I am back at work and the Christmas festivities are behind me. Instead the January Sales now beckon and I confess that I have had a couple of unsuccessful mooches around various department stores and shoe shops. What is it about a sticker indicating 60% off a pair of leather boots that can cause perfectly rational women to behave like Cinderella’s step sisters in an effort to squeeze their feet into objects a full size too small for them? Hope or optimism? Either way it reminded me of a short story I recently read in December’s issue of Woman & Home. It was written by Douglas Kennedy and he described a visit to the doctor by the heroine, who was going through a particularly difficult time as a result of her marriage breakdown. The doctor gave her anti-depressants as well as sound advice to the effect that you can’t “equate divorce to a far-too-painful pair of shoes” that can be “kicked off” when you finally decide they don’t fit. The heroine was clearly not as impressed with the imagery used as I was, though I do question how easy it is to kick off an ill-fitting pair of shoes, especially when they are too tight. From my experience at the Sales not easy at all and even faintly embarrassing.