Archive for June, 2008


Skate footwear is not a crime

There are moments, even in my 36 year-old reading glasses-wearing IRA-investing, fiber-eating life when I look out of my office window at the skaters in the park across the street and am instantly transported.

I’m back there, in the parking lot near the P&C (because there weren’t skate parks and skateboarding was still a crime) pretending to write in my journal while Josh, my 10th grade crush, ollies three inches from my head, pretending he’s not trying to get my attention.

I’m all, “Cut it out.”

And he’s all, “Whatever. So, what bands are you into?”

And I go, “Black Flag,” which is a total lie but skaters don’t like Devo. Even The Cure is edging toward too soft and there’s no way I’m going to admit that I bought Cyndi Lauper’s latest. I chip at my black nail polish and do my best to look bored.

Josh is impressed, which he shows by flipping his long fin of bangs out of his eyes (the hunk of hair immediately fall back to obscure his vision) and shrugs, “Cool. Hey, hold my board a minute.”

And then do I do the thing that defines me in the world of 10th grade. I say, “No way. I’m not a skate Betty.” Because everyone knows that’s what Bettys do. They hold the boards. Holding a board (and it’s easy, now, as an adult, to make a lewd leap of logic) is a promise ring of sorts. Instant girlfriend-hood is bestowed. It’s the alterna-version of the letter jacket or the class ring. I’m bucking the system.

But that’s kind of my thing. I’m all in black, despite the warm summer weather — my only concession is that I’ve traded my lace-up boots for low top Vans. I wear them without socks, my ankles a pale swatch between canvas shoes and capri leggings. My faux-hawk is a rats’ nest of hairspray, my eyeliner running, Robert Smith-like, into raccoon smudges.

Josh tilts his head, presumably to see past his bangs while he takes it all in. Me. The non-Betty. Finally he smirks, goes, “Whatever. Wanna learn to ollie then?”

I shrug back, all unfazed. “Yeah, I guess.”

Sometimes I want that girl back. Her sass along with her imperviousness to heat and to the opinion of others. I like to think I had it figured out, back when I was 15. Maybe it was just the intrinsic cool of my shoes. And then I think, if it really was the shoes, I should buy new ones. After all, if a little sass can’t be charged, what’s the point of a full-time job and a very grownup line of credit?


A Very Jelly Comeback

When I was in sixth grade, I was a complete fashion nightmare. I wore overalls and polyester shirts. I still hadn’t discovered the miracles of a hair straightener. I sported the dreaded combo of braces and glasses. But even back then, I had a penchant for trendy footwear. My most memorable favorites: high-heeled, pink tinted jellies. I wore them with everything; they were the epitome of cool shoes in junior high.

Apparently, jellies are now the epitome of cool shoes for all ages. The jelly resurgence is evident in every shoe store, dollar store and boardwalk boutique. Even the classiest of designers like Michael Kors and BCBG have hopped on the clear, plastic shoe bandwagon. They are the same cheap and funky shoes I wore a decade ago with a modern twist.

Jellies are the perfect solution to casual comfort. They can carry you from the workplace to the beach with a simple wardrobe change. Dress them up with a cute sundress; dress them down with jeans and a tank. I wore mine to a Memorial Day Barbeque and received countless compliments.

When I divulged my secret — Old Navy, $10 — I was the shoe envy of all my friends. I went back and bought them in every color. I suggest you do the same.


Gold Ballet Flats of Regret

These are the shoes that single handedly ruined a friendship. I can’t go into super-detail about the actual fight itself, but let’s just say it was so immature on my part and ridiculous. The argument (again, caused by a pair of gold ballet flats, a pair you can find at any Target store for $14.99) could’ve probably been resolved with a healthy discussion, but it went on for too much, for too long. And pretty soon, the situation was beyond repair. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the “nothing fight” that begets you. At the time, it felt like it was a huge deal and now you wonder why it even blew up as big as it did.

Fast forward six months later, and I have the opportunity to make things right and fix the friendship. I’m older now, one would think wiser, and still, something is holding me back. Am I this immature at the age of 28? I feel like I was more levelheaded at 25. Even after apologies and catch-ups, it’s time to “meet up for coffee,” and a part of me is just dying to get out of it. I don’t even have a reason why except that I reject change any way I can.

So I got to thinking about change and shoes … There are pairs that I’m forced to throw away — last season’s trendy Pumas (even sneakers get outdated), last year’s suede boots (seasons aside, they’re so passe), even those pumps from a decade ago (do people still wear square-toed?). As much as I reject change, I threw these shoes out, no problem. But when it comes to my Xhileration gold ballet flats from Target, I just can’t. Heck, they even caused a fight — that just goes to show how loyal I am. I’ve had them for nearly two years now, and still, I wear them with confidence. In fact, I bought five pairs (they were, after all a steal) just so I can wear them for seasons, years, maybe decades (if the world would allow it) to come.

As for that friendship, I’ve decided to give it another shot. This friendship is, after all, like the shoes — it’s too good to throw away.

Shoetube on Twitter

June 2008