I am on a quest for the perfect pair of boots. This is nothing out of the ordinary, as most women are always on the search for the perfect something: black flats, pencil skirt, winter coat, purse, etc. You don’t really know what it looks like, you just know you will recognize it when you finally find it. Maybe the male equivalent is hunting. Everyday when my feet get cold (and frequently wet) I gaze longingly about at all the dry feet clad in chic boots that fill Paris. Thus, after finally getting paid, I set out to find The Boots.
My search brought me into a quintessentially French encounter. After a couple weeks of preliminary searching every time I passed a shoe store, I finally went this week to try on what I believed would be The Boots.
Saleslady: I am sorry Madame, we do not have your size in stock in brown. Would you like to try on the grey?
(I try on grey boots, which fit perfectly, but not The Boots as they are a different color).
Me: Do you think they might be available in brown in one of your other Paris Branches?
Saleslady (with look of pure insult): Madame, who would want brown boots?
Me: Well actually, I wear a lot of brown.
Saleslady: No no, you simply must get grey, it is so many times more practical than brown!
Me: I understand but —
Saleslady: Grey is in this year. Brown is out. You really do want the grey boots.
Me: I think I actually –-
Saleslady: And just think, they go with everything!
Me: Yes they are truly wonderful, but do you think you could just call another store to see if they have them in brown?
She did not, of course, call another store, but did finally accept that despite the vast superiority of grey boots, I did in fact want brown. Thus, she provided me with a list of all their Paris branches, and wrote down the style number, etc. True French service: Convince the customer they actually want what you have, not seek to have what they want, but eventually help them anyway. Next week I will take my list and set out afresh to find The Boots. If I fail, I can always go get them in grey, which goes with everything.