Shoes Not for the Old, or Cold

Without getting specific, let’s just say I’m not as young as I used to be. Occasionally, this fact smacks me in the face, like, for example, this past weekend when my husband and I rented Superbad and had to force ourselves to finish it. It wasn’t that we were offended by the language or the utter vapidity of the plot/dialogue/acting, it was just that we couldn’t figure out how it advanced the genre beyond Porky’s or American Pie. This kind of muttering over how things now aren’t as good as they used to be is exactly the kind of behavior that marks one as old.

And here’s an example from the world of shoes: Last August, my two-year-old’s babysitter, a college student, showed up on a soaking wet rainy day wearing flip flops. When they were getting ready to leave for a visit to the library, I asked the babysitter if she wanted to borrow a pair of closed-toe shoes. She told me that she wore the flip-flops on purpose because they helped her feet dry quickly.

This made not a lick of sense to me: Wouldn’t wearing actual shoes prevent one’s feet from getting wet in the first place? But I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to seem cranky or out of touch or like the old people who freaked out a few years ago when some female lacrosse players from Northwestern wore flip flops to the White House.

After that, I began noticing that even in the heaviest downpours, young women were wearing flip flops, and even as the weather got colder and rainier and snowier and windier and icier, they continued to do so, or else they’d wear open-toed shoes or open-heeled shoes or shoes without socks. Even this morning, a balmy 31 degrees in the city, I saw several sockless women on the T. Every time I see it, I want to shout: “What are you thinking? Aren’t you cold? Wouldn’t you be more comfortable wearing socks? Why suffer?”

But then I realize that of course, fashion trends often make no sense, and usually, that’s the point, and man, am I old.