That's a Croc

Are we allowed to like crocs again? Haven’t they been disparaged long enough that they’ve gone full circle to cool? Like Michael Jackson can walk out onto a stage in 1986 wearing flood pants with white sox and black loafers/tap shoes and not get the snot beaten out of him for it, when do we get to wear crocs and not have our pictures taken as a Don’t in the Do’s and Don’ts column in Glamour?

(I spent my junior high and high school years living with the fear of appearing as a Don’t, with the big black bar across my eyes, and wearing an outfit that I’d thrown hastily on to run into Lawson’s or into Midtown Manahattan for a shopping spree. I ran a huge risk every time I put on my Howard Johnson’s waitress uniform, a brown polyester hot mess with a turquoise and orange panel that buttoned onto the front; dotted with stains from cocktail sauce, maraschino cherry juice and armpit sweat. If Glamour magazine Do’s and Don’ts fashion column spies had ever had their van break down halfway between Chicago and New York, it would have been my luck that they came into Howard Johnson’s off Interstate 80 for a clam roll.)

I’m wondering about the crocs thing because I have not yet ever worn a pair. I’m thinking this might be a Life in 2006-09 Experience that is passing me by. I’ve never even tried a pair on, despite the fact that while in the Charlotte airport recently, I saw the Crocs Store, a little indentation in the airport mall wall that sells just crocs. My sons went in there while the rest of us were next door in the Native American Jewelry and Trinket Store, and they reported back to me that the store is full of crocs. Just crocs. In all colors and sizes. They were both grinning. I’m afraid to ask what pranks they pulled or pictures they took with their phones.

I believe you when you say crocs are very comfortable. But . . . actually I don’t really believe you. They’re too big for your feet. How can you possibly clomp properly around without the crocs falling off, unless you’re gripping them with your toe muscles. I’ve done that with other ill fitting shoes and it’s not comfortable at all. Plus crocs have no cushioning, and is there even an arch?

The last crazy shoe trend I followed was Dr. Scholl’s, the popular wooden sandals from the ‘70s. They were supposed to be good for your feet and leg health, thus the “Dr.” in the name and the fact that bought them not at a shoe store, but in your neighborhood drug store. Right next to the walkers, enema bags and the bracelets that say I AM AN EPILEPTIC, you could pick up a pair of shoes to wear with your hot pants or your baggies.

I think Dr. Scholl’s made a modest come-back recently. But in the ‘70s, we all wore them. It was like the Dutch invasion. We were clomping around malls, church festivals and fast food restaurants with our wooden shoes. But we were young, we were teenagers and we were willing to sacrifice comfort for looking good. (Plus they were heavy suckers. You could take one off and club a stalker to death with a Dr. Scholl.)

Crocs are the opposite. Seemingly normal adults - and men, too - claim that crocs are so comfortable that they’re willing to risk ridicule in order to wear them in all colors of the rainbow.

I have a pair of slippers that are comfy, too, but you don’t see me wearing them in public, except for those three times at Winn Dixie for cheese emergencies.

Maybe I’m missing the boat. Will I have regrets if I walk through the entire 2006-09 Croc Years without wearing any? How will I explain this to my grandchildren?

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