Seven years ago, in the flush of a new romance with a renowned sneakerhead I walked into Footlocker and on impulse laid down $200 of my very hard earned cash (I only earned about $100 a week outside of study support) and bought a pair of bright white Air Force 1s. Quite honestly, I had never stepped foot in Footlocker before meeting BP. We were in there looking for shoes for him – something that happened waaaaaay too often – and suddenly some weird, perfectly designed combination of the right tempo in the music, the right lighting in the shop, the right sales person paying just enough (but not too much) attention in the background and the aforementioned sneakerhead romance and I was parting with my
rent money savings for a pair of sneakers. Wha? What just happened?
Air Force 1 high tops take a fair bit of breaking in. There is a period of ankle rubbing that you need to get through to make them comfortable. I just didn’t have it in me. I’ve worn them here or there to a gig with BP, or once, memorably, when I dressed up as a student for a school charity day. That was the day one of the students was overhead saying “Damn, Miss F looks freeeeeesh!” Yes, that day.
They’ve spent a lot of time in the wardrobe in the last couple of years, only to be pulled out recently by Little Fearse who is going through a shoe phase (which involves eating shoes, not wearing them – that phase is yet to come). BP made a rare ultimatium – “Wear them or sell them”. So, today, I wore them.
They hurt my ankles AND my toes. And they’re just not the kind of get up you wear to Mums group at a play centre. Why can’t the rational me give up these shoes that I bought on impulse seven years ago but have never enjoyed wearing? Is it that I just don’t want to admit I was wrong when I bought them? Or do I like what they signify – a simpler time in my life? Or do I really like how they look but not how they feel? Or am I still holding on to their monetary value even though that $200 would have been well spent on something else by now, if not these shoes?
What do you do when the consumer in you just doesn’t know when to quit?