coolness and eastlands.

i know you all remember eastland shoes.  anybody who was anybody and cool back in the day had a pair or two.  and of course, you didn't tie them.  you did the whole twisty things on each side of the shoe with the strings.  yeah, they were pretty much "the thang."  the thing to have if you were a preteen, teenager, or just feeling teenish. the tan ones were the ones to have, there was no other color really.  if you were gonna attempt to be cool, you didn't even have a chance if you did not have tan eastlands.
i had navy.  
hold on, let me wipe away the tears.  
my daddy, i do love him.  but practicality reigns, no matter what.  the fact that he had a teenage daughter that  "needed" tan eastlands, did not matter when the same shoe in navy was half price.
"but dadddddy....i do not want the blue ones.  they are ugly."  
"daddy, everyone has the tan ones, i know they are more money, but dadddddy???"  
"jessica, do you want shoes or not."  
if i read him this today, he would still not see the error of his ways. notice, it is still his fault.  just wanted to fit in and be tan in a sea of tan-ness.  but, oh no.  
tan, tan, tan, tan, BLUE, tan, tan, tan, tan,tan.  
didn't have to look at my face to identify me, just check out the shoes. they were blue.  i tried not to wear them, and he would ask me why i was not wearing them.
he was trying to put me in 
an early grave.
h to the e to the l l o.  dad.  i am a teenager, i have navy eastlands and i am a little embarrassed.  
give me some time.
i wore the shoes.  and i was thankful (at least, that's what i told my daddy).  i mean, how sweet was it that he even took me to get some anyway.  i see that now, of course.
i wore the shoes and ended up loving them and didn't care that they were navy.  they didn't get scuffed like the tan ones, they always looked good.  i tried to wear them out, so i could get the tan ones.  i knew when they had no soles left, i could finally get the tan ones that my heart bled for. daily i would watch my cool friends walk by and rub in in my face that they had tan ones.  jerks. no one else had navy. not one.  i think they only made one pair, and i was the lucky one.  
i wore those bad boys for a year or more, every day.  every day.  they were blue, but they were also comfy.  finally the day came when the soles were coming off, one would kinda talk.  you know when the sole of your shoe is so loose, you can pull it away from the shoe. that was my right foot and the left was following suite.  thank the good lord.  finally, i was gonna get the tan ones.
bliss.  and you better believe...i was taking mom on the next shoe shopping spreee....practical dad was keeping it parked at home.  they were falling apart, and i was trying to figure out how to break it to dad that i needed new shoes.  as much as i was like every other teenager, that talked back too much, and was ungrateful for the blessings that i did have, i was aware my parents were not made of money and did give it thought when i needed something. not much, but it did cross my mind.  just being honest.
the shoes were at an all time bad.  not only were they the god-forbidden navy, but now the soles were coming off so badly that i was tripping occasionally when i walked.  i just wanted to make sure they were really worn out, because i knew that would mean a direct trip "to town" to get me some new tan eastlands.  wooooo hoooooo.  on the way home from school, i showed my dad the sad state of my shoes and laid the drama on thick and told him that i had been tripping in the halls all day, and that i almost three thousand and that would have been really embarrassing.  breathe.  and if my shoes actually broke at school, then i would be barefoot. breathe.  deep breathes.
he surely was getting the point.  i needed new shoes.  these were bad. he looked at them.  and being practical like he is, he even agreed that they were just not good.  oh, yeah...oh yeah...jessica is getting her some new tan eastlands...oh yeah...i have entire life  
oh yeah.
"uh dad.  where are we going?  i thought we were going home."
"we are going to the shoe shop."
'the huh?" (as tears started to form in my eyes)
we pulled up to the RIVERSIDE SHOE REPAIR SHOP and dad said, "hop out."
i did not hop out, but did get out of the car as i was told.
we walked in the RIVERSIDE SHOE REPAIR SHOP together.  my daddy says, "take your shoes off jessica and give them to this gentleman."
oh.  my.  goodness.  
did he just ask my to take my shoes 
off of my feet?
he had.
i handed the shoes to the shoe repair man.  
and my daddy says, "well, i think these things need some new soles, what do you think?"
the repair man promptly agrees. 
is this actually happening?
"what do you think, jessica?  he can make these things like new, is that good?"
"yes. sir."  (i had to look away to wipe the tears.)
"alright, thank you.  we will see you in a couple of days.  ready to go, jessica."
"yes, sir."  (totally dejected.)
and we turned around and walked out of the shop.  dad proud that he was getting the shoes for his only daughter fixed for her.  and jessica sock feet and in disbelief that she was going to now not only be the single person in the whole state of tennessee with navy eastlands, but now would have the totally uncool navy eastlands that had been re-soled.  
and can i just tell you.  i hated the shoes when i got them new, but dealt with it and did eventually comes to terms with their mortality, and knew that i would get the tan ones when the blue wore out.  
but when i got the one inch thick (not even lying, those were the thickest soles ever!) re-soled navy eastlands back, i considered putting myself up for adoption. 
no i am not bitter.  why do you ask?

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