Oh, Saltwater sandals. Are you unbelievably comfortable, or are you foot-health-destroyers of the very highest order known to womankind? Are you the footwear of choice of rebels or conformists, and which is better, and why on earth would it matter anyway?
These are the questions I asked myself, locked in a cubicle in the womens' lavs, bent forward from the hips and writhing through the complicated series of positions involved in taking a photograph of one's own feet that doesn't cast them in shadow or make them look any more weird and gross than is avoidable. When the toes are exposed this is even harder to do than usual.
To get this picture I just about had my nose against my knees. I really do suffer for my art, why should I try to hide it.
The first time I put on a pair of these sandals I almost wept with joy: they immediately adapted to the width of my foot across the toes, with no pinching, no rubbing, none of the things that normally make sandals such a miserable drag in summer. I also thought they looked really good without being tryhard. So for two years, in the months when daytime air is warmer than body temperature, I wore nothing else on my feet, with the result that I got horrible semi-chronic pain in the heels from sloping around on concrete footpaths with nothing better than a piece of lino under the foot to cushion the impact. It didn't go away until I started wearing birkenstocks instead, which I undertake never to log because they are hideous.
I cautiously don the Saltwaters on the odd occasion when it's really hot and nothing else works with the other things I'm wearing. The caution is only partly because of the discomfort, only partly because open-toed shoes are not really supposed to be worn to work, in case you drop a historical mortar casing or horses' gas mask or something on yourself. Also, who wants to see their workmates' toes? Also, who wants to work with people who really don't mind at all having to see your toes?
But the really big reason I don't much like wearing them is because all the ladies around here are wearing them also, along with their ridiculously overpriced print dresses from Gorman or Obus and their brightly coloured wooden beads from Elk. It's like that thing where suddenly all the children are called Felix and Ava. Everyone is being original in exactly the same way at exactly the same time. I tell you, there were a few anxious years in there when I would hear of another kid called Leonard, or even sometimes called Lenny, and I would think, oh shit, here it comes! Here comes the wave! Giving him the middle name of Elvis is surely the perfect precautionary measure against there maybe one day being four Lennys in the class. Now I am perfectly well aware that the only thing worse than a bourgie is a self-loathing, class-traitorous bourgie, but, again, what can I say but sorry not sorry! Up against the wall with the lot of them!
I am genuinely embarrassed to say that this represents 1/4 of my Saltwater sandals collection. Rest assured, I won't bother blogging the red ones, and I don't think I'll wear the blue or the white again until next summer. Apart from anything else, they just don't match the workplace, which by now I suppose we have all realised is a key aspiration of mine in the wearing of clothes stakes.
If perhaps you are unfamiliar with "I don't agree with that in the workplace", here is the source:
If perhaps you are someone who can't bear Ricky Gervais, then instead you may wish to enjoy this great song that I have listened to eighty-two times since Friday morning. Eighty-three.