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Shoe Personality of the Week: 1/31/2011

The order of the day is still nostalgia.

This week I got a text from my girlfriend, Mo Betta Butta telling me how she misses me & hearing about the way I do what I do. There IS a huge difference from reading about the goings on I choose to share here & the way we get down with nearly 21 years of friendship under our belt. She’s my heart; 1 of a few women who were there for the Wonder Years & worthy of still maintaining real estate in my life. She’s seen me through my Goddess braids, my Poetic Justice braids, braces, red Guess jeans, a purple coat with a fur hood & cheetah lining. She’s been there for Peanut, Parrish, the Mikey saga, head over heels in love with college, & my entry into grown up EVERYTHING. We had our Womanhood Rite of Passage together. I stood on 2 different lawns in 2 different cities witnessing her union to the husband she’s still with. Two of her 4 children are light skinned and credited to me—with no clear idea where they came from. Before those babies was hot pants, roller skates, & cigar bars. & a slew of passed notes & letters on stationery.

She knew me back when I would wear these.

Well, not these exactly. The VANS I rocked were black, velvet to be exact. I went to school with a lot of white children. The few black students at school were busy trying to dress like TLC & Aliyah. Somehow, while not having the control or the cash flow to fully express it, I knew that doing what the pack was doing would get me lumped in with them. I was already short, underdeveloped, had braces, natural hair & was vegetarian. I needed something that was just mine—something that I chose for me instead of having it forced on me by DNA codes or parental rule. Da Mudda used to let me pick out my own shoes, if nothing else, as long as they made some kind of sense. Wow…that line was snatched almost word for word from my father’s mouth. Anywho…I opted for the black velvet VANS because I knew no one else would. Now, in the spirit of nostalgia & paying homage to the days when things were simpler, I’d rock the above shoe without pause.

VANS have come a long way & my life has changed so much. This is NOT the life I so thoroughly wrote out in my journal at the wise old age of 13. It sounds cliché, but aside from being boy crazy, I wasn’t your average 13 year old. I was serious about having a plan in order so some of the guesswork was out of the way. #controlfreak I’m not upset that my script wasn’t followed to the letter or at all because this adventure that is my life is so incredible. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss riding in the back of Koko Buttaz mom’s BMW seeing along with & bouncing to Tony! Toni! Tone! I miss driving down Backlick Rd <SHUT UP> & walking between me & Shell’s house. I loved being totally welcomed into my girlfriends’ homes as another 1 of their mother’s children. I was honored that my boyfriend’s family trusted me so explicitly with their son & took me in to the ways of the women in their family—like we were gonna take that high school sweetheart thing all the way to the altar. THAT certainly wasn’t written in my journal, but I understood what was happening.

The criteria have changed for finding friends & partners & frankly…I miss the good ol’ days. I’ve song Ahmad’s song in here enough, I won’t do it to you now, but DO KNOW the sentiment remains. I can’t do anything but reminisce over you, my gawd since turning back the hands of time still hasn’t been perfected. Luckily, I’m not adverse to change because my world tilts on a different axis regularly. It’s all good though. It’s caused me to step up my game. That means all of my game/s. As I grow, so do my choices in shoes—while retro really IS my isht. VANS has stepped their game up too. They’re not just skater shoes, they’ve come on over to the urban side, ready for Sistas like me who aren't out here tryna kill the game rockin’ the same god forsaken open toe ankle bootie that everyone is so sprung off of. They're not all bad, but they've become uniform & I wasn’t raised to be common, & while it sucked as a youth, I rather enjoy not succumbing to the same gravitational pull as most around me. So, I’ma decide how long before I purchase these while you try to justify #groupthink.

I miss us too, Girl

Watch me move.

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