake of breath on my part and the draining of all colour from my face. To her credit, she greeted my horrified regard with sympathy and a suggestion that perhaps a little 'remise' could be made because shoes at that price for one's son were a nasty shock. She looked up what she could knock off and was able to bring the price down to 80Eur. Still a terrible price, and more than I pay for my shoes, but at least he won't be the laughing stock during his last 3 days at school...
I'm sure you're all so relieved about that! I am, obviously...