SHOE DAY Thursday 12 MARCH 1998
A Fluxus Influx Event

Experiences/Observations by Owen Smith


Shoes of your choice (thanks Alison)
- choose your shoes 
- change your life 
- choose 
- change

I decided to go shopping for a new pair of shoes at the local mall. 
Originally I thought to try on every pair of shoes in the store that 
they had in my size. So off I went to the local Mall branch of 
Naturalizer Shoes. When I got there I changed my mind and decided to 
see if they had any woman's shoes in my size (my feet are not 
particularly long but they are rather wide) . The clerk, named 
Mathew, was rather taken aback when when I explained that I was 
looking for a pair of "pumps, " maybe in a spring color. I told him 
that I did not know what the right woman's size would be for me, 
given that I took a man's size 8 1/2 D. He told me that he did not 
know either, "but he would check with the manager" and off he went 
into the back room. A few minutes later Mariann, the store manager 
came out and asked if she could help me and I explained again what I 
was looking for (even though I am sure that Mathew had already told 
her). With a bit of a scowl she responded that she was not sure what 
size I would take and then she added that Naturalizer Shoes were 
specially designed for the body size and weight of the wearer and 
that I would not find the woman's shoes right for me "given that I 
was a man, with a body type that was different than a womans." I said 
that she probably knew better but could we try anyway, just so that I 
could see if she was right? Scowling even more she called Mathew back 
to help me, saying that a size 11 or 12 wide would probably be the closest 
size to what I would take in a woman's shoe. I had previously selected three 
different styles and asked him to see if they had any of these in my 
size. When he came back a few moments later he told me that they only 
had one of the styles in "MY SIZE." It was a pump in style but it was 
a rather ugly beige color, with a gold buckel. I tried it on (I had 
to remove my sock and use a knee high nylon) and although it did not 
fit too badly (it was still a little tight across the arch) it was 
still quite ugly in a Gucci sort of way. I asked him what he thought, 
he checked the fit and said that it seemed to fit fine. I then asked 
him what he thought of the color, telling him that I did not "think 
of myself as a beige person." He quickly agreed with me and then 
asked if I would like to try on any of the men's shoes, which might 
be a "more appropriate color." I said no, that I was really looking for 
a pump and aske him if there were any other stores that he might 
recommend for me to check. He suggested that I might check one of 
the larger chains like Sears or Pennys. I thanked him again and left 
the store.

The whole event took 37 minutes.

Experiences/Observations by Owen Smith

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