Most horrific of all, everyone had to wear the same shoes. Brown or blue Top-Siders only. Our principal chose them because the white rubber soles wouldn’t scuff her precious linoleum floors. She had no idea how much happier we would’ve been with a little self expression and some arch support.
Fast forward to this year and it’s my first Thanksgiving away from home. I’m traveling from New York with the drummer to visit his family. He hails from Martha’s Vineyard. He’s an islander. And even though I’ve been there plenty and know his family is just as warm and loving and laid back as mine, I can’t resist associating a bit of cool, high glamour with each visit. We’re talking the vacation place of the Kennedys, the Clintons and Ted Danson.
Nevermind that we’re boarding a $12 bus to Boston, and will eventually be on another to Wood’s Hole and a ferry from there. I still like to arrive in style. It’s enough to push me over the edge, into loafer territory. These burgundy pearlized patent beauties from Trotters will add class to anything I wear.
As we board the bus amidst a flurry of sneakers and hoodies I wonder if I’ve overdone it. We settle into our cramped seats with paper cups of coffee and donuts. Then the drummer surprises me. “I got us plane tickets from the Vineyard to Boston for the way back,” he says with a smile. Cape Air will fly us right over his parents’ house in a tiny plane. Of course, we still have to take this bus from Boston back to New York. But he knew I’d love a touch of sophistication, that it would make my first turkey day away from home even a little happier. I pull my loafer-clad feet out of the aisle. Afterall, I have to keep them looking like new for the way home.