For the longest time I could not care less about shoes.
For many years, this drove my poor mother to distraction.
I’d glom onto one pair of comfortable shoes and that is what I wore.
I’d wear those shoes until they were just a bit of thread and leather.
One reason may be because growing up, somebody convinced my mother and stepfather that both my sister Linda and I needed orthopedic shoes.
Personally, I think it was a load. I had (and still have) a foot that rolls slightly to the outside – and since it still does this, I’m thinking all those years in those stupid expensive shoes did not good whatsoever. I have no idea what kind of foot malfunction they pinned on my sister.
Linda, at least, got to wear some cool saddle shoes.
I got stuck with these black velveteen lace-up oxfords (with snazzy black and white laces – whoopee).
They did have the advantage of not requiring polishing; but if they got wet – they were ruined. In fact, just getting a little wet made sure you ended up with black-toed socks, which I then had to try to scrub clean on my very own washing board (true story).
Up to that point, we always had cute shoes. But my mom remarried and suddenly our feet were out of control and subject to the rules of podiatry!
So I stopped caring about shoes.
Besides, given the chance, I much preferred barefoot.
The bottoms of my feet were like leather.
I don’t remember at what point my folks gave up on trying to tame our feet. It may have been after our Uncle Jack (my Dad’s brother) threw us into their backyard pool without letting us remove our expensive shoes. No doubt Uncle Jack was a bit squiffed, and my stepfather went ballistic when we got home. Not sure what happened, but probably just some yelling as I am real sure Uncle Jack, squiffed or not, was not afraid of my stepfather and would have been just as happy to punch him out.
But anyhow the damage was done – you couldn’t make me care about shoes.
My mom would always want to go shoe shopping and I was like, nah, I’m good.
One exception, my senior year of high school.
I fell in love with a pair of heeled mary-janes.
They were just too cool.
And my mom bought them for me!
I was happy, my mom was happy.
And then Kenny Frieders broke my left leg; and I ended up wearing out the right shoe before I could wear them both again.
Thanks a butt load Kenny!
Eventually, I discovered Payless shoes – wear I could buy cute shoes for cheap.
Yes, they wore out quickly, but by the time they wore out I was sick of them anyhow.
And now I own way too many shoes – because I discovered Crocs.
I discovered Crocs were so comfortable, made my fat old lady back feel better, came in a surprising number of different styles (!) and colors; and those fuckers last forever.
Trust me, when we are dust and long gone, our Crocs will live on – and possibly so will those stupid black velveteen lace up oxfords.