Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Not Quite a Gray Hair, but...

BACK IN THE DAY, EVERY FALL meant a brand new pair of sneakers. And with it, a brand new chance to jump up (or down) the Cedar Grove social ladder.

And when it came to Candy Furcron (the only girl in the 4th grade with titties), you couldn't even think about kickin game to her (or climbing her ladder, for that matter) if you ain't have the right kicks.

Are those Pro Wings? You are WICK-WICK-WHACK! Step off!

As it turned out, I couldn't step to Candy anyway. But that's another story. But at least I didn't have to step off because of my shoes!

In '84, my white and blue Cortez Nikes wz classic. In '85, my white Asahi's wz live. In '86, my gray Adidas wz in da mix. And in '88, my black Le Coq Sportif's wz straight!

But at some point in my life, my feet stopped growing. Instead, I had to. Read: My folks put a period to too-extravagantly-priced kicks.

(On the real, when Air Jordans came out at $100 a pop, my parents put a period to all of that.)


This past Tuesday, I went shopping for a new pair of sneakers. This would be my first pair this decade. And this century. And this millennium. Suffice it to say, I was overdue.

Amid the towering aisles of the Nike Factory Outlet, I got dizzy, I was so out of touch. Dozens and even hundreds of shoes, but all my 30-year-old eyes could see were price tags:

Ooh, $54.99!

Ooh, ooh, $44.99!

Ooh, ooh, ooh, only $39.99!

The shoes themselves? One big blur of rubber, leather, and plastic.

No. Too many colors.

No, no. Too much sparkle.

No, no, no. Too much... money.

What happened to my cutting-edge sense of style? Every pair I settled on was $39 and blue gray silver white on white. Am I becoming corny? Or worse, am I becoming... old? I quickly scanned nearby for a... (it pains me to say this) young person's opinion. Noooooooooo!!!

With it being lunch hour on a weekday, naturally, no young person was around. Was the air getting thick? I started having hallucinations of me performing in front of a class of high schoolers with all of their eyes focused on... my corny shoes!

I scrambled for some other reference point. I scanned the names of the various Nike product lines for any name that might seem familiar from a rap song. My Adidas? No. Um, Air Force Ones? Where are Nelly and G-Unit to validate my consumer decision when I need them?

Ayo, gain your bearings.

1. Are Nikes even cool?

2. Okay, okay. Are you even cool?

3. Okay, okay, okay. Are there even any cool people in this store?
I looked around. Aha! Here was my answer.

Where you find cool people, you will find cool shoes! This Nike Factory store looked to be holding a casting call for the Miller High Life ad campaign.


And so, I passed beer belly- Excuse me, sir - after beer belly - Excuse me, sir - stroller after stroller, and left the store empty handed. Into October, blinded by turning leaves, I dreamed of a world filled with cool sneakers. I sighed.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try... the Adidas store?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I sometime feel the same way about selecting sneakers. I consider it "an investment"; maybe I'm getting old too (lol).

And, my birthday is right around the corner. Nooooooooo! :))

By the way, there is nothing wrong with white on white.