These are my tennis shoes (I have to force myself to say sneakers. OK these are my sneakers. Tennis shoes. Whatever.) I usually wear them just around the house but sometimes I’ll venture out in them (much to my oldest daughter’s steadfast (and increasingly vocal) dismay). They’re the only pair I own, just like I only have one pair of flats. Sneakers aren’t my go-to shoe other than at home (and only that is the case now because I no longer have a pair of slippers). I don’t understand her disgust, at the level of trying to hide my damn shoes, when I wear these same yoga pants EVERY DAY, the minute I walk through the door from work and the entire time I’m home on the weekend. The ratio of wear to wash is so disproportionate that if she thinks my sneakers should be hidden from me, these pants deserve to be cut up and burned, and the residue discarded in various trash cans throughout the city to make sure I couldn’t somehow put the cotton back together.
Yes, I know these shoes are dirty. They are over seven years old (maybe older, seeing how I can’t remember how many children I had when I bought them or where I worked or what I was driving). Yes, I know I should buy a new pair. But, I just don’t care enough. There are glorious wedges and fantastic knee boots to be purchased instead. Also, when faced with bills that keep finding their way into my mailbox and the random crap she brings home requesting money for book fairs and field trips and money requested for nail polish and new jeans and Mom I probably need a coat since it’s 40 degrees and all I have is this windbreaker that stops above my wrist. There is always something else the money can go toward rather than tennis shoes (or me, period). I have come to accept that even though it makes no sense at times, I purposely put myself and my wants/needs last.
Someone else wants the last piece of bread and I’ve yet to have one biscuit? Sure, it’s yours. Someone needs to go to the library for a book on the one night of the week I can do yoga? The knots in my neck don’t mind. Someone needs anything/any bills need paying/food needs buying/it’s a day that ends in y — they’re all reasons enough for me not to need new sneakers. But yes, I do want them. The same ones. I wear a 9.
I suppose it bothers me more that my daughter, no matter how I’ve tried to discuss spending habits with her, thinks I should care more about the state of my shoes. The way I see it, they’re dirty; that’s it. There are no holes. And they’re sneakers. It’s not like the heel on my favorite tan four and a half inch heels has a Metro escalator induced black mark. That would be a catastrophe (and one I’d deal with immediately). I suppose if I had a huge assortment of casual wear with which to always have these shoes on it’d be different. But as it stands, I don’t, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon (although, yes, the yoga pants too are probably on their last thin, overworn leg).
It’s the good enough reasoning. This coat is good enough. Yes, I have to wear a pullover under it to be warm, but no need to buy a new one; it’s good enough. These pants can’t quite button but look, this shirt if worn on the outside covers it perfectly. Don’t get new pants; these are good enough. I need to dye the ends of my hair so I can stop looking two-toned. I could pay to have it professionally done, but this box of Dark & Lovely is on sale for $4.99; it’s good enough. I need to make potato salad. This store is out of Miracle Whip. I’ll just use…oh who am I kidding? This one’s non-negotiable.
See, it’s not always financial, the reasons why I say something is good enough. Last week, I knew full well that my pink socks didn’t match my blue and brown outfit yet I had socks on my feet, my feet were warm, and that was good enough (it was also WHY IS IT ALWAYS MY SOCKS THAT GO MISSING AND I’M TOO LAZY TO LOOK FOR THEM but that’s not the point).
The point is, these sneakers are good enough. I will buy a new pair eventually. And if this girl is so concerned about my embarrassing her because of the way I’m dressed she ain’t seen nothing yet. I bought some tube tops for myself to wear next year, the summer that she’s 12. If my singing Borderline with another mom, a stranger, in Old Navy didn’t do it, or my dancing the entire If It Isn’t Love video in the aisle at Target didn’t do it, she’d better watch out.