What a Croc

I have a funny friend. She doesn’t try to be funny, but she can’t help it. She says funny things. Some people might say the things she says make her a bitch – but, she makes me laugh, sometimes for hours. She has been trying to get me to step up my personal presentation game as I am not one of those women who know how to coordinate. She wears outfits. I wear clothes. Comfortable clothes. For years, she has tried. I knew if I just let her, I could have the wardrobe that many would envy. It’s just that I hate to shop and thought that being a slave to fashion would take more money, time, and patience than I possess. Her efforts and those of others, have paid off. I have stepped up my game, and expanded my wardrobe beyond t-shirts and jeans.

When I was a kid, wearing jeans was still pretty new.  My mother used to say, “only convicts and drug addicts wear jeans.” According to her, they also are the only ones who got tattoos. She and I would go shopping and I would find these lovely casual tops and my mom would ask, “what are you going to wear that with?”

“Jeans.”

We would sing that song until the chorus where mom would say, “You know, you can’t wear jeans everywhere, all of the time. You will never find a job where you can wear jeans.” Ha! I laughed at that. And, Mom, I proved you wrong. I have worn jeans to work since 1995. I wore jeans almost daily until just recently, when I discovered leggings and tunics….my new uniform. Talk about comfortable – man. I don’t even change clothes when I get home because I am still comfy. It is the biggest form of cheating I can think of and people compliment me all day long. And I can wear boots! But, I digress.

While I may have improved the wardrobe…my shoes were still in the comfy department. To be fair – my ankles roll and I have a balance problem. Not a big deal when I was younger, but as I get older, falling could mean a broken hip or I’ve fallen and I can’t reach my wine….what a tragedy that would be.

Back to my funny friend. She barely tolerates my Birkenstocks and Uggs. Two brands I loved for their quality and comfort. But, they no longer meet my expectations in either department.  I have a few pair I haven’t worn out yet and I wear them sometimes when I’m with her just for fun. Anyhow – we were talking about schools and teaching philosophies – mom stuff. And she is telling me about someone’s opinion from where her kids go to school.

She says, “How can I listen to anything she says, she wears Crocs.”

I burst out laughing. I mean, even I agree that wearing Crocs spells giving up as much as Birkenstocks say lesbian. It is one of my favorite things she has ever said. It still makes me smile to think of it. By the way, not all of us in Birks are lesbians. And the reverse is also true.

Recently the son and I were shopping for this week long walking trip we were going to be taking.  I was looking for cute, comfy shoes. With arch support. That go with everything. While my son tried on a poop ton of shoes, I wandered. I found the cutest little flip flops. Okay – not super cute.  Not little.  But they are black, have about an inch of stacked height, and little stars of glitter all over the strap. Tacky to some, cute to me. Even the funny fashionista would approve.  And, they are on clearance – score!

Until I find the box…Crocs. Never say never starts going through my mind. Well, they won’t have my size. They do. I figure I might as well try them on to prove to myself that I won’t like them. OMG. They are possibly the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. Lighter than the Famolare Get Theres. Way lighter than the Doc Marten’s. They feel like walking on a cloud or one of those new thick kitchen sink cushions on your feet. They have arch support and are cheaper than the Havaianas I used to wear.

Dang. I hope I don’t lose her as a friend.

PS – Famolares are back for sale….I might die.

Keep America Beautiful 2.0

It was Christmas Eve, and I was driving with my brother and two teenagers. I stopped at the drive thru to get a magical diet coke from McDonalds. As any connoisseur of diet soda knows…….a fountain soda is the best option and the diet cokes at McD’s are perfect….the perfect mix of syrup and CO2. Then the big straw……so, I can get more to my mouth quicker…..add to that the $1.00 price tag for a large…..magic. While in the drive thru, my brother (he is older) tossed his empty soda can out the window into the bushes.  

“What? What are you doing? Littering…… in front of the kids? Dude…..”

“No problem” he replied……”some can collector will be by soon…..it’s not like real litter…..” We went back and forth for a few minutes when I said…….”you know what? I don’t litter…….because of the crying Indian.” He smiled, instantly going back. Way back. The teenagers, who hate being left out, are like “what?”

So, I told my kids the story of the commercial (it was actually a PSA). How the Indian was dressed like an Indian…headdress, Indian “costume”, a feather……and as I am describing it I am realizing how horribly horribly racist and stereotypical and just plain wrong it was. And, I started to laugh….until tears came out of my eyes.     The whole time teen-aged girl is like, “That is so wrong. That is not funny mom. That is racist….blah blah” like only a 15 year old know-it-all-can. And, now I can’t stop laughing…because it is all so ridiculous. Especially when I got to the part about the car driving by, throwing trash on the Indian. Causing him to shed a single tear…… I am trying to describe the commercial…but, it keeps getting worse and worse. Well, it keeps getting funnier and funnier.

By now…we were home and friends were over and they wanted to know what was so funny….because I had reached that point of no return….where I was just going to laugh until I calmed down…..breathe…….they are younger than I and never saw that PSA…so we looked it up online…….(where I discovered it was a PSA) and it starts out with the Indian rowing a canoe……so, now I am not able to breathe again I am laughing so hard….because I don’t think they believed me…..

Kids still not laughing.  All of the adults laughing.  Teenager still ranting “that is so wrong…”

Yes. It is. Racism is not funny. Stereotyping is not funny. The fact that anyone conceived that commercial and it was shown over and over AAAANNNNDDDDD everyone thought it was okay….is not funny “haha” but, funny like……”the world is flat” funny. Okay….that isn’t very funny.  But, this still tickles me.  Maybe the expression on my kids faces? Mostly it was so preposterous…..We have come so far.

I wrote this piece weeks ago, but I guess I knew it wasn’t finished. Since then, I have seen the “crying Indian” being discussed on on Friends…..a TV show same teenagers mentioned above are obsessed with.  And, recently someone posted it on FB.  Mentioning how much they loved that commercial and wondering why they didn’t show it anymore. So, I piped in….”racist, canoe, feather…..”  The responses I received to that were unpleasant. And they neglected to see the racism……OMG really?  Aren’t we the same people who are trying to decide if Washington should rename their team? People are funny. And, after I laugh, I write about it. Lucky you.