I involuntarily looked down at my shoes then and wondered, if she were right, what kind of person people were judging me to be. I was wearing my old Chucks; three years with me and they were as sturdy as ever. I was always wearing these Chucks. Sometimes, I’d wear flats; other times, I’d wear sandals. But it was always these Chucks.
I started overanalyzing, like I always do. Maybe people thought I was grepa for always wearing these shoes. Maybe they thought I didn’t have other shoes to wear. Well, I thought to myself, that didn’t really matter, because I knew that I had other shoes… I just didn’t like them as much as my comfortable, sturdy and goes-with-nearly-everything pair of sneakers. We agreed on this, that people could judge us as much as they wanted, but we’d still keep wearing the shoes we wanted to wear.
I wondered how my friend, with all the life experiences she’d had under her belt, could be so judgmental. Sometimes she’d tell me someone was cute, and I’d look and find no one of interest, but a guy wearing nice shoes.
I guess it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise how obsessed she was with shoes. After all, just as just about any women’s magazine will tell you, the love for shoes is hardwired into a woman’s brain.
We would swap links sometimes and shop online together—not physically together, separated by miles and connected only by bits of data in cyberspace—and look at shoes. Sometimes, we looked at bags, and clothes and accessories, but mostly it was shoes.
If she had known then that someday she would marry a lanky boy who always wore flipflops or cross-trainers, maybe she wouldn’t have said that. I think that it was the hardest thing to take back, more than his less-than-ideal body or his slightly lopsided grin. It was hardest to admit that she liked him despite his loose taste in shoes.
“He’s funny, and he’s amazing in bed.” She’d explained, and we all laughed—all four of us: her, the boy, me and the girl I was seeing at the time.
But she made no effort to build him up to us. She didn’t see any reason to. She’d bring him to our nights out and we’d all have a good time despite his flipflops or cross-trainers and she let us see for ourselves just how great he was.
Lovers for me came and went. Lovers who wore high heels, and lovers who wore Vans. Lovers who wore boots, and lovers who wore Topsiders. In the end, I settled with someone who wore sneakers—almost the same kind as my old Chucks, ratty and torn at the sides, but far from giving up. Throughout the years, she’d stayed with the same boy who wore flipflops and cross-trainers.
I guess she ended up doing the same. She married the boy who was the most like her. Just like her, he didn’t care what people would think. He’d stick to the comforts of flipflops and cross-trainers.
They got married on the beach, wearing matching flipflops.
Originally posted on Tumblr on Mar 9th 2012