On the day their Grandma was buried, the Crone and her cousins (well, the female ones) all wore their highest heels and shiniest shoes to the funeral, a fitting (well, in some cases ill-fitting–but worth the pain) tribute to a woman taught them the importance and pleasure of shoes. The young Margaret Simpson started her working life in the shoe shops of Belfast in the 1920s–and regularly handed back her pay packet; an investment in stock. As Margaret Barron, and a mother of 7, she had to cut back on the heels, peeptoes and slingbacks, but by the time she became Margaret Watson, she was back in Rogan’s and bringing home boxes of shoes for granddaughters in whom she’d fostered a lifelong love of footwear. The Crone went to visit her one Christmas, teetering along in a pair of four-inch heeled, green satin, amethyst encrusted Guccis.
The Crone’s father was tsking and tutting and muttering about sprained ankles, shortened tendons and hammer toes. Lucky he never saw the price tag. Gran on the other hand, was full of admiration.
” Health to wear them” she said ” and be glad you can still fit your foot into them. Wear them as long as you’re able”
The Crone was reminded of this the other day at work when her shoes, a pair of black patent flats with a most attractive buckle and heel were complimented by the boss. The only question: what took him so long? The Crone has toiled at Transparency Towers for a full 4 months now, and each day, with remarkably few repeats, has sported an noteworthy pair of shoes. The oversight says more about the boss, and his poor powers of observation, than it does about the Crone’s excellent taste in footwear.
Once office attention was properly focused at ankle height, a conversation promptly ensued “When I moved my Mom into assisted living ” the boss confided, ” we unpacked about 70 pairs of shoes. ‘Why do you need these Mom?’ I asked her, after all she wasn’t about to be going anywhere ‘They’re my life’ she said ‘That’s my life right there’ and I never really got that.” He gestured to his own pair of (admittedly elegant) black leather loafers. ” I buy these four pairs at a time. All exactly the same. Wear ’em, throw ’em out”
“Well I get it” retorted the Crone “My gran lived til nearly one hundred and two and ’til the day she died she had a closet full of beautiful shoes. I’m glad your mom got to keep hers. You have to know what’s important and, if you’re lucky, you die with your boots on”