There is a big pile of shoes by my front door. Sneakers, The Girl’s fashion army boots (total oxymoron), The Boy’s butt-ugly Crocs (just saying), and the ones I claim as mine: a worn out pair of Topsiders nestled between several pair of flip-flops.
I’ve come to the conclusion you don’t know how to live until you know how to wear a pair a flips. Now, I’m not talking about slipping on a pair and walking out to the pool, anybody can do that. There are people who look natural, completely at ease in flips. These people just slip them on and go anywhere and everywhere in them without a second thought as to their appropriateness for the occasion. I’d be willing to bet they wouldn’t give a second thought about wearing them into a corporate boardroom full of suits.
I think these people actually know how to live life to the fullest extent possible.
I have not come by this philosophy without a great deal of observation and analysis. As a writer, I tend to watch people. I imagine how they live in all kinds of situations. I ponder about what makes them choose everything from their coffee concoctions to their cars. Most of you watch TV… way too contrived for me. But people, that’s what I binge on.
I live in a beach town, and it fits me. I can be ready to go in a moments notice. But honestly, I’ve been this way my whole life. I’m not encumbered by the trappings of having to get ready to go… I just go. Truth be told, I don’t even know how to get ready to go anywhere. And this is the life of the wearer of flip-flops. You just go.
My husband stresses about packing for vacations… he worries if he will have the correct number of socks. “Honey, calm down, we are not hiking the Himalayas, I’ll bet they have socks in San Francisco” (If you actually use the twenty pair you’re bringing I think to myself.)
Wearers of flip-flops don’t spend their lives getting ready to live… they just live. They Do. They Be. They are in the moment. (And technically they don’t actually need to pack a lot of socks.)
Just yesterday an acquaintance asked me (in a nutshell) if I needed to bolt because I had a lot going on. “It’s ok, they would understand.” <head twist, quizzical look> I wasn’t thinking about the laundry list of things I needed to do… I was there, with them, in that moment. Nothing else was more important. I wasn’t looking at my watch (excuse me, cel phone) waiting for the first chance to escape.
I’m still learning. As a reformed New Yorker turned Californian I do still ‘flip out’ on occasion. When I’m completely filled with stress, Hmmm… I’ll bet that’s when I put on my Topsiders without even realizing it.
I have a goal: Someday, I’m going to be so chill, I’m going to rock a pair of flips while wearing pearls. That is knowing how to live, convention be damned.