Dara writes:

When my mother asked me yesterday if I wanted to accompany her to the sample sale of a shoe company whose elegant footwear I admire, Delman, I quickly said yes. But when I arrived, I almost very quickly lost my lunch.

What I walked into was a sea of writhing bodies, women on their haunches, on their knees, bending over, waving their arms about, fighting one another for a delicate pink nubuck ballet flat or a flame-red strappy stiletto. My immediate thought was one of revulsion: "I am not one of these beasts with no dignity."

Ah friends, but I am. Who wouldn't in her right mind crawl on a floor, however soiled, if the end result were a tasty set of sling-backs on the cheap?

I am a prude. There, I have said it. My mother, however, is a maniac. She dove right into the fray, sleeves up, ready for a jousting. And she came out with one suede, one floral-patterned lovely of her very own. When it comes to bargains, Mother comes with her boxing gloves on.

The dueling began at the coat check. According to my mother, she was pushed by a woman which caused her to knock into another woman. This other woman groaned loudly. My mother of course apologized, to which the woman responded, "I've just had a lumpectomy." My mother is beside herself: "My goodness, I'm so very sorry," to which the woman then responds, "just kidding." Then my mother was really beside herself. "Just kidding. Just kidding? That is JUST NOT FUNNY." The woman and her friend thought my mother a tad prissy. Then they saw her on the shoe floor and knew otherwise.

I noted the aptness of the shoe sale's being in the Playboy building. Playboy, like popular companies who hold shoe sample sales, debases women. But that's not right. Playboy allows women to act out our baser (sexual) instincts, but it's not liberating because it's only for men. Shoe companies allow women to get in touch with our bestial sides purely for our own self-advancement. And I embrace that (or attempt to).