Going cheap with the girls’ shoes was a false economy

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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Just a few short weeks ago, I wrote about the perils of shopping for school shoes.

Upon reading this, my husband asked me what the big deal was and boasted that next year he would take all the responsibility for escorting the three offspring as surely I was being over-dramatic.

‘Mark my words’, he said. So I am. This is his words being marked in newspaper print.

The darn of it is that I didn’t mark his words so efficiently the moment that he said them. Because I had to take the two daughters back school shoe shopping again at the weekend. What a nightmare.

If only I’d marked his words straight away, I could have sent him and sat at home practicing my best evil laugh while sipping a gin and tonic (as that seems like a super criminal tipple).

Okay, I’ll admit it, I went cheap at the end of the summer. Faced with bills enough to fill an entire cheque book, I eschewed Clarks and went to a high street store for the girls’ footwear.

It was a false economy. In three short weeks of school, the youngest daughter’s heels had been walked off and the top of the older daughter’s shoe had completely disengaged, like it had been scalped.

‘We can’t take these back’, they both said in panic, ‘we’ve worn them outside’.

Bless their hearts. My mantra of wearing stuff inside only and trying it on for a maximum of two minutes to preserve it as pristine is so ingrained in them, they think once garments have left the premises they’re non-returnable.

When £50 of shoes dissolve in mere child sweat in such a short space of time, it’s time for a return all right.

Thankfully I still had the receipt as my son had tried on and bought a pair of trousers that were far too big with his teenage ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude firmly in place and they had to go back. But I hadn’t marked my husband’s words efficiently enough to send him back and get some shoes from Clarks.

It was me – again – who had to endure the crowds, the endless deliberating about which pair fitted whom and who should get the pair with a bow on, and then spend my hard-earned cash.

But mark my words, my husband can do it next year.