When my mother first whispered to me that only courvas let their brastraps show, I didn’t judge the sudden legions of women with elastic bands playing peek-a-boo (even though personally, I wouldn’t leave the house in a tank top without my trusty racerback.)
I’ve learned to accept “bitch” as a term of endearmeant between straight men who aren’t in prison.
But there is one trend that I will never, ever, EVER get behind, and that is the acceptance of flip-flops as footwear for all occasions.
I work in the financial district in San Francisco, and y’know, I make an effort every day to look like … well, like I’m going to work. Not tubing down the Yuba River for Senior Ditch Day. Not on my way to a pedicure. Not avoiding touching the floor of the group shower stalls at summer camp where the scum was so thick that the soap was lost forever if you dropped it.
Some have argued with me that it’s a carefree look, evoking a “I’m going to the beach right after this meeting” kind of capriciousness. “And they’re so comfortable!” whined a friend of mine uneducated in the ways of refinement.
If my momma taught me anything, it’s that thin rubber slabs on the feet equals low � oh wait, sorry � NO class.
Even the Manolo agrees, and he’s the most superfantastic of all shoe experts.
They’re not even really shoes, for heaven’s sake � can you run in them? Do they provide any sort of arch support? Can you prevent yourself from faceplanting if someone accidently steps on the back? Will they protect your soles from searing pavement? They melt, people � I grew up in Arizona and I’ve seen it happen.
But really, my objection is aesthetic. This morning there was a young(er than me) woman in the elevator wearing a smart mini blazer over a darling flowery frock � and carrying a Coach purse, mind you � with Old Navy thongs on her feet. I’m not saying the bag absolutely match the shoes, but if she worked for me, she’d be fired. But she got out on the second floor, so she’s probably a lawyer. (A lazy one, too; she couldn’t make it up one flight of stairs in her “comfy” shoes?)
Oh, and the ones all dolled-up with glued-on sequins with a rubber heel, like something Zsa Zsa Gabor would wear to your grandpa’s pool party? F*in hideous, do you hear me?
Not suprisingly, I inherited my disdain of flip-flops from my mother, much like my hatred of pastels. But I had to learn the lesson. I was forbidden from even owning a pair, not even for the pool. So in third grade I traded my neighbor my hot dog-sized, Dr. Pepper-flavored Bonne Bell lip gloss on a string for her older brother’s brown pair. I hid them outside that night, wore my same old red sandals out of the house and changed by the hose, prepared to impress the playground with my whimsical new style.
By the time I made it to school, a half hour late, my feet were criss-crossed with pussing blisters. I had to go to the nurse, who emptied a box of band-aids on me and called my mother, who took those ugly brown flip-flops and threw them in the giant green dumpster next to the school where they belonged.
My feet healed, but obviously, my sensibilities did not.
Fortunately, El Yenta feels the same way. We may bicker about everything from who mopped last to why he insists upon getting his hair cut as if he’s enlisting tomorrow (honestly, hon, go to the fagele with the highlights next time!), we are united in our abhorrence of toe-splitters. It was his grandpa who instilled in him that they are for the beach, no exceptions, because anywhere else was “strictly for the goyim.” (Grandpa Fred died before we got engaged, but I know I would have loved him.)
Anyway, with two parents totally solid in their vehemence, it doesn’t take a genius (or even another parent) to guess what kind of shoes our son keeps begging for. El Yenta Man keeps refusing, but I think we should buy him a pair two sizes too large and teach him a lesson once and for all.