I decided to write about an outfit I loved.
OK, well, that’s not entirely true.
Since I couldn’t really think of an entire outfit I was crazy about (I’m not terribly clothes-horsey), I decided to write about a pair of shoes I loved.
Well, saying that I simply loved them is not doing them justice. At all.
I adored them. I was passionate about them. If they’d been human, I would have dated them. Hell, I might have married them. After all, they were more useful, more loyal, and (far) more trustworthy than my ex-husband.
You think I’m kidding, don’t you?
They were the Be All, End All, folks.
My Land’s End Mary Jane Trekkers!
These shoes… these paragons of comfortable footwear… these (dare I say it?) friends… BFFs, even… well, they got me through it all. For nearly five years.
I bought them when I developed an excruciating case of plantar fasciitis. I needed a shoe with some support and a back, since flip-flops and sandals were out of the question. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, though, and I found these beauties on sale for $20.00.
Twenty dollars. I kid you not. And it was the best $20.00 I ever spent. In my whole life. I kid you not.
And when I say they got me through it all, I mean it.
They cradled my poor right foot for two full years of that hell called plantar fasciitis, and for more than two years after it went away (because I was askeerd it was coming back, that’s why).
They faithfully managed four summers of swim coaching on a hot, concrete pool deck, and they kept me from landing on my arse on wet, tiled, indoor pool decks in the winter.
They provided safe shelter for my feet after walking 60 miles (each) in three separate Susan G. Komen 3-Day Events (even though my “friend” Anne wouldn’t let them in the tent with us at night because they “smelled”).
They took me on countless hikes, camping trips, puddle-stomps, and treks through the park with my dog, in all sorts of weather (including snow, because no matter what my daughter said, they were NOT, in fact, sandals, and it was perfectly appropriate to wear socks with them. Damn it).
But then? On December 31, 2011, they… died. They expired. They simply gave up from sheer exhaustion. The sole of the right shoe split in two.
And then my heart split in two. I know that sounds melodramatic… hyperbolic, even, but I was devastated. I cried. Real tears (and not from the “smell,” thank you very much).
I had an epiphany! And it was called:
I literally squeeeeed at the thought of my Trekkers going another mile… or 100.
And they did. They traveled onward for another several months…
I went for a walk on a hot summer day in 2012… and the super glue…
It melted clean away, leaving the bottom of my foot exposed to the elements.
The devastation returned. And I knew it was permanent this time. My Trekkers were done for. I had to finally admit it. And my “friends”? Even my daughter? Instead of feeling sympathy or empathy (or even apathy), they were overjoyed! They went as far as to suggest that I burn them… but not before I contacted the CDC and the EPA to be on the look-out for possible environmental contaminants and airborne diseases.
My “friends”? Are horrid.
I didn’t burn them, though. I didn’t even throw them out. I couldn’t. Could you?! Could you simply discard a friend with the trash (and I mean a real friend, not one of those, “Ew, get rid of those smelly shoes” “friends”)?! I think not.
So I kept them. I still have them, in fact. They sit in a place of honor in my closet. And when I open the door, I look at them wistfully, remembering what was... and what will never be again.
Eventually, I ordered another pair of Trekkers.
But they weren’t the same. They were… wrong. The color was wrong, the fit was wrong, the feel was wrong… even the criss-crossy straps (that made the coolest tan lines) were wrong. You see, they’d been tweaked. Why (oh, why?!) do manufacturers insist on tweaking perfection?
And the new pair didn’t last either. You should see them today. They look worse than the old ones... and after only a year! Sigh.
I don’t kid myself into thinking that I’ll ever find another pair of Trekkers. I don’t. Miracles don’t tend to happen to the same person twice, do they? But I have faith that, someday, I’ll stumble across an on-sale pair of close-to-heaven pool-deck-camping-hiking-rainy-day-snow shoes that I’ll love.
I am an optimist, after all.