I remember the first time I saw a pair of Crocs. The Informant was a toddler and Animal and Mineral were at half-day camp. I went to the one mall in all of Yuma, Arizona, with my friend Angela, and I saw them at a sports equipment store. I loved them immediately. Angela said they were ugly but that her sister who lived in Oregon and hiked and used patchouli deodorant and didn’t own a television would like them. I bought a pair in brown — BROWN! — and I literally wore them all the time. I wore them inside my house. I lounged on the couch in them. I think the only time I took them off was when we went swimming.
I have always cared more about comfort than aesthetics when it comes to shoes. This is why I currently own a pair of Toms, another pair of Crocs, a pair of Teva sandals and two pairs of Keens. And a pair of Merrill’s that actually have shoelaces — which, in my opinion, is a lot of effort just for some shoes.
I used to have a pair of Vibram Five-Fingers that I actually wore in public. Jugs were horrified. Once I took the kids over to Miss Manners’ house with Nice-Nice, and we were watching Project Runway while the kids played outside. I was dozing on the couch, drooling, and I heard them having a conversation about how horribly ugly the Vibrams were. Ironically, I was so tired because I was pregnant with Cousin It and didn’t know it yet, and the minute I found out I was pregnant my feet grew so I could no longer wear them. This was clever of my body, no? Grow too big for the hideous shoes; genius! Prom Queen tried them on once and I was totally shocked at how UGLY THEY WERE. Seriously, they were not that awful on me! I swear!
Meanwhile, I consider ugly, comfortable part of my personal aesthetic, just like when I put on a khaki skirt and a shirt without stains, I consider myself “dressed up.” It’s just me. I own one pair of Grecian-type sandals that I have worn exactly twice — they went with a dress in size four that I wore twice when I was uber-skinny — that I really need to donate to Goodwill because they just don’t fit with my lifestyle. Just like the dress doesn’t fit me anymore either!
However, I have made one significant improvement: I no longer wear my Crocs in public. This is progress.