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Nordstrom and Gwen Say, "Happy Friday! Put Your Party Shoes On!"

Friday, 18 October 2013 10:07 Jennifer Devore
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It is Friday! Like sage Confucius, the Grande Silver Dame Nordstrom say "Put your party shoes on!". Well said! In like spirit, I proffer you an excerpt from my latest novel, The Darlings of Orange County. If the selection below nudges you toward a day of shoe shopping at your local Nordstrom, wunderbar! If it nudges you to buy the whole book and, thus, support my shoe needs, all the mehr wunderbar! Enjoy!

Thankfully, the annoying world of Becca was contained within her phone and, regretting she had started such a perfect day with such a call, Veronica threw her device and Becca into her purse, took off her sunglasses and tossed them in on top of the phone and continued toward a large glass door with a simple, vertical, brass bar handle. As she pulled it open, a blast of glorious air-conditioning bathed her whole body. She lifted her chin and let the initial blast coat her chest and neck, allowing the air to penetrate and swirl all through her hair. The door closed automatically behind her as she entered the building she tried hard to eschew Becca and her No Reading-rule. She couldn't help but get drawn back, though and she pondered the world of non-readers.

Who was she kidding? Modern man wasn't pulling up Reuters news clips about Italy's latest political fight or NPR bites on water sanitation in India; they were pulling up Fantasy Football scores, Jackass-wannabe videos, amateur porn and Twitter sext messages, and their numbers were drowning the planet in whole-learning idiocy. Being a published author may not hold cache for much longer on a planet of growing mindlessness, vapidity and apathy. Where were the great thinkers? Where were the great philosophers, the great humanitarians? It sickened her and she did the only thing possible that could assuage a deep, gothic and penetrating mind like her own. "Hello, Nordstrom!"

They were perfect: red plaid wool and black suede, lace-up booties with a five-inch shaft and a one-inch platform. They were L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani and they had a name: the Rose Bootie. They were nearly six hundred dollars and because of this distinction they stood alone at the pinnacle of a L.A.M.B. display in Salon Shoes at Nordstrom, South Coast Plaza. They couldn't actually glisten or emanate purity and goodness in brilliant strobes of light because they were suede and wool. Nevertheless, in Veronica's head, she saw the strobes of purity and goodness. She knew L.A.M.B. was synonymous with purity and goodness. It was a perfect collection headed by a perfect designer. With the exception of some really ugly 1980s-inspired designs of a few years ago, Gwen Stefani could do no wrong and Veronica would forever remain her most devoted disciple.

They had her size in the Rose Booties; she'd checked first thing. Most Nordstrom stores carried only one pair of each size, of each shoe. That's just genius marketing. Get 'em before some other chick does. The young salesman (Nordstrom shoe guys are almost always young, beautiful and impeccably dressed.) had eagerly helped her try on a pair and told her, ever so politely and just once, for Nordstrom was all about the soft sell, they were "sexy" and "set off the calf perfectly". She knew what that meant. Not the calf, but her calf. Her calf looked excellent in tattered, Polo flip-flops; she didn't even need a mirror to tell her they looked stripper-excellent in these booties. (Say what you want about strippers, but they're forever a mile marker of some sort to women everywhere.) She did look in the mirror, though, and he was right. They were sexy. She was sexy. He asked for her name, to hold the shoes, of course.

"Veronica?" she said in her standard, non-accent accent of the So Cal girl, whereby everything sounded like a peppy question. She eyed the booties with far more lust and enthusiasm than she could have ever summoned up for the salesman with the blue eyes and black curls, her lids falling nearly shut as she tried to turn her head away from them and back to the salesman. Then, like a stubborn cow pulled back to the herd with a rope, she reluctantly turned to him and her eyes shot open and sparkled with her default excitement for pretty much everything under the sun and said, "I'll be right back!"

" It's me, Veronica. Is he back?" she curtly asked Becca.

"Oh. Hi, Veronica. Um, let me see," she paused then spoke again. "Um, I don't see him anywhere. He may have gone for a coffee or something."

"Damn it, Becca. Why are you answering his phone? He can't answer his own phone?"

"Well, um, he's really busy and I'm just handing him the really important … I mean," Becca stammered.

"I know exactly what you mean. The really important calls? Listen up, Becca. You tell him I'm driving up there tomorrow. Tell him he'd better have a badge for me at Will Call. One for Ryan, too. See you in the morning, Becca."

Naturally, within minutes her cell rang. Too late. Now, he could wait. She'd talk to Glenn tomorrow. Besides, she and Ryan were always up for a drive to L.A. They'd stop at the Book Expo, harass her agent for a bit, then keep going up to Monterey and spend the night.

She didn't return to Salon Shoes. It was clear there was either no good news, at the very least, or no news at all about her book sales at the Expo and, that said, she'd make herself wait on the booties. L.A.M.B. was a treat, a pricey carrot for work well done. She agreed to treat herself only if the tradeshow went well and as of now she had no idea. Treats were always sweeter when well-earned. They'd put the boots back on the shelf at the end of the day, but at least they'd be safe from other women's skanky feet for a little while. She had to get herself another agent. Glenn was proving to be a worthless hassle.

She instead browsed through the rest of the store. Nordstrom made everything better, even without an extravagant purchase. Her mother had introduced her to Nordstrom at a very early age. She had, in fact, introduced her to all things South Coast Plaza at a very early age. As Veronica's childhood friend, Dr. Mandy Fong, once said of both their mothers, "It's like a mother cat and her kitten. First, the mother cat catches the mouse, kills the mouse and gives it to her kitten to eat. Next, the mother cat catches the mouse, lets the kitten play with the mouse a bit, then takes back the mouse, kills it and gives it to the kitten to eat. Finally, the mother cat catches the mouse and passes it off completely as she proudly watches the kitten play with, kill, and then eat the mouse all by herself. So it is true with Nordstrom mothers and their kittens.

Excerpt from The Darlings of Orange County by Jennifer S. Devore. All rights reserved. Property of KIMedia, LLC. Excerpt may be shared digitally for entertainment,  non-commercial purposes only and may not be reprinted in analog format or sold in any format, digital, analog or otherwise.

Shoes pictured above: (L) Chinese Laundry "Celestial" pump; (R) Dolce Vita "Kaydn" pump. Available at Nordstrom.com.

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Jennifer Susannah Devore

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