Thursday, May 6, 2010

Anything But a Gimmick

Just a short while ago, a very important package arrived at my doorstep. A package from Malaga with the words "Correos" taped all over it. I had patiently waited for this box, which contained in it a little piece of magic.  A great symbol of flamenco iconography laid inside.

I had ordered the special Manuela Carrasco flamenco shoes from, after months of searching for the perfect new pair. However, I thought to myself, after five years of taking up flamenco, and going through 2 pairs that left me either hurting or stumbling over my feet, I deserved a good new, sturdy pair. Still, for the investment and time I was putting into my purchase, the shoes had to be both well-constructed and of a reputable mark.

As this is already sounding like a commercial endorsement, it is exactly how I felt when I accidentally stumbled upon the website that featured shoes signed by Manuela Carrasco. They said that their shoes are endorsed by and crafted to the exact standards of the queen of gypsy flamenco herself! I thought to myself this is too much of a gimmick.  This can't be real!  I had never seen anybody brand their name onto a flamenco shoe. And, the last person on earth I would ever think of doing this was our queen of solea, the authentic, non-commercialized Manuela!  Taking a huge leap, I went ahead and ordered the very expensive shoes. I thought, if nothing else, I would have a little piece of her essence with me whenever I dance. Then....I waited......and waited.......and waited.......

When the package finally arrived, I could not bare to open it! Would I be disappointed?  Would I somehow be disappointed or feel robbed?  A very childlike feeling came over me, a feeling I had not had since opening a new toy, no, more like a doll. In fact, the beautiful shoebox itself looked to me like a brand new Barbie box. When I finally opened what felt like a small precious vault, the fragrance of pure leather took me straight to the Andalucian shoe factory. Wow, direct from overseas, like a bottle of wine being opened!  I could not resist the scent and the thought of the skilled hands that had constructed these shoes and carefully closed this box with all of its elegant embellishments! With so much hesitation I finally slipped my foot into the right, then the left shoe. Fit perfectly! Unlike its predecessors, my feet molded to this lovely pair of soft but sturdy suede. It was obvious that so much love and care had gone into crafting this shoe, that Manuela's endorsement and signature was almost like the icing on the cake at this point!

 Wherever you are right now, Ole Manuela!!!

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