"No. Really? Are you sure. Have you thought about this properly?"
"Yes. Totally. I've been talking about it, and thinking about it so long, I really think the time has come".
"God. Emma. How are you going to live with yourself?"
"I really don't know. Will you still speak to me?"
"I don't know. Probably not. Certainly not when you're wearing them".
I am going to get a pair of MBTs.
You all know what they are, right? Hideous, hideous orthapaedic looking footwear offering the quixotic promise of thinner thighs. They really are among the nastiest things you can put on your feet, but god, the promise of thinner thighs merely through wearing ugly shoes, mmm, it is seductive. I have been wavering for ages, but after a transitional FitFlop phase, which has prepared me for the shame and opprobrium of people staring in blank horror and dread at your feet, I feel ready. (Belette, this is your fault by the way, for being the acceptable, nay, delightful, face of MBT wearers) Also, because this is Belgium and not London, I feel like most people will just assume I have really really bad taste and not know that in fact I have sacrificed my sense of shame and propriety on the altar of groundless promises of thin thighs.
Alice is shaking her head.
"You do know that J has some?" she says
J is a senior Eurodrone. He looks exceptionally like Danny De Vito playing the Penguin in Batman.
"Yes, it's true" confirms Matilda, gleefully. "I've seen him wearing them. They're brown lace up ones, like ornithologists and people who visit National Trust properties wear".
"Jesus, people, you're ruining it for me! Really? Truly?"
"Not only that" says Alice "but last week I saw him FALL OVER in them. He sort of lost his balance and rocked backwards and forwards like one of those wobbly man toys. He had to grab on to the photocopier to get himself upright again"
"I couldn't even laugh, he was deadly deadly serious. But now, when I'm having a bad day, I think about it"
"Yup. He'll see you in them and want to talk about thighs. And firmness. And your 'core'"
"From one user to another"
"I am not listening! La la la la. I'm going anyway. You can't stop me"
"You have to show us when you get back. If we don't approve we'll make you take them back"
I run away and go to the MBT shop of shame. It is, mercifully, a normal running shoe shop staffed by 2 super relaxed Belgian guys. They don't judge me for my insane vanity. I scan the display, blushing fiercely, and desperately select what seem to be the least 'special' looking ones.
"Have you tried them before?" asks the nice man with the goatee.
"Ok, well the important thing is not to look down"
"Why? Because they're so ugly?"
"No, so you don't fall over. There. That's right; just look straight ahead. There's a mirror over there if you want to check out how they look"
"Er, no. No thanks. Best not I think"
It turns out they don't have the ones I can live with in my size, but I go ahead and order them anyway. They arrive in a week. There will be photos.