Monday, 23 November 2009

A dish eaten cold


It’s 1975. Aberdeen. The beginning of the school year. My daughter needs new shoes. I take her into town. We visit many shoe shops and the silences between us grow longer, the tension mounts higher in each shop. The problem is that we’re not rich and I want her to have shoes that’ll withstand the rigours of school playgrounds whereas she wants things with sparkly bits on them. The expedition ends with nothing having been bought, a ride home in a simmering silence shot through with electric menace, and a resolution on my part never ever to go near a shop with her again.

Now it’s 2007. Brighton. The beginning of another school year. My daughter, who now has four children of her own, needs to get shoes for the eldest. I accompany them. My daughter is far more reasonable than I am as her efforts to persuade her daughter to accept sensible shoes are met with downcast eyes and ‘proofs’ that they’re ugly and that the sparkly ones would be a much better investment. This time, I’m in the sparkly camp. The expedition ends shoeless and in relative silence, broken only by my barely-suppressed, self-satisfied chuckles.

I always liked schadenfreude but when it has a personal twist, it’s even more profoundly satisfying. Grandchildren are a parent’s revenge.

The picture, by the way, is of a 'Garbo' by Carvela which retails at a very reasonable £150. (Aye, right.)

13 comments:

  1. Very true. :)

    PS You would have to pay me to wear something like that, what an ugly shoe!

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  2. Bill, your picture, while appropro, is getting further and further from my original point!

    Maybe some preschool fashion debriefing is in order for the next generation.

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  3. (Why does blogspot leave such a tantalising message about the previous post having been deleted. It makes everyone, including me, wonder what was in it that I was hiding or what there was about it that might do untold damage to the unwary reader. In fact, it was a hideous typo which would have undermined my already fragile credibility. Anyway ...

    Scary. When I first saw the picture, I did a double take but it really is a shoe and it really does cost £150.

    And Marley, perhaps I could find a specialist anatomical magazine which I could plunder. As for fashion, I've never understood the connection between what designers produce and what ordinary people wear.

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  4. Ah, the joys of boys. They'd go barefoot if they could get away with it. And my youngest wears sandals in the snow now he's away at college.

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  5. Hey again,
    I think (?) that when you try to delete a message it comes up with a question- delete forever? or smth like that. You say Yes, I am pretty sure this was so bad I want to rid of it forever! without any trace! and it will do so, without any blogger messages. Try. Mine disappear normally after that. :)

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  6. Sheila, yes, but then comes the 'But I really NEED the Barcelona strip' even though they already have Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, etc. already in the drawers in their bedroom.

    Scary, I've never seen that option but I'll certainly look for it. And if you have any more techno advice, I'd receive anything with gratitude.

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  7. I'm reasonably sure you went along on that shopping trip knowing exactly what would happen and looking forward to every moment.

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  8. If you mean the second trip, Gary, you're absolutely right. And it was 2 years ago and I still feel the pleasure at its rightness.

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  9. All I have to say is: Too bad my kids and granddaughers live 2,700 miles away!

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  10. That's a shame, Linda. I love mine dearly but I don't think I'd want to live in the same town as them. It's great to see them every couple of months or so but if I were too close and they saw me more frequently, it would be hard to maintain the illusion that Granddad's a nice guy.

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  11. AAAAAAAAAAA grandchildren are parents' revenge:))))))

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  12. Hi Sofisticos. Interesting to think that your comment could either be that of a grandparent who's already experienced the truth of it or of a parent who's looking forward to getting his/her own back in the future.

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