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The footwear faux paus

POSTED: September 4, 2013 4:00 a.m.

Labor Day has come and gone, signaling the end of summer. This means the days will be getting shorter, the air will have that crispness of fall and candy corn, much to my friend Hazel's dismay, will flow in abundance. Also, white shoes should have been carefully retired to the back of the closet until next spring's Easter.

But oh no. There will be those rebellious few who will continue to wear white shoes well past their fashion expiration date.

This faux paus used to really fry my tater. Now, I find it to show that the offender probably suffered from some upbringing that did not include abominations of wearing white shoes after the first Monday in September. It was a crime that in some small Southern towns could find you ostracized until you wore something redemptive, like a lovely cashmere sweater at Thanksgiving.

Or someone wore something more atrocious, like a horrifically tacky Christmas sweater and declared it "festive and in the spirit of the season."

Yolande and I were talking about this very thing the other day. Being from the same generation, she was telling me about someone and the only way she could describe them was "as someone who would wear white shoes after Labor Day."

I understood the implications in all their fashion horrors. Where was this girl's breeding? Had she been raised by wolves?

"That's nothing now, Yolande," I said. "You know what I find even tackier?"

"I don't know if I want to know," was her reply.

"Flip flops," I said.

"I know!" she gasped. "Flip flops are not shoes."

Yolande agreed with me. "When did they become accepted as foot wear? They are beach wear, or shower shoes at the gym."

I wasn't sure, but they were now considered shoes. If you sit and people watch for any amount of time, you will find the majority have on flip flops.

Now, I am sure some folks are going to get upset at this, because I know people love them some flip flops, but let me explain. They are not real footwear. They are pieces of rubber or plastic or some sort of petroleum based product with a toe thong that is supposed to keep them on your foot. They offer no support, they are hazardous - you drop something on your foot wearing those and you may have a broken toe.

It used to be that you only could find flip flops around spring break, so you could have something to wear on the beach. You had a few weeks to get them and then they were gone.

Now, you can find them next to the kerosene heaters in the middle of December. Something ain't right with that picture. How is it appropriate or good shoe sense to wear flip flops when there's snow on the ground?

I am amazed at the people I see wearing them at work. Someone told me once they quit eating at a restaurant once because the waitresses wore flip flops and they found that disgusting.

"When I go out to eat, I don't want to worry that my waitress may break her foot if she drops something on it. Or see her feet while I am eating my chicken strip basket," was the lady's argument.

I had never thought of that before but in a way, she was right. It also made me want to get some chicken, but minus the view of the toes.

I've seen people wear them to work; heck, I have seen people wear them when they go interview for a job. Yolande was even more mortified.

"You are kidding me. Please tell me you are kidding."

Nope.

Yolande is like me and only recently acquiesced wearing hose in the summer. Yolande stated she didn't believe in wearing open toed shoes to an interview, let alone flip flops.

"I am not even sure I think open toed shoes are appropriate at work anyway," she said.

I admitted I wore open toed shoes to work, which I think she has forgiven me for my shoe sin but I assured her: I always, always, had a pedicure.

"I think I can handle white shoes after Labor Day better than I can flip flops on any given day," she said.

I had to agree. I told her maybe if we both clicked our heels together and wish real hard, it would make all the flip flops go away. Unfortunately, it didn't.

We did have one thing to be grateful for though: at least they didn't make tacky Christmas flip flops.

Maybe white shoes after Labor Day weren't so horrific after all.

Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the recently e-published novel, "The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery."

 

 

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