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Do over

April 14, 2010

Can magic happen twice?

My mind wandered thusly while watching back-to-back episodes of Intervention last night.  And while VERY depressing – couldn’t help but think about new Rod Lavers en-route from New York – courtesy of big bro for my birthday. You remember the glorious, archetype of shoe perfection from my first post? Aerial!

Good. Obviously. We've been through this.

My first pair of Rods I also got in New York while  visiting said bro like over 10 yrs ago. At the time they were the best bang for your 40 bucks you could get. That mesh? That green sole? Those subtle suede details? It was like all the glories of nature coalesced into one perfect moment.

Now they’re much more pricey which is annoying – I mean, side bar, I bought a pair of white (not cream mind) high top Converse and they were $67! For Chucks! Not sure what’s actually going on in the world what with all the plight, and famine, and sneakers costing a mint. How do said outrages continue unchecked?

Resuming the Rod reverie: I had these sneaks for basically a decade, and wore them into the ground. Duct tape buttressing  structural integrity, heel padding mulching and sloughing, leaving trails of spongy foam behind me as I walked from one pressing, exceedingly important engagement to the next. I wore them here, there, country, city- and even got sent home from my first job for wearing them to work. Narcs! Oh they were favourites – the kind of shoe you buy and immediately become anxious about. How long will they last? Should I have doubled-up and gotten two pair?

Now all this Rod ruminating took place BEFORE I was fully keyed in to the two divergent schools of thought around wearing in your shoes or keeping them pristine. I think of the former as a WASPy affectation – where you louche about in busted Bass loafers that you wear in perpetuity, because you can’t concern yourself with such plebeian concerns as high shine and Sunday best – and besides which – how you dress never impacts your social status  – because you have mad cash and an air of entitlement that keeps the hoards from ever copping your true, blue stylzzzzze. Class consciousness!

This same notion, conversely and somewhat paradoxically, then expands to an overarching issue of authenticity, found around cowboy boots or Red Wings, and other shoes whose aesthetic appeal is tied to being worn, moulded, and broke. Anecdote that showcases my wisdom: Once, this dude was wearing a pair of worked in Frye Campus boots

Good. Frye Campus

– and having logged many a year myself battling that obstinate yellow leather – I knew for dead cert that he didn’t have the character or the fortitude to work those suckers out. Lets be honest, the man was a Frye dilettante and he needed to be called out. He thought he’d just skip a stage and buy that ‘cool’ instead of earning it!  I confirmed he bought them used, made him feel foolish and vain, and was subsequently quite chuffed at  my ability to sniff out a poseur. It’s always easy to sniff out your own species rieeeght?

Then there’s the second school of thought – keeping sneaks tight. For better or worse I associate this with our hip hop brethren, and their whole “fresh kicks” and what-have-you pedagoguey. This means no scuffs, no ingrained dirt, smooth, seamless leather – and clean laces. I mean – this is what I associate fresh kicks with. There might be a whole other doctrine of must-haves and must-dos that I’m not privy to. But basically,  white stays white and if someone steps on your toes, you freak the fuck out. Ascribing to this shoe school means you have to plan what you’re wearing when, monitor the weather, and be borderline perpetually paranoid about whats going on at lace level. Then certain shoes get dingy, and you sort of give up and wear them all the time. This sort of demotion happened recently with my Nike Air Max, who have since been downgraded from a 1-season (sunny skies only) to a 3-season sneaker.

Good. Nike Air Max.

So now I got my new Rods. Will this time around be as special? There have been a lot of sneakers in the intervening years. Hecka lots. I’ve forged other relationships, been smitten, been bored, done the full cycle. So now it’s time to reconnect with Rod and see where we’re at.

And meanwhile – in this do over – I’m going to try to keep them clean as long as possible. Whitey white, blinding. In the same way I sometimes entertain the idea of a shower cap (it’s complicated), I’m thinking about investing in scotch guard for those more vulnerable sneaks – like Rod. Taking maintaining to a whole other level.

Speaking of taking it to another level – now for shoes I hate. Sketchers. Sketcher Shape Ups. Sketcher Shape Up Mary Janes. Trifecta of terrible-ness.

Bad. Frankly awful.

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