Next on Unfair Park, we will review diamond necklaces, silk undergarments and European sports cars--in other words, all the important things.

Shoes On A Blog

I have something of an unfavorable reputation 'roundabouts our little cubicle cluster. I am none too patient with publicists pitching irrelevant stories. Sometimes I hang up mid-schpiel. I'm a bad person.

But I spent a thrilling semester interning in PR back in college. That means I am, of course, an expert: The more specific your pitch is to a publication's actual content needs, the better. You know what helps with that? Google. I'd Google my pizza delivery guy's name if I knew it. I'd also Google a publication's name if I was about to cold call them and pitch a story about a San Diego mom who developed a stroller with 14 wheels, hydraulics and a stovetop. Just to see if it's the type of thing they'd be interested in. And if it wasn't, I'd go straight to Southern California Mom Inventors Monthly.

A couple of weeks ago, the phone rang and I heard the familiar din of faux PR enthusiasm. I heard, vaguely, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii this is SomegirlfromColeHaan in NewYorkhowareyou!?!?!?! We're launching our newpumpswithNikeairsoles this fall and wantedtoknow whenyoumightbeable to try some on WHAT SIZE SHOE DO YOU WEAR?"

All right, Cole Haan publicist, size eight, if you must know. We don't cover fashion. This ain't Vogue . Just look at what Wilonsky's wearing today. Click.

Days later, a pretty brown Cole Haan box arrives on my desk, mailed all the way from 19th Street in New York City. Inside? A trial pair of Cole Haan "Carma" air pumps. This is what happens when you tell people you don't cover fashion? Attention, publicists: I also don't cover Dior bags, European vacations or lifetime supplies of Chef Boyardee mini rav. FYI.

Anyway, the shoes have Nike Air soles, which means it's like wearing running shoes with three-inch heels. I figured I'd give 'em a turn before they had to return to their Chelsea home. It was, in a word, glorious.

Where's a girl to wear such fancy footwear without too much fear of scuffage? NorthPark Center, bien sur. I could finally walk among the trophy wives and hold my head high. The Nike soles did their trick, and on a scale of one to crippling pain after two hours of shopping, I was way closer to one. I also thoroughly enjoyed looking with disdain at anyone blue collar enough to be wearing, ugh, flats.

Then, strutting east from Neiman's, what did I see but a real, live Cole Haan store! The clerk told me they moved in earlier this year with the big fun new addition. I had the pleasure of being introduced to a lovely pair of Nike Air slingbacks that I plan on acquiring after a diet of ramen and Natty Light for the next month. Until then, I'll have the pleasure of visiting them in person on a whim. That is, of course, until Barney's opens right across the hall in October and I am, once again, too ashamed of my poverty to show my face in the posh light of overpriced designer goods. Town East Mall, you know I'll never really leave you. --Andrea Grimes

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