I own this pair of blue leather Coach shoes that I got at TJ Maxx like six years ago. I felt that these shoes used to give me a lot of yuppie street cred as they say “Coach” in gold letters. I felt pretty good. Pretty, pretty good. The kind of good you feel when you know you’re beating everyone else in the world at everything. Like. . . I AM WINNING! I AM WINNING LIFE!
Little did admiring shoe observers know that I was an adjunct professor for four years and had been making less than $12,000 as my annual salary and didn’t have health insurance through my employer. It was like a little dream I lived in. I know a lot of people who live in this dream. Presidents of countries, for instance.
Now, however, the shoes are kind of falling apart, so they don’t really give me any status but rather a sort of–why-are-you-still-wearing-these-shoes-chic.
But besides the unearned street cred, I liked them because they are really quiet and good for the Montessori environment and I think they make my ankles look awesome. However, they are kind of falling apart. But I couldn’t see the truth.
People in my life tried to intervene. But I wouldn’t listen. Listening is for the weak! Listening is for people who don’t have something to say!
Like last year for New Year’s Eve, Vincent and I practiced some Japanese house cleaning and we got rid of a lot of clutter. He suggested throwing out the blue shoes. However, I didn’t. I kept wearing them. I said, “These are high quality status symbols. I am not throwing these out! I mean, I wasn’t in FORBES magazine for nothing!”
And then Vincent was like, “You were never in Forbes magazine.”
And the I spit on the ground and said, “Hogwash! Listening is for peasants!”
So cut to last week. Sometimes before nap time at the school, I play “Simon says” with the children. (I just learned there is a French equivalent of this called “Jacques à dit.” This is cool and I’ll probably talk about it later. When someone else is talking.)
So, I let one of the students be Simon.
The four year old child was like, “Simon says touch your nose.”
I touched my nose.
“Simon says touch your elbows.”
I touched my elbow.
“Simon says touch the hole in your shoes.”
This was the second time one of the children said something about the hole in my shoes, but the way children say things like this is totally different from how adults tell you to change something about yourself.
The kids say it authentically straight-faced. Like, just an observation. Like, “Oh la vache, I need something for everyone playing this game to touch. Hole in shoe! Yep. Perfect!”
Adults would say this in more of a mean jokingly way, like “Think it’s time for new shoes for somebody!” And then they’d like wink at me, like “hahaha, I’m just kidding!” But, really this kidding serves no purpose. Kidding here means=I could only tell you the truth in a form of a weird joke.
I mean. I get it. These shoes have holes. So, I can see the truth now. I will wear them only for gardening.
If only everyone could see the truth about the holes in their expensive, misleading, falsely inflated, status symbol, wealthy without being wealthy in any kind of useful and cool way . . .shoes.