Now that I have a flash new job I can’t wear my butt skimming shorts every, single, day. Now I have to get dressed up in what my dad calls a “monkey suit”. Today I donned a denim skirt, cream blouse , extra long silky scarf and my dating for shoes, shoes. When I look down at them the room gets all fuzzy like it does in a movie when a flash back happens………..
It is 2003, or maybe 2002 or 2004. I am in London and things are not going well. I arrive at Evendine College, (the shit hole where I attempt to teach Russian cleaners and hookers to speak English) and the place is boarded up. No amount to tugging on the door makes the slightest bit of difference. I am locked out and I am owed six weeks wages. That is not the worst of it, my first real boyfriend and I have broken up and he is now shagging my best mate. I have no where to live. A red hot love affair with a saucy SriLankan gentleman has cooled and to top it all off I am nursing a two- bottles- of -wine -a -day habit. Things are not going well AT ALL.
Luckily, I have Sonia. She is wonderfully quirky English rose and, over yet another bottle of wine, we come up with a plan. A plan to mend my broken heart, have some fun and keep drinking.
We call it DATING FOR SHOES.
The Rules: We are to go on as many dates as possible with as many men as possible over a six week period. At the end, we tally up the numbers and the person who has gone on the most dates will be presented with a pair of shoes of her choice that the loser has brought for her. Simple. Fun. And lots of free drinks. FREE DRINKS.
Before everyone thinks ‘Ewwwee what slappers’, we are upfront with our dates. They know it’s about shoes.
The stakes are high and we play to win.
Word soon spreads that we are on a dating spree. Our phones run red hot. It turns out that all gents need is an excuse! Dating for shoes is it. Sonia and I are practice dates, they date us knowing that this is not a- marriage- interview- type- date, just a slightly mental way of meeting people outside of their social spheres and a bit fun.
Like Weight Watchers, Sonia and I have regular check ins. We compare numbers, set goals for the coming week, offer support and have a healthy sense of competition. We date wealthy men, artists, musicians, electricians, more artists, city boys, a couple of homosexuals, Libyan millionaires, more artists….. And at the end of the six weeks I emerge victorious! I have a grand total of 32 dates. (I have never won anything in my life before expect “guess the lollies in the jar competition” at the Whangamata gala day) I am fist punching the air.
The shoes I choose to celebrate this dubious victory are Red.