– Or: ‘Why do men date awful women?’
I have never understood, as an onlooker, why so many fellows date really horrible, horrible women. You know the ones, the mean, manipulative, unreasonable, princesses that have otherwise rational chaps running around after them, blindly acquiescing to their madcap demands. ‘It’s the crazy/hot scale,’ my male friends would explain to me patiently, their compadres nodding sagely. ‘The WHAT?’
Perhaps you are not aware of this phenomenon, as I was not. Here, Barney will explain:
This, ladies and gents, is an actual THING; a fact of life to which many sensible people subscribe. The notion that humans will put up with something that is causing them damage because it is aesthetically exceptional – and, indeed, the more beautiful it is, the more pain, confusion and misery it is entitled to inflict – is one to which I instinctively responded, ‘PIFFLE! And WAFFLE!’
Until, this was, the Cinderella Carvela debacle of 2014.
I was to be a bridesmaid for Cat (she of My Popfession); we have been friends since we were nine and she is the most radiant and beautiful creature there ever was. Careful now, don’t jump to conclusions; she – though undeniably beautiful, is not among the aforementioned women. In fact, she might be the kindest, most considerate person I’ve ever met. She will remember your hamster’s anniversary, and buy him the most elegant gift, expertly wrapped in his favourite colour. As for her bridesmaids, Cat was determined we would have something lovely to wear and when it came to the shoes, she utterly outdid herself. The Swarovski encrusted stilettos were not only mesmerisingly sparkly, they were by Carvela. ‘Hurrah!’ whooped I, ‘They will be comfy and springy and I shall twinkle-toe my way around the South of France like a bridesmaidly fairy.’
They were not. They were pointy, pinchy, torture chambers of foot-death, contorting my toes, and reducing me to a hobbling, wincing cripple. But, my oh MY, they were pretty. And for this reason (not to mention that I would do anything for Queen Catherine, Bride of Provence), I ran round the house, wearing thick socks inside the buggers day and night, in a frenzied bid to loosen them, or at least train my tootsies to handle the agony.
And it gave me a little insight into the logic of the crazy/hot scale. Here I was, willfully making allowances – the balls of my feet burning, my hitherto graceful gait rendered a tottering mince – just to wear something beautiful. Maybe, I mused, I had judged these chaps too harshly and actually, the pain and discomfort of dating someone ‘crazy’ is worth it for the the payoff.
But, on the day of the wedding, though my feet have never looked so elegant, or been so frantically instagrammed, I had to surreptitiously ease them off at dinner, eyes a-watering, to give my screaming toes some respite. Later, the time came for dancing; and though they continued to twinkle prettily from the ledge upon which I carefully placed them, they took no part in our wild and joyful rumpus. And I concluded, just as the shoes that threatened to prevent me dancing – though undeniably gorgeous – were cast aside, so too would any person who threatened to impede my happiness. Probably faster, and no matter how beautiful.
I remain unmoved in my stance on the crazy/hot scale.