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I never intended to be the woman who wore Birkenstock. (Of course, I also never intended to be the woman who wasted $120K on a degree she would never use and instead wile away her days at her mall job as if she were 16 instead of 46. But that's another story.) Birkenstock were for granola girls and women much more anti-establishment than I. No, I always envisioned myself to be more trendy, sophisticated, and...well...well-heeled. In my head I was a glamour girl. I spent my 20s on dance floors in dimly lit clubs with vodka laced drinks in my hand. And in my 30s I surrounded myself with tulle and lace, buying and selling the most beautiful gowns in the world. Does any of that sound like it pairs with clunky, buckled shoes? Definitely not.
I intended to have a closet full of Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins. I was going to grow up to be Carrie Bradshaw, cooing, "Hello, lover," at the latest 4 inch heels. Yet, here I am. Mid forties. Working at the mall. In my Birkenstock. Feeling more like an off-duty Miranda than a well-heeled Carrie. With socks, even! Who am I?
I am sure there is some deeper meaning here that I'll need to work out in therapy. Something to do with identity, acceptance, being present, or some other therapeutic ideology. But until that gets worked out, I am leaning in to the fact that my knees hurt when I wear unsuportive shoes. And that my hip pops out of alignment when I stand in heels too long. I am setting aside whatever middle-age fantasies I had about myself and I am adding to cart a pair of Birkenstock.
I've had my eye on these buffalo plaid babies for a few days but haven't pulled the trigger. Why? See above. This would be my second pair of Birkenstock. I purchased the first pair in a panic when I needed a pair of shoes I could stand in at work. At the time, I had no intention of falling in love with them. I was being practical. It was like going out with the nice guy who isn't particularly your cup of tea. You don't intend to get smitten. But then there's this spark. And next thing you know, you're head over heels. That was me with my Birkenstock. And now I can't get enough. I wear those babies all. the. time. Even when they're not exactly the right shoe for the moment (they're the Buckley, btw, in the color Tea). I can't help it. They make my feet feel so loved.
Now I'm moving towards a more traditional Birkenstock: the Arizona. In a festive buffalo plaid with a shearling lining. So cozy!
Am I crazy? Possibly. Am I turning into a woman who eats granola and wishes she'd gone to Lilith Fair? I doubt it. But am I pulling the trigger on these Birkenstock? Absolutely.