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Brought up Apr 13, 2013

Footwear... Part 2

All right, dang it, I'm bored.

When I was a small brat, many, many moons ago, about this time of year, shoes were an after thought. We really didn't pay much attention to them. Most times, when it was warm, I would go days without ever even putting on a shoe. Flip flops, eh, sometimes. But there is just something about running barefoot in dew dampened grass, or, if I was at my Granny's, finding the nearly dry part of the creek and stomping until there was nothing but mud. Digging toes into red clay as I ran wild over the 'gullies' out behind my uncle's house was sometimes the highlight of the day. I remember my mom having a cow over the melted tar on my feet from 'paved' roads.

When school started, most of us wore those plain white 'tenny shoes.' Those my age remember them, right? Just plain canvas uppers, thin rubber soles, laces. Mine rarely stayed white. Mom bleached them regularly, but it was no good. I tried, but red clay dirt would just magically appear. Mom would buy them about a half size larger, but by the time I wore them out, my toes were still peeking out a hole right at the rubber on the front. I wore them until they were so ratty, my mom would fight me to throw them out.

When I was in about 5th grade, my dream was to have a pair of the rubber toe capped tennies. A lot of kids, boys AND girls were wearing them by then. The main reason I wanted them was so I could stand on my toes in them, like other kids did sometimes. (I went through a short phase dreaming of being a ballerina at that time. Hush, Punk! I know you are giggling at that.) I am pretty sure the Punk was one of those who did the toe thing, but a lot of kids did. I could swear the BFF could actually walk around a bit like that, but I might be wrong. Anyway, I never got the things then, but I wanted them desperately. (Instead, my mom bought me a pair of saddle oxfords that I put the toes out of in just a few weeks, much to her fury. No, I was not standing on them, just growing fast, I swear! By the time I hit high school I was 5' 7")

I remember the first pair of sneakers I actually fell in love with. Before, shoes were shoes. Tenny shoes, no matter what style by then, were still just for keeping the feet from making contact with the ground, and snow by then, as I was living up north. I was given a pair of Nikes, white, with purple (Yes, Punk, Purple) trim. I fell in love with those shoes on sight, and wore the suckers until they quite literally fell apart.

I remember in college, being corrected repeatedly by those in the know, (read snobby rich Aholes, mostly from the Chicago area, there) that my shoes were, (gasp!) sneakers, not tenny shoes, as I had called them since I could talk. I gradually began calling them sneakers (though those plain, canvas ones are still tennies) to fit in, to the point that my kids never knew they had another name, til we moved back here. I remember the look of confusion on their faces for a while when they heard shoes referred to as such. Still, sweet brats, they call them sneakers. (Non conformers, gotta love 'em!)

These days, the girl brat is a sneaker aficionado, owning at least 20 pairs, if not more. We sort of lost count. She buys them herself, at least one or two pairs a month. For a while I got her cast offs. That is, until her feet were suddenly bigger than my 10 1/2. Now, she once in a while buys them for me. The last of her cast offs, which I have, and wear occasionally, are, cue the ahhhs and how sweets... rubber capped. They are also this funky tie dyed number, all reds, yellows, blues and greens. Alas, no purple.

The brat supplying mom's sneakers began innocently enough. She got tired of the purple clogs I lived in. (Hey, they were comfortable!) Valentine's Day, four years ago, she bought me the ones I happen to be wearing at the moment. They were once white, and yes, purple. Okay, they are starting to show their age, especially at my left pinkie toe area, where my sock shines.

For Christmas, she took me shoe shopping. I settled for a very nice pair, but they are not broken in yet, and have light blue accents, not purple. I wear them to church, and when we go somewhere that my ratty ones would just not look good. (Hey, if my feet are not comfortable, neither is the rest of me) I know I will have to eventually toss these, but the time is not yet.

I am branching out a bit. When I was a kid, I wanted a pair of cowboy boots, but never got them. For the past few years, that desire has returned. A few months ago, it sort of began gnawing at me. I really want a pair of boots. Not just any old cowboy boot will do, however. You guessed it, I want purple ones. Now and then, I scan the internet in search for them. I have the exact style in mind. I find everything but that. I find the rounded toe, the perfect heel, ones close to what I want, but not in purple. The ones in purple either have these godawful pointy toes that I would have to have 3 sizes too big for my foot to fit them, or the only purple on them is above the ankle. WTH???? Why bother if the purple will be hidden, unless you're one of those yahoos who tucks your jeans into them?

Anyway, I've actually been doing a little research into dyeing leather. I may buy a pair of the lighter tan boots that I've seen made like I want, and dye the suckers purple.

It's a long way from those days when I ran barefoot. (Oh, I run around in flip flops most of the summer, though. Go ahead, laugh. They're purple.)

Hey, I said I was bored, didn't I? TTFN


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