This time of year John LOVES to shop. John is a gear guy. He loves 'technical' clothing for cold weather and this is the time of year when you get get some really great deals on that kind of hip, fun, functional stuff. Last weekend I was in a local mountaineering shop. It is full of high end jackets that were all on sale. I managed to score a sweet black Patagonia jacket with long, long sleeves 40% off! I love that! This cool, hip, high end, technical store also carries shoes. Shoes for hiking, biking, climbing, rafting, and any other outdoor type shoe you can think of. They also carry a shoe that is somewhat controversial.
It is a shoe that has endured ridicule and scorn. And let me just say-it is not unfounded. I remember years ago the first pair of these I saw. We knew a guy that played basketball at our local college and he had gotten several pairs for free. His coach had given them out to many of the players, and he actually generously gave a pair to John. My first impression? Hideous. Horrible. Ick. Bluh. To put it mildly, I did not care for them. I thought they were super ugly and goofy.
As a mother of 5 who also likes to garden, I find myself going indoors and outside quite often. I don't like shoes that tie in the summertime. I like to take my shoes off and on. I often wear flip flops because of their ease of access, but they are difficult to use a shovel with. So one day soon after this gift of ugly footwear, I saw them sitting in the closet. Hmm. They sure were ugly. But so accessible. Besides, I wasn't leaving the yard. So I slipped them on. I went outside and watered the strawberries. They got a little muddy, but no problem, I just hosed them off in the grass. Viola. Clean. And they were actually pretty comfortable.
You can see where this is going-I quickly became a wearer of CROCS. Those hideous, often colorful, plastic loafers. It started out innocently enough. I would wear them only at home. But them sometimes I would need to run an errand and I would just keep them on. Before long it became winter and I was STILL wearing them. So ya, in no time at all I was a chronic CROC wearer. I wore them to Wal Mart, friend's homes, resturants, everywhere!! I started buying them for the kids. They were just so easy-no laces and waterproof. I justified it to myself that I had never actually purchased a pair for myself-I would wear a pair of John's around. A red pair. A pair that was 2 sizes too big. I know, I know-it just gets worse and worse. Once I got started, I quickly descended the slippery slope. We were becoming a CROC wearing family.
So this last weekend I decided to finally embrace it fully. We were in that cool mountaineering shop (full of HIP, High End, technical gear) and they had several racks of CROCS all 40-50% off!! So I finally got a pair that fit me. In black. And it felt good (gardening season is coming up you know)!
John and I returned home from our CROC spree just as one of our friends stopped by. This friend of John's also appreciates 'technical' gear and is familiar with this shop. He also has lots of kids and I had seen them wearing CROCS in days past. We told him of the sale there. He paused for a minute then said, "Aren't CROCS going out?" John responded, "Yah, you know I have heard that the company is going under." Our friend paused. He said, "Ya, I heard that too, but what I meant was, (pause) aren't CROCS out of style?"
John and I locked eyes. We paused. Then we both started laughing out loud!!! We heartily agreed that yes, CROCS were most certainly NOT in style!! We couldn't deny it. They are ugly. They are non-stylish. They are OUT!! No wonder they were all on sale!
And yet here I sit still liking my CROCS. My ugly, black, 'out' CROCS. What have I become?! I have never been a fashionista, but I try to respect broad style guidelines. It certainly can't help that I live in the 'Worst Dressed Town' in America, but still. Maybe I am just becoming more comfortable with who I am. Maybe I have just become a slave to comfort. Not sure. So fashion be darned- I am keeping the CROCS- at least through the next gardening season.