Thursday, February 4, 2010

Valentines 2010 - your help needed

Last year, the Cry Baby turned out to be my perfect Valentines gift. My girl just loved it, and we had good fun during a couple of social parties, with special thanks to the remote control. The Cry Baby has now been safely stored though, and we hardly use it anymore.

So what am I getting her this year? I think I can tell you already, since she hardly reads this boring blog anyway... Well, it is not going to be easy. Something I have not given anyone before: shoes. Sandals to be more precise, since it is pretty hot in Nairobi nowadays. Shoes aren't something to be gifted - you don't know how they'll fit, what style she would like today (usually different from yesterday's), if they will hurt her sexy feet, and so on. But I am taking the risk, and I am buying her some sandals through my cousin who is currently in Europe and will be back just in time for Valentines.

I have narrowed it down to two options. They are both the same brand (Alberta Ferretti), same material (suede leather), but they have a different design and color:

And this is where I need your help now. I can't choose! SOS - shoes or shoes? Aaarrrrghhhhhhhhhhh, and don't tell me I need to buy her other ones... Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasssse!


Fake Expatriate said...

The purple is better, but I hear the gladiator look is on the way out.

Valerie said...

I like the gray myself. A bit classier and will go with more outfits. I also think it's good you're buying your lady shoes for V-day.. that rocks...

Cold Turkey said...

The gray one, if I can help, boy. One thing, pray she doesn't read this and so save the broth.

Maishinski said...

Buy both. If you buy the purple atakushuku... (purple! Helooo!)

If you buy the grey ataona hauna imagination. Ata feel huwezi take risks for her. Am sure uko na suti ya grey and nguo zako za job ni dark colored... So..?

Mnunulie zote mbili. Halafu umwambie ni kusymbolize vile yeye ni special kwako 200%.

Warning: Usiwe tempted (like many dudes) ati kuficha pair moja for the next birthday. Ataipata (bank on it) halafu utakuwa na a lot of explaining to do.

Hi ni tip ya kimataifa. Don't forget to thank me baadaye.


Andrea Bohnstedt said...

Shoes = happiness.

This is a difficult one. Both are lovely, and in cases like this, my approach usually is: If in doubt, buy both.

Does she take cabs a lot or have a car? Then the grey ones. If not, and she does more walking, I'd lean towards the purple pair: Suede is very sensitive, and the heels of the purple pair are less prone to scratches.

Get your cousin to pick up a stylish nail polish in duty free to go with the shoes - but not the same colour!

Sonnie said...

Rafiki, Rafiki! My friend, My friend! *The MOST OBVIOUS answer to this oh so difficult question :) is BOTH BOTH BOTH...Did I say BOTH!!!! Lol...she will not only thank you for being a very renaissance gentleman for taking a risk & purchasing shoes but for also having fabolous taste!!!! By the way my answer is BOTH BOTH BOTH :)

Mountainous said...

I would go with the grey ones but this is because I know zip about colours.
However if you go for the purple you know there has to be a matching accessory to go with it.

kellie said...

A woman can't have enough shoes Rafiki. I'll appreciate both pairs and a purple clutch since I don't have an accessory to go with the pair.

Asante! *grin*

Joliea said...

yea. glads ar out...cry baby ti hi hi! i want! :)

Our Kid said...

Which one will she look best in wearing nothing, and I mean nothing, but only the shoes? Yes, that is all the criteria you need.

Anonymous said...

The others say both but I say that for valentines day getthe purple ones in red.The heel is in. Matching is so out of style leave that to the grannies no need to have a clutch the same as your shoes.So I say Valerie is right about the greys being classic,dont forget the dust in the 254 makes caring for shoes a task.If she's liberal get her the purple ones if she's into the classic look get her the grey ones.
Says Anon ;)

Rafiki said...

@ Fake Expatriate: Grey 0 - Purple 1. Thanks. So what is the new look then if gladiators are out?

@ Valerie: Grey 1 - Purple 1. Thanks for the encouragement, I hope she feels the same.

@ Cold Turkey: Grey 2 - Purple 1. And yes, I am praying.

@ Maishinski: Thanks for bringing in a new dimension. Now, that makes it even more difficult for me. Grey 2 - Purple 1 - Both 1. I'll thank you if it works out alright.

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: She has a car, takes taxis, but she also loves walking.
Nail polish: Now you are making it even more difficult. What guidance should I give to my cousin apart from the colour. Any particular brand?

@ Sonnie: Grey 2 - Purple 1 - Both 2. You have convinced me, thanks for speaking out loud and clear. Both will be best indeed. So how do I go about this on the day itself? Give one pair in the morning, another pair in the evening? Or all of them at once?

@ Mountainous: Just now that I have decided to go for both, you are bringing up the issue of accessories... Damn...

@ kellie: You know you were not supposed to read this post until Valentines day!
A clutch? What is she going to do with that mechanism for transmitting rotation?

@ Joliea: Don't Cry for Me Argentina.

@ Our Kid: Strange criteria! Then it would be the purple ones!

@ Anonymous: The purple ones are not available in red. She will not only wear them in 254, but all over the globe.
A clutch???

Anonymous said...

@ rafiki clutch as in a clutch bag...likie kellie said..anywho purples royal and nice =) anon

Rafiki said...

@ Anonymous: Thanks for teaching me another meaning of the word 'clutch'. So it looks like I'll have to dig a bit deeper and look for a nice clutch. Any guidance?
My cousin saw a lila clutch, but what is the difference between purple and lila? Aaaaaaaaaaarghhhhh, this shopping is freaking me out!

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

There are many great brands, but one of my all-time favourites is, of course, Chanel: a classic and such beautiful packaging.

My staple is Rouge Noir, but I find myself lusting after Inattendu. Or maybe Gondola?

Maishinski said...

I was also wondering what a "clutch" had to do with shoes... Wonders never cease. :-)

It could work against you if the shoes are too good and just the right fashion, your girl might quietly wonder where you got the idea and expertise from; and how you know ladies accessories so well...

A functional gift comes with unspoken demands and pressure hence can be risky. Better a ceremonial gift.

If you buy the shoes... what if (and this is just a "what if") she she "mistreats" them (e.g. by walking in the rain with them, or not maintaining them better than her other shoes or not wearing them for important events,, etc)? A lot of people feel hurt by such small things.. and it reflects in subsequent valentines/birthdays etc.


Having covered the basics (flowers, chocolate, card etc etc)...:

1. Take a HIGH QUALITY PICTURE of both shoes (grey & pink)

2. Frame the picture and gift-wrap it.

3. Write in the valentines card

"I thank God for giving me ______, a wonderful and beautiful woman who is not materialistic."

4. Give her the gifts at the opportune moment and tell her that the framed picture is a work of art inspired by your thoughts about her.

Tell her how you had difficulty choosing between the two and how people gave you conflicting views...

Tell her that the picture captures a priceless moment, when the primary thought in your mind was how to please her.

To wrap up.. let her know that the picture is also a promise of good things to come. A commitment from you to her that she has something to look forward to in the next valentine.

Technically, all the above would be true so you ain't breaking any rules.

This leads to your successful escape from a very tricky position... Plus gains you time (12 months) to subtly negotiate for a safer gift.

Instead of shoes, consider something "utterly low maintenance + cant-go-wrong". Like a pearl necklace + earring (if married) or someting that says "potential wife to be" if she's a girlfriend (e.g. a Kitchen set + recipe-book).


Archer said...

Thinking like the average dude would, I'd say take the grey ones. Reason is, they can be worn with more outfits, the heel looks more supportive and durable. The purple ones will cost you more in terms of accessories and stuff. Besides, she'll only wear it twice a year. Very low value for money.

Rafiki said...

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: Thanks so much, Chanel it will be! The shades you propose are to go with the purple or the grey shoes? What about the shade 18 Vamp (Black Red)?

@ Maishinski: I don't foresee any problems there, I can just refer her to my blog and I am sure she will understand.
If she 'mistreats' the shoes, that now becomes her problem, it won't bother me too much.
I don't think she would be very happy with a picture of the shoes... I would also not be happy with a picture of the iPhone. We are both a bit materialistic maybe, yes. Anyway, both pair of shoes have just been bought today...

@ Archer: Of course by now you may have realized that I am not the average dude.

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

You can safely ignore Maishinski - there's not a single piece of sensible advice in that post.

Practically any colour goes with the grey ones. With the purple ones, the powdery pinks will work, or you can try to match the shoe colour - or, if you're feeling adventurous, go for something clashing. Then the outfit can't be too all-over-the-place colourwise, but I'm sure your lucky girlfriend knows that already.

Vamp, I've just looked it up, is actually my favourite, Rouge Noir - no idea why they renamed it. It's a classic. Remember Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction? She wore it in that movie. It's never ever a wrong purchase.

Rafiki said...

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: Both pairs have been bought today. Does that mean I need to go for two nail colours as well? Or can one still do?
I already texted Shade 18 Vamp (Black Red) to my cousin, I hope she can still find this. Or is this available locally somewhere?

Now, the clutch, this is where I totally get lost. Guidance anyone?

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

I doubt you'll find the Chanel nail polish here. But the duty free at Heathrow (or Shiphol) should have a good selection. You can get one colour for both pairs, but then again, one can never have too many Chanel nail polishes .... (or perfumes, or lip gloss - but I really shouldn't be giving you more ideas here).

Clutch or any other kind of bag: Have you paid a visit to Moccha at Westgate? I think they have an outlet at Prestige, too. Beeeautiful Italian leather bags (shoes, too, by the way, for next year). Buy me a piece of cheese cake from Art Cafe and I'll come along as your advisor! :)

Rafiki said...

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: My cousin is leaving from Paris, I guess that will also be fine for getting the nail polish.
Perfumes? Lip gloss??? All that needs to match the shoes? Ai ai ai.
I have never noticed Mocca at Westgate. Maybe because I am male. Will try to pass by this afternoon. You deserve a whole cheese cake, not just a piece :-)

StyleMeNaija said...

The purple is OUT! wooden heels are so 2008.

Rafiki said...

@ StyleMeNaija: Welcome to this old-fashioned blog. I am surprised by your comment, since both pairs come from a 2010 collection. Anyway, they have been bought already. Also, you should come up with a better alternative if you know of a better pair.

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

Sheesh, here I am off the internet for a couple of hours and a whole new crisis breaks out!

Take a deep breath. And another one. Your Valentines Day package as it stands is fantastic and would have made a perfect birthday or Christmas present, too. Wrap it prettily and add a bunch of Calla lilies - Zucchini has beautiful mango and purple coloured ones that will work a treat!

Chanel is a French company, so should be easily available in Paris, whether in town or at the airport.

Perfume and lipgloss: Keep some ideas for the next big day! Otherwise give me a few more days and set me a budget, then I'll sort out the whole package for you next time :)

Wooden heels are a classic style and Alberta Ferreti is a brand with a pretty, feminine style (not minimalist or super edgy), so you'll be fine.

Say hi to the ladies from Mocca (first floor, next to the indoor area of Art Cafe) and tell them Andrea sent you!

Mo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mo said...

Good choice getting both.

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

PS: If you feel another crisis coming on when stepping into Mocca, then step out again, give me a call and I'll meet you there during the week for decision-making support. I remember they had a supercute little purple bag that should work perfectly .... but haven't been in there for two weeks or so, so can't distance-diagnose as they may have new stock.

Rafiki said...

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: Calla lilies??? So even buying flowers is a complex issue? And roses are out I guess...?
Went to Westgate, stopped briefly at Mocca, didn't even dare to enter there once I realized that I had not even physically seen the shoes yet... am such a loser really. Second try later this week once I have the shoes.

@ Mo: Thanks for your support, I really need it. Last year everything looked so much easier with just the Cry Baby only.

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

Right, give me a call when you have the shoes and I'll meet you at Westgate.

Calla lilies: You dont' *have* to add flowers, but they do make a nice addition for presentation purposes!

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

I'm sitting on the second floor at Westgate, getting my nails done with Chanel 'Diabolic'. Will have a snoop around on the first floor when done.

Shuga Blog said...

I just bumped into your site. Very informative. I shall become a follower. Keep it up

Rafiki said...

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: New development... friend of hers is advising me to go local and make sure not everything is imported from Italy, as apparently she likes supporting the local economy in one way or the other.
The friend is also saying there is a leather bags shop at Adam's Arcade with exciting colors, another shop called Zebu at Junction, and Sandstorm (which may be boring). Ai ai ai!

@ Shuga Blog: Welcome to this space! Please tell us a bit more about yourself and your interests.

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

You're just a sucker for punishment, aren't you?

I agree with your friend in principle (and I was running around in sandals from Zebu shop today), but bear in mind that if you want the bag to go with the shoes, the finish and the style should match a little.

I've once spotted a cute, hot pink leather clutch at Adelphi Leather in Sarit that I nearly bought, but that was a long time ago and recently I haven't seen any really nice ones recently. But yes, Zebu is worth a try, and so Adelphi Leather.

The bags at Mocca ... sigh. I need to find someone who will pay me for shopping/style advice with a bag from Mocca!

Maishinski said...

Seems like no one got the point...

*** How long will the shoes last?

*** How long will the photo and its humor, its romantic origins etc last?

Which of the two can create a lasting memory that will still be fresh 10 years from now? Something that keeps you together in tough times? Something that brings nostalgia.. e.g. "Sigh! 2010.. our year.. those were the days..". Something that connects you both at spiritual level?

Up to you - but my take, mano-el-mano, is to do something unique that shows your creativity and originality. Show your girl that she has a man who is different from all the rest. Money doesn't buy love..

Anyway if you do buy shoes, I support the idea to "buying Kenyan". Though i wonder how, since apart from Bata - who do a lousy brand positioning job - who else manufactures Kenyan shoes?


Andrea Bohnstedt said...


I'd be delighted if I received a fabulous pair of shoes as a gift. I'd keep those (and I keep most of mine anyway, in particular the ones I treasure).

I'd be massively ticked off if anyone gave me a bloody *picture* of a pair of shoes with a card saying 'I thought of you and maybe next year I'll get them for you'. Why bother?

I don't think I'm very different from the majority of women.

In Kenya, you can get cute sandals from Masai Treads, Zebu shop, and Kiko Romeo. None of them compare to Alberta Ferreti. That's just it. Nobody makes the Merc equivalent of shoes here.

Maishinski said...

"Majority of women"... My point exactly... A person is special because he/she stands out from the majority.

It would take an extraordinary woman to accept and appreciate an extraordinary gift.

The "next year" concept is part of the humor and hopefully she would "get it" if they are "connected" already... Coz she knows him well.

Plus.. you said: "I'd keep those (and I keep most of mine anyway, in particular the ones I treasure)"

Clearly there is nothing first-time / unique or extraordinary about a pair of shoes.

Poor guy goes into all this trouble only for the shoes get lumped up with another batch of "special shoes"... Special? Really?

Women know what they want - but they don't have a clue what they need... until they see / hear it and feel the emotions that come with it.

Rafiki, you have a choice.. be the nice guy who gives her what she wants... predictable, ordinary and boring... or be the alpha dude who gives her what she needs when she least expects it.


Rafiki said...

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: Well, both pairs of shoes have arrived and they look... AMAZING! Did I say that they look WONDERFUL? I mean like really really SEXY! Oh my God, are they BEAUTIFUL! I don't think I'll be able to wait till Sunday to actually give them.

@ Maishinski: Well, I already have the shoes and I am spicing up the Valentines package to make it very unique. She is going to find this very special. She will not find this boring or ordinary at all. I think there are very few Kenyan guys going through the same unique preparations for Valentines day like I do. I don't know about your girl (and I actually don't want to know anything about her), but mine would definitely not be happy with the picture effect. You may find it unique, but I would find it insulting.
And no, Bata are not the only Kenyan shoes. As Andrea pointed out, there are more exciting brands around, but let the Italians do what they do best. And there will still be the Kenyan clutch, what a nice balance.

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

Rafiki, have you put them on the table to marvel at and stroke? :)

Maishinski, I take my shoes (and handbags, and other accessories) very seriously. Shoes make me happy. Really good shoes make me really happy. If you don't understand that - nothing I can do. And if that makes me ordinary, that's cool, too. I'll be ordinary then. With good shoes, of course.

Being German, I'm not a Valentines day person, but this sounds like a super-fabulous present that a lot of thought and effort went into.

Andrea Bohnstedt said...

PS: And the nail polish? Any luck?

Rafiki said...

@ Andrea Bohnstedt: I am actually hiding them very well. And I can't touch them, imagine what would happen if my hands were dirty... Do you think it would be fine to give one pair already on Friday night?
The nail thing was no problem finding, my cousin is saying it is actually all over the place.
Only thing left now is the (Kenyan) clutch, and am out of town currently... But no panic yet.

Anonymous said...

Rafiki, Rafiki follow the womens advise and buy both the pairs, and the clutch, nail polish, THE LILLIES and a dress to finish it...and ooh yah a dinner to strut the stuff is not a bad idea

Homes For Rent said...

Both are good but selection must be don by heart sound...
Thanks for sharing...

Maishinski said...

Sawa Rafiki. Good luck... (Terren Terren)


(relax, am just kidding...this was too tempting to pass by and y'all bit the bait.)

You made a good choice. Happy valentines!

Mountainous said...

Interested to know whether your choice(s) worked the required magic!

Rafiki said...

@ Anonymous: Did all of that. Well, it did wonders!

@ Homes For Rent: Welcome to this space and thanks for the advice.

@ Maishinski: That was really a bad joke. You don't know what I had to go through. Let me kill you.

@ Mountainous: Thanks for your concern. Let me just say that all went beyond my expectations and I had to call sick at work today after a Valentines day like never before... So if you are ever wondering what to buy her, buy shoes, buy shoes, buy nail polish, buy a matching clutch, and go for dinner. That's all it takes really. Women are not so complicated after all.

Anonymous said...

Rafiki, hello, this is your boss. We have been monitoring your blog ovber the company firewall.

So... you were not sick on monday?

This is not acceptable. I want you in my office first thing tomorrow morning.

rent to own homes said...

ferreti one :)