Big Mama Blog

Narrow feet, pink poodles and shopping

I should have started writing this earlier since it’s already frightfully close to my bedtime, but I got caught up searching for pink ceramic poodles on Ebay.

What? Like you don’t totally do that same thing.

It actually began as a search for a certain pair of shoes that Caroline and I saw while we were out shopping today, but couldn’t find in her exact size. She has decided she really wants a pair of flats. However, she has the great misfortune of having a narrow foot like P’s side of the family. That’s right. I just totally threw his foot genetics under the bus.

But it’s true. They all have narrow feet. I vaguely remember his mom and sister both mentioning how hard it was for them to find shoes that fit right way back when P and I were dating and I didn’t really understand because I have a very average size 8 to 8 1/2 foot. I can pretty much wear any shoe you give me from any store and I’ve never really appreciated that until now that I have a daughter who requires a narrow shoe. When you’re dating someone you don’t really think about the implications their family’s narrow feet could have on future generations.

So that’s how I ended up on Ebay because I really wanted to find these shoes, but I had no luck. Yet as I struck out on the shoe front, I remembered these pink ceramic poodles that my Me-Ma used to have on the shelves in her formal living room. She let my sister and I have them when we were way too young to appreciate them and we turned these 1950′s vintage ceramic pink poodles into bit players in various scenarios where our Barbie dolls were dog walkers. Because did I also mention they had a fancy gold chain leash?

Well my search for pink ceramic poodles opened up a whole new world to me because I had no idea the world contained so many variations of ceramic dogs. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. I even found some pink poodles that were similar to the ones my Me-Ma had, but not quite the same. I’m sure you wanted to know that.

I guess the most important thing to note is that if I’m home on my couch looking at ceramic dogs online, I obviously survived my afternoon of shopping with Caroline. In fact, I’m happy to report it was our most successful day of shopping together ever. Which is impressive when I tell you that I was suffering from PMS.

But I think it helped because I set the parameters as I drove her to school that morning. I said, “Here’s the deal. I want us to have a great time today. I won’t ask you if you’re sure you don’t like something, if you don’t get worked up because you can’t find something you like. And, the cardinal rule, if we buy it then you’re wearing it. So BE SURE.” She nodded her head in agreement and I told her I’d see her at noon.

As soon as I picked her up from school we headed to Nordstrom and ate lunch in the Nordstrom cafe. Caroline hadn’t ever eaten there before and she immediately informed me that all food might be ruined for her now that she’s eaten their fries with the olive aioli dip. She may have her father’s feet, but she has my taste buds.

After lunch we ventured down to the clothes and she found several things she wanted to try on. She decided on two shirts that were actually my favorites, but I was careful to show no real emotion and certainly didn’t mention that they were darling. And then we ventured into the shoe department where I believe I’ve already mentioned that we had no real luck because NARROW FEET.

We spent the next few hours running into various stores and ultimately had the best luck at big department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Dillard’s. I usually don’t even go in those stores because I decided years ago that the enormous selection overwhelms me. I don’t know what to do with all those racks of clothes. But it works when you’re just looking in the children’s department.

And so we ended the day with several new tops, two new pairs of shorts and no tears. From either one of us. I don’t know if I could feel any greater sense of accomplishment had we climbed Mount Everest.

But then I’ve never cared much about mountain climbing. Apparently I’m too busy looking for obscure trinkets on Ebay.

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  1. 1

    Praise the Lord! My mom used to HATE shopping with me because I was so bad! I was the only girl so of course she wanted to buy me beautiful dresses and all manner of girly outfits. I was a total tomboy and having none of it! Poor Mom!

    Anyhow, I have huge wide feet thanks to my Dad’s side of the family! I have had the best luck with Zappos. You can choose the size, width, style, etc. and then only have to look through those. I do this each year when I am looking for my kids’ new snowboots. I just measure them, tap in their size and the style shoe I want. Then I show them the screen and let them choose from that narrowed down selection. Easy peasy! Plus they have awesome customer service- Shipping is completely free, even returns and they typically arrive the next day! As you can see, I’m a fan!

  2. 2

    I can relate to Caroline’s shoe dilemma, but for the opposite reason. My feet are small and wide. I am a huge fan of Nordstrom because they understand how wide-footed women deserve to wear cute shoes that fit. I’ve also had positive experiences with Zappos. I have just had to learn to accept that I won’t get instant gratification in a shoe department; I need to wait for my perfect shoes to be shipped to me.

  3. 3

    You have to love a shopping trip involving no tears, lunch at Nordstrom, and nothing “darling” ! ;-)

  4. 4
    Courtney says:

    To echo Elizabeth, try Zappos. My son wears a size 14, yet wants trendy shoes. We’ve always found shoes he likes on Zappos. Good luck! I also have four daughters, so I know all about shopping land mines. :-)

    • 5

      God bless you. I thought I had it bad with a son who wears a 13 and still growing .. wowzers. There is HOPE. THANKS!

  5. 6
    Tara G. says:

    Going into those stores is even worse if you’ve lived in Eastern Europe for a couple of years. I nearly had a panic attack when someone offered to watch my kids while my husband was deployed so I could shop at the mall for several HOURS. Holy cow! Where to start?!

  6. 7

    A word of warning from your future: wait until she turns 15! Girl, we had episodes shopping where I swear I felt like we were something out of The Exorcist! There were some head-turning moments! Like you, I have learned to never comment, act real casual, don’t make eye contact and oh yeah, NO COMMENTING!!!
    There is a reward – when they come out with their eyes shining because THIS is the outfit and they feel great! Gotta love daughters….

  7. 8

    My daughter has crazy narrow heels, which makes finding shoes impossible. She can’t even wear TOMS! Two days ago we found a ballet flat THAT WORKS! Its the Sperry “Luna” flat. It’s on Nordstrom’s website so look there. It’s a silver flat with cute little cut outs. Definitely more of a dressy shoe, which is what we were looking for. We have tried every brand and every store and I’m trying to avoid a $80 ballet flat for my daughter who has been known to play in the dirt. Alot.

    Hope this helps!

  8. 9

    You are so much fun to read and I’ve been laughing with you for a really long time now and I just purchased my 1st ticket EVER to Allume and the only thing that makes me sad is that your name is not on the list. Please tell me that this is a mistake?? You will be there right, because I’ve waited a really long time for this :)

  9. 10

    Unending THANK YOUS to you for Fashion Friday! My teenage daughter HATES shopping! (how can that be?) So, I buy her things and bring them home.! Thanks to YOU, she loves what I bring home and her friends wish I shopped for them! LOL -My dad used to collect ceramic dogs as a child (no pink poodles however) and I have his collection now. Not sure what to do with them tho???

  10. 11

    I wish you’d have included a picture of the pink poodles you found. Pretty sure MY grandma had the same little collection! If I remember right, she even had them in different sizes, like a little daddy, mama & baby poodle! Thank you for bringing that memory back to me! Sure miss my Grandma!

  11. 12
    Jennifer S says:

    I LOVE THE NORDSTROM CAFE!!! And that’s all I have to say about that. :)

  12. 13
    SuzanneB says:

    I have narrow feet and shoe shopping has always been a struggle. Zappos is a good place to start also check DSW. You should also check out some Mary Jane styles. With that style the shoe doesn’t always have to be narrow to stay on. That being said, I hated Mary Jane’s when I was younger but they have much cuter styles now.

  13. 14

    I hated shopping with my daughter when she was a teen because I could never figure out her “style”. If I suggested something it was a guarantee no. But now that she is in college she has gotten really smart, (and I apparently have figured out her style) because she realized that I buy her stuff when I am out shopping so she gets a lot more clothes if she likes what I buy.

  14. 15

    I don’t understand people that say they can just walk into a store and buy shoes. ; ) How exactly does that work? I wouldn’t know. LOL I wear a 5 1/2 and shoe stores RARELY will have ONE in stock. I have had shoe clerks actually laugh at me when I told them my size. I have six pairs of shoes. SIX. And three of them are Birkenstocks or Asics so that totally doesn’t count in the cute department. I like Zappos too. Easy, quick service and free returns. I got a nice pair of Keds from them just the other day. Love.

  15. 16

    I remember going shopping with my mother and she always said that if I didn’t like it in the store then I wasn’t going to like when got home, so don’t agree to it just because she thought it was darling. I remember she begged me to buy a pair of purple corduroy pants from Esprit. I loved the matching the shirt, a teal shirt with purple trim. I caved and let her buy me the pants and never wore them. But I work the heck out of that shirt. Oh and my grandmother used to have a set of shot glasses that had pink elephants on them. She used to let me play with them all the time. Although I have no idea why a 9 year old would want to play with shot glasses unless I gearing up for my adulthood when having a wine party with my girlfriends is something I would look forward to. But again, I don’t think wine was really meant to go in a shot glass.

  16. 17

    I am of the opinion that everything,including the cafe, at Nordstroms has the power to release enough endorphins to cause women everywhere to leap tall buildings in a single bound… With fancy heels on! God bless the shoe selection there! Not so much the prices but hey, everything can’t be perfect.

  17. 18
    Shannon says:

    Read your blog everyday and I LOVE it. I think I have only commented maybe once before but I feel your pain. My 12 almost 13 year old daughter has a very narrow foot and we have searched ALL over the place for flats. I love zappos but unfortunately you will not find much for the female preteen/teenage crowd in the way of narrow shoes. The Ellen flat by Vince Camuto and Nordstrom’s Halogen flat work really well for her. You have to look for flats that have elastic around the top that will hug her foot. And just a little warning get ready to paaaaaaay! One of the shoes that fits her really well is the Caroline flat by Tory Burch. I only bought them for her b/c she is now my size so if her foot grows anymore at least I will have a cute pair of black Tory Burch flats-HA!!!! I love the summer b/c sandals are so much easier. When she is not wearing those ugly Chacos (sorry don’t mean to offend) just my opinion or flip flops, Sam Edelman fit her foot really well. I love a cute Target sandal but most of the time those are out for her. Anyway sorry for going on and on but just passing on my experiences in finding a narrow shoe for the preteen girl. We have had many melt downs in the Nordstrom shoe department-my happy place BTW.

  18. 19

    HOORAY!!! I don’t have kids, but I SO remember being Caroline’s age and looking back, it must have been AWFUL to shop with myself….my poor mother….but so glad you all had a great day!

  19. 20

    I’m also a narrow footed female! I shop and they have free shipping/return too. I’m sure there is a much larger selection of cute shoes available now than when I was a kid. I vividly remember (45 years ago – I was also in 5th grade) getting my first pair of narrow shoes. They actually fit my feet! And I felt so pretty in my oxblood (maroon) loafers and my new (homemade) maroon paisley dress! Shoe shopping was always a frustrating ordeal! As an adult, it is easier shopping online and electronically narrowing (no pun intended) the selection so I don’t have to go to the shoe store and see all the cute shoes that are not available in my size.

  20. 21

    Shoes. A problem for me since childhood. Both my sister and I have narrow flat feet. We had corrective shoes (for the flat) when we were children. They didn’t seem to work however and I still have to shoe shop very carefully. I need a narrow heel so they don’t slip off and an arch in them so I don’t walk crooked. The narrows are only found at a SHOE STORE, and those are hard to find as well. When I bought my own first pair of shoes I was wearing a AA which means really narrow. Now everything comes in medium or wide. So a really good shoe store is what you need to find for Caroline. Otherwise the shoes will slip all over her foot. The department stores do not have anything in a narrow. Good luck!

  21. 22
    LeighAnn says:

    When my now adult daughter was starting middle school and trying to find her
    “style” I gave her catalogs from the most popular stores and told her to circle everything that she liked . We then went through to see if there was a pattern to her taste. Once that was established I revealed to her the secret to the “dress for less” version. I would take her choices and find them at Macy’s, Dillards or JCPenney and create the same outfit for less money. She is now in her mid 30s with a toddler and first grader and I still buy clothes for her that she loves! Your Friday Fashions has become our new “circle this one” that she likes, then I find it and buy it for her. Although she is crazy busy she is one of the most stylish mamas in the carpool line. It helps that she is an only daughter so dad and I still enjoy shopping and surprising her with clothes. Plus, she is always appreciative and the best daughter anyone could ask for….win…win.

  22. 23

    Crickey. Always avoided Nordstrom’s cafe in favor of nearby Hot Dog On A Stick which may or may not be bribery to entice eldest granddaughter into shopping. What have I been missing all these years?

    • 24

      get thee there soon! perfect female bonding place. like going to fancy tea, and by the way, their dessert/cookies are terrific!

  23. 25

    I have narrow feet and so do my daughters now! It is so hard to find them cute dress shoes and even sandals for church. I can’t even find expensive pairs that fit! Target could probably make some MORE money if they offered narrow flats.

  24. 26

    I can’t get over how much Caroline and my daughter, Grace are alike! I’m like you, if I actually like something Grace picks out I can’t let her know or it’s over!!! She doesn’t like “darling” clothes either!

  25. 27

    Have you tried Yosi Samra flats? I’m not sure if you can get them in SA but they fit Sarita’s narrow feet!

  26. 28
    Julie J says:

    I love your language and thanks for the laughs, daily!!!

  27. 29

    This post triggered a couple of memories for me. (1) my mother was forever talking about someone having “narrow heels.” Not just narrow feet, mind you, but a subset of that. (Becky has stolen my thunder on that one already. ) (2) When shoe shopping with my boys, I learned very quickly that any positive comment from me was the kiss of death. I learned to help bring them boxes and then walk away. I am glad you had a successful trip.

  28. 30
    Nerd Girl says:

    Ahhh…shoes. I wear a size 12 Narrow. Yeah. 12 Narrow. Imagine all of the fun that is not. Zappos,, and Nordstrom are the only places I’ve bought shoes for years. Oh, and sometimes 9 West. But this is as an adult. As a kid? I wore SAS. Yep, nursing shoes. I’m still scarred.

    Good luck with Caroline’s narrow feet! Glad your shopping trip was a success. You give me hope – my nine year old and I need to overhaul her closet. Feel my joy :)

  29. 31

    Nordstrom’s e bar has forever ruined me for any other coffee/slushy/icecreamy drinks.

    The rule about having to wear what is purchased. YES. yes. YES. I have two daughters and this is an ongoing problem that brings out the very worst of my flesh. I get SO FRUSTRATED!! We have absurd conversations in stores….”are you sure you like it?” “do you promise?” “do you feel like your life is incomplete without it becauseifyoufailtowearthisafterIbuyititmightleadtoyoumakingyourownclothesfromyourbrother’shandmedowns”

    :) glad y’all had a good experience!

  30. 32

    Worst fights I ever had with my mom was when we had to go clothes shopping, ugh. How nice that it went so well!

    I have what are referred to in “the industry” as duck feet. Wide at the toes, very narrow at the heel. When I find a shoe that fits, I buy several pairs.

    Did your Me-ma’s poodles come with a lady who walking them on that fancy leash?? My Me-Ma’s did!

  31. 33

    I am glad your shopping went way better than you anticipated! Some of my favorite memories are of shopping with my Mom and sister in my teenage years. It’s where I learned to bargain shop from the pro (my Mom). I have to admit something to you and your friend Sophie…..I’ve just recently went back and listened to every big boo cast you all ever recorded and I have had the best time with it! Please, please, please record another one soon! I know Sophie is trying it get her book done but please once she is done, PLEASE RECORD ONE! I am not sure how much longer I can make it without a new one…..I may or may not have listened to some more than once.

  32. 34
    Karen Beymer says:

    I must agree with April. I have listened to all the podcast & I get so tickled.
    Today I was doing my Lenten 40 bags in 40 days experience.
    While I listening to the podcast you. & Sophie recorded before your beach trip.
    You were talking about The “Fancy Nights”
    Perfume. You laughed so hard you couldn’t breath & I just enjoyed it so much I didn’t
    Even mind I was in the middle of a huge pile of stuff I never use & now I have find a way
    To get rid of. So glad you & Caroline had a successful day. I agree about large department
    Stores I just become totally overwhelmed.

  33. 35
    Allyson says:

    You have brought back memories with the little pink poodle dogs! My grandmother had them and I played them with my Barbies as well! Thank you! I wish I had kept them!

  34. 36
    Molly in SC says:

    I’ve also lots of luck finding vintage items on etsy. You should look for the poodles there, also! I have that love-hate relationship with the internet, too. I get on for something very productive and practical and end up shopping for something like pink ceramic poodles. It gets me every time! Also, on the shoe front, websites like Zappos are great for things like narrow feet because you can actually narrow down your search to just narrow shoes for girls. Now, there might not be anything you like on there, but it certainly makes it easy to look!