When my sister was in her early teens, she briefly dated a guy who fit central casting's description of "sensitive bad boy". And that's using the suburban standard of badness, meaning he had some scruffy facial hair, and as I recall, an earring? But it's been over thirty years, so I may be misremembering.
We'll call him Joe, as that was his name. But Joe wrote my sister a poem:
I like the way your sparkling earrings lay/
Against your skin so brown.
I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight/
With a million stars all around.
Joe didn't write that poem. Jack Tempchin did. And it's not so much a poem as it is lyrics to the song "Peaceful Easy Feeling". But Joe presumably meant well, and he's not the first to steal someone else's work. Comedian Sarah Millican:
So, that's what gave me the title for this post - the memory of Joe writing my sister a sweet poem.
Her skin, by the way, is not so very brown. She's careful about sun exposure and is actually fair-skinned. As kids, we used to brown up every summer, but not so much any more. I burn. I also once had straight, silky hair with lots of blonde in it. Body snatchers, people - they are real.
In other news, my shoes have arrived. I spent a month hemming and hawing over which pair of black mary janes to buy. I didn't want to spend an outrageous amount, because I am hard on shoes. I have always been hard on shoes. That is why in 4th grade, I was forced to wear these:
Were they fashionable? No, they were not. They were hideous. But they were sturdy, and that was the name of the game. I hated them. I feel like in 5th grade, I mostly wore tennis shoes - Reebok. And in middle school, I was all about the Keds, and "docksiders" - a plain brown leather monstrosity.
Look, I could chronicle the beaded sandals that made indentions into my sad little feet, the Mootsies Tootsies years, the K Swiss hiking boots I trudged around in at UGA, my foray into Birkenstocks, and so on.
These days, I'd say that Birkenstocks, Converse and Clarks make up the vast majority of my shoes. I'm still very rough on shoes. I can't wear heels, unless they're a block heel, and even then, it's very much a "sometimes" thing.
So, I knew I had some things to think about, in re: this purchase. There's a sweet spot of spending enough that they don't fall apart immediately, but not so much that you're sad when they fall apart inevitably.
I ended up getting a gift card for employee appreciation week - $60 on Amazon. Well, technically, I was awarded points to an online shop where I purchased Amazon gift card. Money can be exchanged for goods and services.
So, with a little extra cushion, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on some pricey but cute Dansko mary janes.
Well, they arrived. They are adorable and they fit right and will serve me well until I run them into the ground. I showed them to my husband and he declared them "sensible".
Well, duh! I may sit at a desk all day, but I'm not going to trot out to work in a pair of Louboutins.
Obviously, sensible isn't a compliment, but for men, aren't all shoes, more or less, sensible?
Like, maybe a pair of white bucks is problematic for stain control, but even those can be used to flee a zombie apocalypse with relative success.
I am reminded of a recent episode of Ted Lasso, and yes, of course I'm am lover of Lasso. But in the episode, Rebecca's father dies, and the whole soccer team comes to the funeral - and they have been ordered by their captain - no trainers (which is to say, sneakers). One of the players has never worn dress shoes and is in agony, until he gets a pair of slippers from Rebecca's closet at the reception. For her part, Rebecca notices that none of her team came in sneakers, and that the entire team came.
I will say that more and more, I am seeing men in suits paired with (upscale) sneakers. There's also a trend that I DO NOT GET with women wearing dresses and a pair of stark white sneakers. There are so many fashion trends I will never understand.
Anyway, in case you're wondering, these are the shoes I chose.
There were, to be clear, a pair - one for each foot.
They are sensible. Which is good - because I'm not, always.
All this is deviating from the point which is that I'm also very hard on shoes, which is why I regularly go straight to the sales area at the back of DSW, and also because that's where you find the weirdest, wonkiest shoes. And I know I'm old when I think "dress sneakers" is an oxymoron.