I was inspired to comment on a post on Joel’s blog, and when I got done, I realized it looked more like a blog post than a comment. So, for your enjoyment, The Blog That Really Should Have Been (revised and expanded version).
With heavy heart, I rid myself of my favorite clothing item the summer before last when I moved to Germany. They were a pair of leather sandals that I had bought the spring of my senior year in high school (1995) and they were comfortable.
They were Rockports, a nondescript, basic brown, bought with the idea that I needed very comfortable shoes when I went to London and Paris for a 10-day senior trip. I wore only those sandals while I walked (and sometimes trudged) around those cities on the other side of the Pond, and my feet never once got sore. I was tired, and my legs hurt, but my feet never did. After that trip I wore them every day that wasn’t Too Cold to Get Away With Wearing Sandals.
After four years of constant use in college, I thought they were worn out. The sole was wearing down at the heel, and the leather covering the Rockport cushioning had worn shinily thin whereever my feet touched it. The right foot had even worn a hole in the leather, under my big toe.
But would I part with them? Oh, no! I wore them another four years, until the sandals wouldn’t stay on my feet because they were literally falling apart. The strap across the toes was tearing away from the soles, and the leather under my feet had long since disintegrated.
Despite all this, those sandals still moved with me to Lawrence, and were great laundry shoes my first year in grad school. They only got the boot (so to speak) when I had to reduce my trappings from half a house down to two suitcases.
On Not Too Cold days (which are admittedly in shorter supply in Kansas than Arkansas) I still mourn the loss of my beloved sandals. I have quested for many years to find a shoe that can even approximate the comfort of the blessed Rockports, but to no avail. Part of the motivation for holding on until they no longer contained enough leather to classify as a shoe was the insane hope that, maybe, perhaps, I could get Another Pair Just Like Them.
For the winter, I am content with normal shoes. As soon as the nip in the air turns to a blushing warmth, the longings for my perished sandals will return.