With Ann Rickard
With Ann Rickard

Two big twists of fate

I'M A big woman, as in above average height, or what I like to call athletic.

(I really prefer the word willowy but that would imply svelte as well as tall, and that would be fudging things.)

Being tall has its many advantages and I don't need to go into them now (but reaching for products high on supermarket shelves is pretty cool).

There are disadvantages too.

The main one being that athletic women have big feet.

I am a shoe size 42 and you probably don't know what that is in the old language but I believe it is a 10, quite possibly an 11, perhaps a 12. Let's stop there.

Finding shoes to fit when you are a size 42 and possessed of foot width as well as length is a nightmare.

Yet big and wide has its advantages. (There is always a silver lining if you look hard enough.)

Because I rarely find shoes that fit, I don't lust for them like almost every other woman in the developed world. I have no shoe addiction.

This has obviously saved the man I am married to untold thousands of dollars over the decades and don't think I don't remind him of this on a regular basis.

So imagine my delight when I walked into a shoe shop in a small Sunshine Coast hinterland town (Cooroy Shoes in Cooroy, let's give them a plug) on a quiet Monday morning to find among a dazzling array of pretty shoes and glamorous boots in normal sizes, a really, simply, fabulously, stunning...pair of black ankle boots in size


There they sat all smug with their largeness, haughty and snooty among the lesser boots, gleaming black, lacy sides, wide and big and lovely and...wait for it...reduced from $200-plus down to a mere $49.

Fate or possibly God, was being kind to me this day.

I took a moment to digest this good fortune and wandered around the aisle trying not to sneer at the smaller boots and then went back to my big black beauties.


They were gone from the shelf.

It couldn't possibly be that there was another athletic woman with size 42 feet in that small country town on that quiet Monday morning.

Rarely do I meet anyone with a foot my size, let alone in a small country town.

But there she was, tall and (damn it...willowy) and about to sign a credit card for the purchase of my lovely boots, now bagged up and ready to leave the shop without me.

The co-incidence of it. The rudeness of it.

I could understand this happening in a big department store in New York, or London or Paris (no, not Paris, French women don't have big feet) but in Cooroy?

Two athletic women (damn it again, she really was willowy) with the same foot measurements in the same place at the same moment in the same modest town.

What are the odds?



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