Shoes were the last item on our back to school shopping list. I drug my sugared, caffeinated, over-shopped kids into the last and final shoe store at the outlet mall, fully intending to fail like we had in the previous stores where shoes were lying in aisles, nylon "footies" were lying in aisles, and even other children were lying in aisles.
"Enough!" I said as I pulled them away from all the Sketchers and lite-up shoes.
They were more than happy to oblige and we left the chaos behind as we lugged our brimming bags along the last stretch of storefronts before the parking lot.
There was, however, one last shoe store to see . . .
Knowing that we'd probably not find what we needed (it helps to keep my expectations as low as possible when shopping with kids, that way I am not disappointed), I pulled open the double doors and let my kids have at it. We were greeted with a welcome gust of air conditioning and the pleasant sight of not one misplaced shoe (or child) on the floor.
Boys with piercings and neckties (quite the combination!) scuttled about, bringing neatly stacked boxes of Vans and Etnes to customers who were neither harried nor frazzled looking.
I decided right there and then that even if we had no luck finding the boys their back to school dream shoes, we would spend as much time as possible in this store just because it was so aesthetically pleasing . . .
Until I turned around and saw the gigantic display of clown shoes taking up nearly 40% of the available floor space.
Just the mere mention of the word is enough to put me over the edge. Love them or hate them, you cannot look me square in the face and tell me that they, in fact, do NOT resemble clown shoes. Come on, give it a try. Say to yourself, "Crocs don't look like clown shoes, Crocs do not look like clown shoes." Now see if you were able to keep a straight face.
It's not that I don't see the value of a good pair of comfortable summertime shoes (says she who plods around in flip flops 8 months of the year), but Crocs? Really? Unless you are a medical professional who is on her feet all day saving lives, or a 2 year-old who has the inability to chose her own shoes and must rely on her parents awful taste, stay away from them!
Putting little decorations on them won't help either. They will still be . . . u-g-l-y no matter how many plastic adornments are shoved into those air holes.
When the clerk was ringing up our shoes (success!) I fondled the display of Croc cell phone holders next to the register and said, "I'll sure be happy when this trend is over with."
Fully expecting him to defend the merchandise his otherwise lovely store had placed in plain sight of all paying customers, I awaited his rebuttal.
"I know, they are hideous."
And I looked up at the wise 19 year-old young man with the pegged-leg jeans, the skinny neck tie, and the nose jewelry and I knew I'd met a kindred spirit. I didn't have the heart to tell him that way back in the day, we would've been friends (or at least he would've been a friend of my boyfriend).
For now, I was just happy to not be alone in my dislike for all things Croc, including the $15 cell phone holders. Seriously?