It may seem ridiculous to some to post a life update about my footwear, but when you've had a longer relationship with your shoes than your spouse, it's more understandable. After twelve (!!) wonderful years, I am finally saying goodbye to my favorite flip flops. Honestly, despite the horrid condition they're now in, it was still a very hard decision for me to get rid of them. I bought these sandals in 2002, when I was 16 years old, right before my junior year of high school started. I bought them for 40% off at my new job at Pacific Sunwear on one of our employee discount weekends. I bought these when they didn't sell women's flip flops yet, so these were the smallest of the men's version. I've had these sandals longer than I had my first car, and in fact, longer than I've had my driver's license. I wore them year round for the first two years, through sunshine, clouds, rain, sleet, and snow (in my younger days, when things like cold weather and cold feet didn't phase me). They were not fun to break in, but after that first week I never looked back. They were basically my uniform through the second half of high school, and for awhile, we really were inseparable.
Last summer, I hardly wore them at all...maybe on only 3 or 4 occasions. I was nine months pregnant and because I was carrying an extra 20 pounds around, my feet needed a little more support. The soles had already worn through, so there was no cushion or arch support left. This summer as I pulled them out to walk with Eleanor around the neighborhood, twice, small little pebbles lodged themselves in the sole and I had to stop to pull them out because I could feel them. After that, I decided it was probably time. I've already ordered my new pair after searching for a deal for weeks (though I would have paid full price if I had to; they were worth every penny).
They were well used, and well loved. Though I feel like I am parting with an old friend and some may think I'm crazy, I believe my feelings are warranted. I'll miss these guys and all the memories that accompany them: lots of laughter, lots of tears, countless shows, trips to Duncan Donuts with my sister before our morning art class, learning how to drive a stick shift, and late night Tower Records visits (when CDs were still a thing). They carried me in my tiredness after late nights or nights of no sleep, through fear when things bigger than me were happening, and through joy when the sun shined and everything seemed right in the world. They've seen me through first and last dates, the entirety of my college career, and countless relationships: the start of friendships that will last a lifetime and the end of ones that I thought would, but didn't. Goodbye old friends! You will truly be missed.