WHEN I first met the Man-in-Charge, some 25 years ago and before I realised he would become the MIC, I bought myself a pair of boots that cost a staggering amount of money.
They were in soft cream-coloured leather, cowboy-style and with a small heel. I loved them so much that I wore them whenever I could. They were about as practical for Pennine winter weather as a pair of silk slippers and lasted about as long.
When I look back on it, this purchase so early in our relationship should have triggered some alarm bells; especially since I explained that I had to have them because they’d been reduced in a sale from £120 to a mere £80 - which was probably a lot more than a week’s wages back then.
This, I have come to realise, is my standard excuse for being profligate. “But it was only £50 and it should have been £200.”
And it is shoes/boots/sandals that I find the most irresistible.
But even I was astonished by the news this week that an American hedge fund manager is suing his ex-wife for a 35% share of her 1,200 pairs of shoes, many by designer Christian Louboutin, worth an estimated £640,000.
The wife, a professional poker player who has become something of a shoe celebrity in the States, says her husband must have known about the shoes but he alleges that she failed to disclose them. I imagine it would be difficult to hide 1,200 pairs of shoes and boots unless, as it is claimed, she secreted them away in a special room.
This bizarre story highlights the irresistible draw of footwear for certain women but makes my own modest collection of around 50 pairs seem positively stingy.
I once interviewed a psychologist at the University of Huddersfield who was conducting research on women and shoes. Her interest was aroused when a fellow member of staff arrived back at the university with a new pair of shoes after a lunchtime shopping spree.
The new shoes caused such a buzz of fascination among female colleagues that she knew she was on to something.
So why do women like shoes so much?