|Photo by Mikael Cho on Unsplash|
Other than a fly pair of mint green mesh and suede pumas, a meh leather pair of pink and brown pumas and a random pair of white Reebok Classics, I’ve never really bought and worn sneakers.
I figured I don’t really need them, although there have been periods where I tried to be athletic and walk the 0.8 miles around my apartment complex. Thank God for the footwear I happened to have. But for the most part I’ve always been a heels and boots, sandals and flip-flops type of woman because I’m usually not that casual.
So this past Saturday was an Old Navy flip-flop day. It was also a sporadically rainy day, partly a precursor to Hurricane Florence, I suppose. I rode with my cousin to our little rural hometown so she could pick up her mom and drive her to Richmond for a weeklong staycation. It was also a little road trip and outing for us, too.
Her mom’s house is situated in the middle of a huge family plot flanked by the woods, some flowery bushes with occasional roses, peonies and figs, tall pine trees and three other homes. On any given day, it isn’t unusual to find any of us crossing backyards to and fro from one house to the next and back again. On any given day except this past Saturday, that is.My cousin said she was going to visit her sister two houses away to the right. She wore sneakers so she started treading through the lush, wet lawn. I hate for my feet to get wet in any scenario other than a shower or pedicure. There’s something rather uncomfortable (i.e. icky) about wet feet sliding around on the inside of my shoes.
“I’m going to take the road!” I yell.
I set off down the clamshell driveway and hook a left onto the pavement.
Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop.
I hook another left onto another driveway and tiptoe across a small patch of grass before stepping up onto the front deck. We stay for about 30 minutes before we decide to walk to the other’s sister’s house, which is one home to the left of their mom’s house.
“I’ll meet you over there!” I yell back.
Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop.
I think I walk faster this time, trying to time my arrival at the back step at approximately the same time as my cousin’s. It’s like I have to prove my path isn’t longer than hers or something.
I hook a hard right back onto the clamshell driveway and bear to the left to go to the other house. I’m reckless on foot. My cousin has already entered her sister’s home but I can’t slow down.
The race isn’t over.
Although it really is.
Nevertheless I’m still speed-walking, moving like “slippery when wet” is only applicable to 4,000 pounds steel on wheels on the highway. I cut through a path between two parked cars like a wayward cyclist.
And I lay it down like one, too.
There’s no grip.
No grass. No gravel.
My feet drift apart as if I’m going into a split. I try to balance my weight like I’m on a surfboard but I teeter to the right. I can’t even catch myself on the car.
My arms flap.
I slide to the ground with a thud.
“SHIT!” I holler. “I done fell in the damn mud!”*
I can’t get up right away, not because I didn’t try, but because the greenish-brown sludge has filled in the narrow crevices on the bottom heel of my flip flops, not to mention smeared my left back pocket, color-blocked the front of my right leg and coated my palms.
I glance behind me to be sure no one has run out of any of the houses or pulled back any of the curtains to see what the commotion was.
I’m grateful family reunion weekend was three weeks ago, where there would’ve easily been 50 witnesses.
I take three seconds, first to wonder how the hell a grown ass 44-year-old woman falls into a teeny weeny patch of mud, blisters her palm and burn her knee in the process; second to maneuver my way to a sturdy standing position; and third to take baby steps less than 50 feet from the cars onto the deck.
My arms are still out to the side, by the way.
I’m also grateful I wore dark denim capris because my just-in-case overnight bag was incomplete: I could’ve sworn I packed a light blue top and a pair of navy leggings when really I packed a light blue top and a navy tank top. I was able to spot clean my jeans.
But my left cheek was wet on the car ride back.
I think I do need at least one pair of sneakers.
#nike #justdoit #airforceones
*My “country” done come out that time. Ha!