Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Scribbles - Shoes

I love shoes. Not in the way that you may think. I don't own a ton of shoes. I don't have 8 pairs of similar looking black heels, varying only in heel height and strapiness, with the excuse that different pairs are necessary for different occasions.

In fact, I own a whopping total of 4 pairs of shoes that I rotate throughout the year, depending on the season and what I happen to be doing at the time. I haven't owned a pair of sneakers in 5 years. That's no joke. (But it does tell you a bit about how much exercise and physical activity I get, eh?)

In the warmer months, I live in my brown Old Navy flip-flops. I've owned them for 3 years now and they look like it. The sole is worn so thin that things poke through them all the time. They cost maybe $3.00 and I still haven't bought a new pair, just because to me, they still work for the most part, so why bother.

So you wouldn't get to know me and think that I love shoes. But I do.

But I love them because I can totally tell a person's personality by their shoes. In fact, I judge most people by their shoes. Not in a snobby way. Or a turn-up-my-nose-because-you're-wearing-cheap-shoes way. But in a I-know-if-I'll-like-you-and-want-to-be-your-friend way.

I have many a preconception when it comes to people's shoes. I think it started way back in college. I went to a private college where most of the students had their own cars, given to them
by their mommies and daddies. They wore nothing but GAP and Eddie Bauer. They just oozed snob, and although many of them were very nice, it was also painfully obvious that they felt like their material possessions defined who they were.

And then there was me. Me and my friends. We weren't like that. I'm not saying that made us better people. But I am saying that it made us different. On a campus filled with holier-than-thou soccer players (there was no football team and the college was known nationally for it's soccer team) in their navy blue slide on flip-flop type shoes (I'm sure there's a name for them, but I don't know it). And girls in their snazzy little ankle boots and L.L. Bean sandals.

But not us. No. My friends all played instruments, were in bands, had self-recorded CDs, and were part of the college theatre program. We were actors, actresses, singers, backstage crew, and poets. We drank and we smoked and we didn't care what people thought of us. The guys had long hair and the girls had shaved heads. We were the minority. And we wore our Converse Chuck Taylor hightops and we wore them proud.

That's right folks. You know how gang members have "colors" and they use them to let other people know what gang they belong to? Well, our Chuck Taylors were our "colors". The actual color didn't matter. But wearing a pair meant you were declaring yourself one of the "artsy" people. The people that didn't fit in with all the rest of the campus. But we didn't care.

So anyway, ever since college, I find myself looking at a person's shoes as a way to determine what type of person they are. What I decide doesn't mean I'll like or dislike you. It just means that I can probably figure out at least a portion of your personality by looking.

A chick in stiletto heels with her tight, dark jeans? That's someone who is up on all the latest fashion trends and takes pride in her appearance.

A guy or girl in Birks? Probably laid back for the most part, likes comfortable things, and has at least a little bit of a free spirit.

Tevas? Someone who likes to at least think of themselves as outdoorsy and a bit athletic. Likes the idea of sandals, but wants to be able to run in them or play volleyball in them too, if need be.

Run of the mill flip-flops? Someone who likes being able to slide into (or out of) their shoes as quickly as possible. Who could possibly prefer to be barefoot, but knows they won't be served at any restaurant or business establishment without shoes. Usually laid back and not planning on running a marathon anytime soon.

White leather Keds? A child, a mom or a grandmother. Doesn't like the instability of a flip-flop or slide, but isn't athletic enough to feel the need to buy a real pair of sneakers.

Sneakers? Probably someone with at least one athletic bone in their body, possibly a lot of athletic bones. OR someone who just likes the support and coverage that a sneaker offers, and isn't comfortable baring their feet in some sort of sandal or flip-flop.

I could go on and on. But I'll spare you. The pooint is that I think that a person's shoes say a lot about that person in general. I'll even admit to immediately disliking someone based on their shoes (although I won't say what kind of shoe, in case any of you own a pair, because I do like all of you and don't want to piss anybody off). And I've also immediately liked a person based on their shoes.

Have I ever been wrong? Absolutely. But in those cases, it's usually some poseur trying to play the part of a person who should be wearing that type of shoe, and upon getting to know them better, realize they're failing miserably.

But there is one type of shoe that if I see a person wearing them, I just know I'm going to like that person. I don't even wear that type of shoe anymore. But if you do, then give me a call so we can hang out together. God bless Chuck Taylor and his sneakers. Because he has given me many a friend. ;)


EE said...

GOOD piece of writing!

Uh Alien, I'm going to BRING you new ON flip flops if you don't replace yours, lol! When mine get to that point you are talking about I *hate* it. I get stone bruises on the bottoms of my feet!

I love shoes....

Amber said...

Oh, this was great! And you and me, sister, because I own no more than five. And that is because I JUST bought a black and a brown pair of sandals for when I work at Borders every other weekend. And that's 'cause I can't wear my thongs when I work. ;)


Chelle Y. said...

We wrote such opposites. My beginning began with, "I hate shoes!" LOL!

Melissa said...

I love the spin you put on that prompt! Very cool. :)