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The High Heeled Ruminations Of Melrose Plant


mlroseplant
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Folks, I'm here to tell you that I'm a silly, silly man. Here's a little backstory about my new FSJ mules, noted under the "new shoes" thread. I believe these arrived on a Friday, so I had a couple of days to wear them around the house before Sunday morning. For some reason, I decided I wanted to wear these to church with a pair of powder blue slim dress pants. My top really didn't matter because I was going to be wearing a choir robe the whole time anyhow.

On this particular Sunday, our local college had Homecoming weekend. For years, on Homecoming Sunday, we've had a joint church service with the college at the college chapel, which is just a few blocks from our church. It happens to be a few blocks closer to my house, as well. Since the chapel is not right on a street, it's kind of set back into the college campus, I decided it wouldn't gain me much to drive my car, as I would have to walk quite a ways anyhow after I parked at the nearest spot, why not just walk the whole way? It's not far, about 0.4 miles, or several hundred meters for you metric types.

So here's an added twist: It was pouring down rain. I figured that was a good test of my new cheap shoes, to see if the glues were crap. I figured the water wouldn't hurt the plastic/vinyl material the shoes are made of, but I wasn't sure how they would hold together in the wet. Since I'm not inexperienced in these matters, I stuffed an extra pair of similar mules (in black) in my bag along with my choir robe and music, and I headed out with my umbrella.

As I said elsewhere, I got about a block before I noticed something was amiss. There was no good spot to really give it a good visual check, so I kept walking for another 50 yards. By that time, I could tell that something was definitely wrong. There was no shelter, no place to sit down, nothing to lean up against for a couple of hundred yards, so there I was, on the damn street, balancing my umbrella and music bag, trying to change my shoes in the pouring rain. I finally got it done, and walked the rest of the way to the chapel, by which time my feet were extremely wet and covered in black shoe polish which had transferred itself from my shiny black sandals to my feet. I was slightly late, of course.

It makes a good story, but why didn't I wear more sensible shoes for the conditions, and then change once I got there? I am quite aware of the condition of the sidewalks from here to there, and that it's darn near impossible to not wade through several inches of water during a heavy downpour. It was one of the longest short walks I believe I've ever taken. For the record, I was not the only person who wore high heeled sandals that day. More on that later if anyone is interested.

FSJBlueMuleSide.jpg

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Thank you for that story @mlroseplant!

it’s funnily written even if it may haven’t been so much fun for you 

It reminded me some stupid experiences I had. Because I also am a crazy guy. 
Thank you also for that perfectly written and understandable English which gives me the opportunity to practice that language I like but isn’t easy so for me 

Pierre 
 

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13 hours ago, Pierre1961 said:

Thank you for that story @mlroseplant!

it’s funnily written even if it may haven’t been so much fun for you 

It reminded me some stupid experiences I had. Because I also am a crazy guy. 
Thank you also for that perfectly written and understandable English which gives me the opportunity to practice that language I like but isn’t easy so for me 

Pierre 
 

Your English is invariably good and understandable, monsieur Pierre - do keep it up!  But if you want to align yourself with your friendly British neighbours* rather than the colonials across the pond, you should use 'practise' for the verb and 'practice' for the noun'.   Likewise 'license' (verb) and 'licence' (noun).   And refer to yourself as a 'bloke', not a 'guy' - which we don't have in the UK.

*unless of course the French tradition of blockading ports is in progress.  😈

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1 hour ago, Puffer said:

Your English is invariably good and understandable, monsieur Pierre - do keep it up!  But if you want to align yourself with your friendly British neighbours* rather than the colonials across the pond, you should use 'practise' for the verb and 'practice' for the noun'.   Likewise 'license' (verb) and 'licence' (noun).   And refer to yourself as a 'bloke', not a 'guy' - which we don't have in the UK.

*unless of course the French tradition of blockading ports is in progress.  😈

Stick with us colonists. We way number the little island. 🙂

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21 hours ago, Jkrenzer said:

So what was the shoe issue when all said and done. Really a shame those wont work out, they are beautiful heels. Also they look to be nearly 5 inches in height.

As you said elsewhere, perhaps it is only the heel tips that won't work out. One of the things that I really wanted to find out is whether the area right around the toe opening would cause irritation or a blister, which is often the case with such shoes. I have another pair of Chinese shoes in that very style that I like rather better anyway, so the jury is still out on what I will do with these. Actual heel height is 4 3/8". It's a size 8 1/2.

15 hours ago, Pierre1961 said:

Thank you for that story @mlroseplant!

it’s funnily written even if it may haven’t been so much fun for you 

It reminded me some stupid experiences I had. Because I also am a crazy guy. 
Thank you also for that perfectly written and understandable English which gives me the opportunity to practice that language I like but isn’t easy so for me 

Pierre 
 

I do try to write in a less-than-formal style, but one that is technically "correct" enough to be clear. Thanks for the compliment!

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10 hours ago, Puffer said:

I assume you mean 'outnumber'?   But size isn't everything.

You're right, phone typing leaves a lot to be desired.

It's a good thing size doesn't matter, I'd be in big, uh short trouble.

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On 10/28/2021 at 8:28 PM, Pierre1961 said:

Thank you also for that perfectly written and understandable English which gives me the opportunity to practice that language I like but isn’t easy so for me 

On that matter i have to say the same, thanks for ignoring my mistakes or showing how i can improve my english. And the difference between UK-english and US-english does not make things easier. Since the US influence is far greater than the british influence in movies, music and business here in Germany we tend to understand and use the US-derivate more.

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❤️ my wife in heels (and without ...)

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2 hours ago, Isolathor said:

On that matter i have to say the same, thanks for ignoring my mistakes or showing how i can improve my english. And the difference between UK-english and US-english does not make things easier. Since the US influence is far greater than the british influence in movies, music and business here in Germany we tend to understand and use the US-derivate more.

Interesting, but a little worrying.   I would expect that, regardless of Brexit, there is in Germany and the rest of Europe far more British than US influence in relation to business matters.   And of course there is big German investment in a number of British business sectors (e.g. transport) and individual companies.   Still, I am comforted by the thought that you won't beat us in business unless and until you learn our version (the proper version) of the English language!

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It’s pop culture rather than trade or financial links that would shape the language, and US pop culture - films, music, TV, trends etc - vastly overwhelms British on a global scale. No comparison. And indeed British English is becoming increasingly American itself.

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I have found over the years that I have less of a preference which major branch of English a person chooses to learn. I'm talking about English as a Foreign language of course, we native speakers didn't really have much of a choice. I don't even care about grammar that much anymore, to the extent that bad grammar does not impede the communication process. I think this comes from living with someone whose first language is not English for 13 years.

On a slightly different subject, singing classical music in English sounds much better if you lean toward something like RP. American English has some vowel and consonant sounds that are not really very nice for classical singing.

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I spent two (2) years in Germany in 1958 & 1959 with the U.S. Army . When first posted there ( not yet knowing the language ). One day, needing directions,  I approached a German man on the street in Darmstadt, Germany and ask him if he spoke English . His response was " Well not fluently " I believe Europeans have a better command of languages than Americans . You have my deepest respect . This is another German I respect . gml_steeletto_ankle_boots_fr_latex_skirt_fatal_public_16.thumb.jpg.8e44df914b2b223915929056bb5de87f.jpgMike 

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Europe is a densely populated place with small countries by land area. It's not surprising Europeans would have a stronger grasp for learning multiple languages. Other than Brazil all of the Americas speak Spanish, English or French, natives aside. 

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5 hours ago, Shyheels said:

Bad grammar and misplaced punctuation can very much impact communication - as any solicitor can tell you 

Indeed - and so can using 'impact' as a verb, and certainly when not followed by 'on'.   Acceptable in US business-speak; not otherwise.

 

10 hours ago, Shyheels said:

It’s pop culture rather than trade or financial links that would shape the language, and US pop culture - films, music, TV, trends etc - vastly overwhelms British on a global scale. No comparison. And indeed British English is becoming increasingly American itself.

This very much depends upon the world in which one moves.   Teenagers worldwide are going to be influenced much more by American culture than adult business-people and professionals.   

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Just listen to the words and phrasings of politicians, businessmen and corporate PRs these days - there is a very definite shift towards American English. Sure, there are some British-to-their-bootstraps types who proudly and defiantly cling to traditional English, but they’re all pretty much nearing retirement. I don’t say that American English will fully take over, r at least not for a while yet, but the lines are blurring right across the socio-economic spectrum.

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14 hours ago, spikesmike said:

 This is another German I respect . gml_steeletto_ankle_boots_fr_latex_skirt_fatal_public_16.thumb.jpg.8e44df914b2b223915929056bb5de87f.jpgMike 

She was however not a native, she hailed from a baltic state. But she spoke german nearly fluently, being here many years.

❤️ my wife in heels (and without ...)

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I just gained some further insight as to why most women don't wear heels anymore. In short, it's because they suck at it. Not only do they suck now, evidently they have always sucked at it, but we never knew it. Let me explain:

I had a conversation with my female friend from college (late 1980s), who used to wear heels on a regular basis, but now that I think about it, it was when dressing up only. I do not ever remember her wearing heels with jeans, for example. Back then, we had reasons to dress up on a fairly regular basis, so this probably skews my memory a little bit. Anyway, back then, she would never have worn flats with any sort of dressy clothing, and though it is certain she had more than one pair of heels, the one I remember in particular were plain black pumps wit 3 1/2" stiletto heels. Nothing to write home about, but incrementally higher than the norm at the time.

An aside: 3 1/2" heels? Yes, she left them in my dorm room one night, and I measured them. It seems incredible that they seemed quite high at the time, and they were high compared to what most girls/women were wearing at the time. It must have been sometime around the late '00s when shoes started becoming more extreme. I consider 3 1/2" heels to be mid-heels today.

Anyway, this friend hasn't really worn heels higher than 2" for years, and even 30 years ago, would complain if circumstances presented themselves to cause her to be in heels longer than she'd anticipated. Only now do I understand why. Simple lack of practice. No stamina. However we got on the subject, I mentioned that standing in heels is much harder than walking in heels. She found this bit of truth very surprising. And I was shocked that she found it surprising. I was thinking to myself, "How do you NOT know this fundamental fact of wearing heels? You're a female child of the '80s!" It later came out that she didn't understand that heel tips are wear items, and are replaceable, and should be replaced. The reason she didn't understand this? Because she had only worn 1 or 2 heels down to the nail in her entire life.

I do not know if this experience is typical for the day, but it is another story which reinforces my theory that the reason women hate heels is because they haven't done the preparation to wear them properly.

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That’s probably quite true - they would have been expected to wear heels for certain occasions as a matter of course and many would have done so out of obligation and nothing more and don’t put little thought or preparation into the matter. That they found heels uncomfortable under these circumstances would have seemed simply par for the course. A fact of life, get on with it.

But for a guy to wear heels requires a fair bit of thinking and self analysis beforehand, and a desire to walk gracefully in them. There is much more incentive and interest in practicing and preparation.

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Another thing is looks over function.  Purchasing heels even though they don't fit right, then they hurt. Duh.  I remember a university graduation several years ago and watching women walk down the aisle in high heels and you could tell most hadn't worn heels in a long time.

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On 10/30/2021 at 3:40 AM, Puffer said:

Interesting, but a little worrying.   I would expect that, regardless of Brexit, there is in Germany and the rest of Europe far more British than US influence in relation to business matters.   And of course there is big German investment in a number of British business sectors (e.g. transport) and individual companies.   Still, I am comforted by the thought that you won't beat us in business unless and until you learn our version (the proper version) of the English language!

I work for a global company headquartered in Germany.  A lot of business is conducted in English, and I have never seen anyone working from Germany use British spellings of words.  Not even "colour" or "theatre", which I like to use, despite being American.  I am guessing there are some prevailing norms in some countries when it comes to the way they teach English in the education system, and it seems in Germany they use American English.  I also work with a number of people from India, and have discovered some English phrases used there that I rarely hear from other countries, like "do the needful", or the word "not" to describe the number 0.  I was so confused one day when someone used "seven triple not" to describe 7000.  

 

6 hours ago, Shyheels said:

That’s probably quite true - they would have been expected to wear heels for certain occasions as a matter of course and many would have done so out of obligation and nothing more and don’t put little thought or preparation into the matter. That they found heels uncomfortable under these circumstances would have seemed simply par for the course. A fact of life, get on with it.

But for a guy to wear heels requires a fair bit of thinking and self analysis beforehand, and a desire to walk gracefully in them. There is much more incentive and interest in practicing and preparation.

I've noticed that much of what is said here about women and heels is sadly also true with many men and... cowboy boots.  Even here in Texas, I talk to a lot of people who own cowboy boots, even multiple, expensive pairs, and rarely wear them.  A lot of people ask me how I wear cowboy boots ever day, since they are so uncomfortable.  They don't have to be uncomfortable, but maybe because of bad fitment or bad expectations they feel like that is normal.  

 

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It is pretty much the norm now for Europeans who speak English to do so with American pronunciation and spellings. Occasionally you meet one who does British English, but it’s fairly unusual. Not rare, just unusual. 

6 hours ago, p1ng74 said:

I work for a global company headquartered in Germany.  A lot of business is conducted in English, and I have never seen anyone working from Germany use British spellings of words.  Not even "colour" or "theatre", which I like to use, despite being American.  I am guessing there are some prevailing norms in some countries when it comes to the way they teach English in the education system, and it seems in Germany they use American English.  I also work with a number of people from India, and have discovered some English phrases used there that I rarely hear from other countries, like "do the needful", or the word "not" to describe the number 0.  I was so confused one day when someone used "seven triple not" to describe 7000.  

 

I've noticed that much of what is said here about women and heels is sadly also true with many men and... cowboy boots.  Even here in Texas, I talk to a lot of people who own cowboy boots, even multiple, expensive pairs, and rarely wear them.  A lot of people ask me how I wear cowboy boots ever day, since they are so uncomfortable.  They don't have to be uncomfortable, but maybe because of bad fitment or bad expectations they feel like that is normal.  

 

Oh, and I meant to say - the word you are hearing as ‘not’ for ‘zero’ is actually ‘nought’. It is fairly commonly used in British English. As a matter of fact the game Americans call Tic-Tac-Toe is known as Noughts and Crosses over here.

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How we Americans managed to get it completely backwards when it comes to words for "zero" is beyond me, but we did. In very specific circumstances, we use the word "aught" to mean zero, when in fact the real meaning of the word "aught" means the opposite of zero, and we probably should really be saying "nought," or even "naught," but we don't.

Wire gauge and firearms continue to use "aught" as designators, as in "Bring that spool of 'four-aught' (4/0 or 0000) over here and set it up." The ammunition size .30-06 would always be pronounced "thirty aught six." Double aught buckshot would be another one, where such things are allowed. They aren't here in Iowa. We have to use a slug.

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1 hour ago, mlroseplant said:

How we Americans managed to get it completely backwards when it comes to words for "zero" is beyond me, but we did. In very specific circumstances, we use the word "aught" to mean zero, when in fact the real meaning of the word "aught" means the opposite of zero, and we probably should really be saying "nought," or even "naught," but we don't.

Wire gauge and firearms continue to use "aught" as designators, as in "Bring that spool of 'four-aught' (4/0 or 0000) over here and set it up." The ammunition size .30-06 would always be pronounced "thirty aught six." Double aught buckshot would be another one, where such things are allowed. They aren't here in Iowa. We have to use a slug.

Interesting.   You will hear 'aught' used occasionally (and correctly, to mean 'anything [at all]') in some UK dialects, but it is archaic to say the least.   For example, 'Have you heard aught of John since he moved away?'

When quoting in speech reference numbers or dimensions and the like, nought is rarely heard nowadays in the UK; 0 is very commonly rendered as O [Oh], or more formally as zero.   I believe that the usage of 'O' derived from wartime practice, to minimise confusion when quoting co-ordinates and times etc over the radio or telephone.   (Using 'fife' and 'niner' for the easily-confused 5 and 9 were other examples.)   Many older people resisted its wider 'peacetime' adoption for a long time; I well remember my schoolmaster telling me sternly (c1959) that the local 601 trolleybus was not numbered 'six-oh-one'.

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