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Cinderella wasn’t dressed for mass

 Émile Bertrand's poster for Jules Massenet's Cendrillon for the première at the Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique, Paris.  1899  Wikipedia.org

Émile Bertrand’s poster for Massenet’s Cendrillon, advertising the première at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique, Paris.
1899
Wikipedia.org

I was particularly fond of ‘Sleeping Beauty’s’ man. God he was lovely, with his dark brown hair and his big broad shoulders. He had sense too, not like Cinderella’s.
There was a lot wrong with him. Indeed there was a lot wrong with the whole story.
Even as a child I thought it a bit odd that you’d marry someone because they could fit a stray shoe.
And a glass one at that.
Who makes a glass shoe in the first place? That fairy godmother must have been a card short of a deck to send the poor child out in those things.
How did she walk without chipping them and how in heaven’s name did she dance the night away in them?
Why didn’t either one or both of them break on the steps of the palace when she ran home?
The steps were all marble. We had marble steps on the altar of St. Joseph’s and you’d nearly rupture a knee if you knelt too hard for communion. There was a long leather cushion on it and all but that didn’t make a blind bit of difference to you or your knees if you went down too fast.
Thank God they put an end to that.
Now you can stand if you want and you can even get the communion put in your hand.
I like that.
But I learnt plenty about marble steps in the meantime.
The bauld Cinderella wasn’t dressed for mass anyway.

Christian Dior evening dress of 1954 dress on exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Christian Dior evening dress of 1954 dress on exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

How the hell did she get down those marble stairs with her shoes intact? And how did the shoe that flew off not break?
I reasoned that maybe it was because it was near the ground, as shoes tend to be when you wear them.
It hadn’t far to fall so maybe that was why it survived.
But she was running. They told us so in the book.
There’s an added impediment worthy of consideration.
If you combined her momentum with her angle of descent that shoe should have flown clean off, hit the steps with a clatter and shattered into smithereens, most likely taking half her foot with it. Mind you, if that happened the prince wouldn’t have had to run around the countryside like an egit looking for her. He could have followed the bloody trail of her torn feet home. He mightn’t have been too keen on seeing her though, with her toes in tatters. It would put an end to her dancing as well. No doubt about it.
But even though she ran and even though she ran down marble steps, and even though she wore glass shoes, and even though one fell off, it didn’t break. Why not?
That was a real conundrum for my young mind. .
I thought that maybe it only fell a little bit, or slid more than fell. That might have saved the shoe.
But I had to know for sure.
So I went home and tested my theory.

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About The Burren and Beyond

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