When I first moved to the sunny coast of NC, I noticed almost right away that practically no one wore shoes. Instead, it appeared that the natives went either totally barefoot or sporting flip-flop sandals. Naturally I just chalked this up to further proof (as if I needed it) that the vast majority of Southerners were inbred rednecks who didn’t know that civilized people wore shoes in this century. Given that I refuse to identify with redneck “culture” I immediately avowed that flip-flops were a substandard form of footwear and promised that they would never touch my feet.
Please understand that my personal reference for footwear was that all shoes must adhere strongly to the feet because stepping up hills, over rocks, or across ice at a rapid pace required a high degree of friction at all times. Of course I noted that no one around here moved at speed and there were no hills, but one must be prepared for such things at all times.
I’m not a stubborn person, but it was nearly a decade before I decided to revisit my original premise regarding flip-flops. The reason was because my kids were old enough to want to actually play on the beach and at the pool, and wet and sandy shoes aren’t very fun at all.
When I first tried walking in flip-flops I discovered immediately that my normally rapid stride was completely impossible. At every step they would pop off my feet. In the end, I ended up copying the lazy stride of the natives. Granted, this ended up taking me 3 times as long to reach my destination, but at least the sandals stayed on my feet.
The RW Clan is still sorting through boxes and getting things put away in our new house and in one box we unearthed my flip-flops. “Just in time for summer,” I thought. Clearly all the sunshine and salt spray has damaged my brain; surely it’s not possible that I’ve grown to actually appreciate the stupid things!
What’s next? Will my southern psychosis get any worse this year? Will I finally forsake my beloved cargo shorts for board shorts with bright prints of palm trees or flamingos? … Maybe not.