Monday, March 16, 2009

Whether the leather weathers anymore…

My husband has always owned a pair of Woodland shoes, you know the brown rugged pair that men everywhere sport when they want to project a little outdoor-ish kind of image? My husband was one of the early converts, ever since Woodland advertised with the line ‘leather that weathers’. I’ve known him to hunt high and low for the pair, but as with all things popular this particular model was clearly on the way out.

Arre, it just doesn’t wear out, he would exclaim after 2-3 years of totally mindless use, in water, on treks, in the desert. See, the sole is still intact, what a brand, wow!

Gently I would try and tell him that such a long-lasting model doesn’t make sense for the manufacturer, his commercial interest lies in you not keeping a pair for three years but ideally buying one pair a year.

Every time Woodland announced a sale my husband would pop in trying to find out if this model could be had cheap, but no. He would always find that the discount sale did not apply to this popular model. Rs 2800 it cost, and Rs 2800 it remained.

Recently, when we visited Thakur Mall at Dahisar checknaka (I had blogged about this mall recently), he stumbled on to a Woodland factory outlet which had an ongoing sale. And hubby’s eyes lit up when he learnt that his favourite model could be had for a throwaway Rs 1000. Eagerly he tried on the pair, and his eyes crinkled in dismay. But this pair doesn’t feel like they are from the same family. The right shoe feels different from the left, he said.

The salesman, eager to make a sale, refuted the claim. No sir, they are from the same pair of course, he reasoned. No, my husband was adamant. Try walking in my shoes, you will know what I mean. See how firmly the right shoe grips the floor, and see how the left shoe slides on the same floor, they are from different pairs.

Finally the salesman tried on the shoes and agreed. Then my husband’s eyes caught the different lining on both the shoes. See, if the shoes are from one pair the lining will be the same, but they are different. In fact, one shoe’s front is curved and the other shoe is squarish.

Sheepishly the salesman brought out another pair, and my husband was thrilled to note that they were alike in all respects. And they matched his existing, but down in the mouth, pair externally in size. But on a whim he said he’d like to try these on. And grimaced soon after. The shoes were just right for his feet, there was no room for his toes to breathe.

Give me another pair, preferably one size bigger, he said. Sorry sir, came the prompt reply, this is the last pair we have, said the salesman. Meaning, take it or leave it, knowing full well the ardour in my husband’s eyes.

We took it, the husband hopeful that given time the shoe will ease to his foot size. Alas, every weekend he wears it (yes, he uses Woodland on his weekends) he would end up in pain in the evening. Two months later, the shoe clearly was not adapting to his foot size and he was resigned to buying a new pair.

As luck would have it we recently passed by a Woodland showroom announcing a 50 pc sale, and we walked in. To my husband’s query about the model, the salesman replied, no doubt shattering him: Sorry sir, that model has gone out of production.

See, I told him on the way out, Woodland makes no money from this model if it doesn’t wear out as you say, it makes sense for them to phase it out. But, what about men like us who love it, he asked, to which I had no reply

But worse was to follow. The very next day, as we were shopping around our complex, suddenly my husband started limping, before bending down to pick up something from the ground. His sole, from the months-old shoe which he boasted just goes on and on, had come off! Looking shattered at this breach of trust, he limped back home, holding the sole in one hand till I took pity and put it into my shopping bag.

At home as he struggled to put shoe and sole together with Fevikwik, he was a disillusioned man. How could Woodland do it to us, isn’t nothing sacred anymore, he asked rhetorically. Something tells me Woodland won’t come back into his life again.


Anonymous said...

pl for the sake of fans like us give some daily's like a energy capsules to us.

Shameem Akthar said...

Thanks anonymous for that nice prod! I also love this blog too much to have neglected it the way I have... will be a regular from now on, come what it takes:)