“Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree.
That makes it a plant.
So . . .chocolate counts as a salad.” -Anna Scott
“You will not be getting New Balance shoes.”
My kids were trying on shoes for the first day of school. At a legit shoe place.
Such an exciting thing, isn’t it? To go from getting your shoes from Target (even if pronounced, “tar-zhay“), to a place that actually tries on shoes that come from that magic place at the back of the store. With a person that feels for your kid’s toe. And will go back to see if they have another size.
Yup, it’s a magical thing.
Unless someone decides to poop on your parade. And by that I mean make a blatantly, pointed comment in your direction.
He was talking to his kid, who saw a pretty pair of purple and pink New Balance sneaks. The same pair that my kid had finally settled on, tried on, and loved. This was after painstakingly picking over the section for kids in the “grown-up” shoe store.
“You will not be getting New Balance shoes.”
I turned and looked right at him. Not angry, really. Just curious, why all the conviction?
Oh, God. Were they the Chipotle of shoes? Was my child going to get some strange parasitic disease and lose her feet? Or were they going to mess up her development and cause her arches to fall?
“What? Why? What’s wrong with them?”
He met me with a smug: “Trust me, you don’t want to know.”
I kind of blew it off, figuring it was something political. It usually is these days.
The gal at checkout reaffirmed that for me.
“You know that guy earlier? I think he said that because Trump has something to do with New Balance. We try not to get involved.”
“Can’t blame you. Still buying them.”
They were the most comfortable shoes she was going to own, and looked adorable on my kid’s 5-year-old feet.
But, of course, I immediately Googled, “New Balance Trump”. I mean, duh.
This is what I got from this article:
There was a Trans-Pacific Partnership. Obama endorsed it. Trump, Hillary, and Bernie all opposed it. New Balance supported Trump (a candidate at the time), based on, among other things, his stance on this TPP (an opinion which Hillary and Bernie shared). But apparently, white supremist a##holes also are against any kind of international trade agreement, and can be somewhat extreme when it comes to Trump (because they are a##holes who gravitate toward a white male in power). Therefore, people are denouncing New Balance. Because now, apparently, since the white supremist a##holes endorse Trump, who New Balance supports, New Balance by proxy endorses Hitler and all things evil.
Burn all shoes.
I cannot tell you how pissed I was, the whole way home. Here was my kid, totally stoked to have a really cute, comfortable, pair of shoes. Here I was. Trying to figure out a way to make a pair of five-year-old’s shoes non-confrontational. I was considering sewing on a couple of rainbow appliques so that all would know that my five-year-old was not a racist.
That’s when I said, F#ck this, stupid sh#t.
I am so angry that it has come to this. They are shoes. Shoes. The company doesn’t endorse white supremecy, it’s the other way around. Kind of like the Cryps and Bloods choosing red and blue. So, do we forever ban and hate all things in those hues simply because they are preferred by violent LA street gangs? Are we to hate a shoe brand because some awful extremist group likes them?
Now I have to think about my kid on the playground. About the looks from other parents. About the distraction that a pair of shoes will cause.
Last May, we had our annual fundraiser for the school. It had a rock concert theme, so my awesome husband (total team player) and I dressed in our punk rock best (hey, we were among other parents doing the same thing). Ray’s outfit included a pair of oxblood 10-hole Doc Martens that came with a pair of yellow laces.
“You got to be careful, Ray. Not sure you can really wear those laces.”
“But, why not? They look really good that way.”
“Oh, totally. But colored laces mean different things.”
I looked it up, and got the idea that we were ok with yellow. Sort of. Depends on the site you read. I remembered my friends in the 80’s getting yelled at for wearing white laces, because it meant you were a racist. They wore them because they looked good. They were 13. Here I was heading out to an adult function still worried about the color of shoelaces on shoes.
Do you see the ridiculousness here?
This is the part when I suppose I’m throwing out the “Can’t we all just get along?”
But really, I’m just saying no one better pick on me or my kid for our choice of shoes. Alexa is going to school with her new shoes on her feet that she proudly picked by herself. The very epitome of innocence.
I’m not going to let this political climate shame me or my kid’s feet. I think giving this whole thing the finger is the best way to fight all this insanity. I’m not going to go out looking for controversial products, but if my child happens to see something pretty to wear the first day of school, and no puppies die when she wears them, then so be it. Leave the children our of our ridiculousness, and just let them be kids.
You have the choice to buy them or not. But if you don’t? More for me. And Alexa.