Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Number Twenty-two

Converse.  Can you believe it?  Converse shoes are part of The One Hundred.  I couldn't quite believe it myself when I read it.  I have many, many memories of Converse All-Stars.  Let's go way back to my youth when I was in 7th grade at Emerson.  Emerson grade school was a school that was/is in inner city Phoenix.  All of my siblings attended this school as did my Mom.  When I went to school there, it was the stereotypical inner city school; different ethnicity's, kids from broken homes, poor kids that lived in south phoenix and kids with juvenile records who longed to become members of the 9th Street Locos gang.  Part of the look of the gang members were Dickie's chinos, white t-shirts, and Converse All-Stars.

I had no desire to be a part of the gang, but I had a desire to fit in and that meant looking like everyone else.  I wanted a pair of Converse so bad that I remember going to sporting goods section at K-Mart (yes, they were sold at K-Mart then), and would just stand there holding them.  My mom refused to buy them for me and I never seemed to save enough money.  My only hope was the knock-off pair at some now long forgotten shoe store in the mall.  Instead of having the customary Converse logo on the heal, it had the name of the fake shoe instead.  But, I had an idea.  I could peal the fake name off the back and no one would be the wiser.  WRONG.  I wore my fake Converse to school and immediately someone said, "Oh my God, Michelle bought fake Converse and tried to fake us by taking off the fake label."  In typical 7th grader fashion, I thought my life was over, ran to the bathroom and cried vowing to never return to school again.  By lunch, everyone knew, and by the time the school day ended, everyone  had moved on to something else.  (Probably someone getting the paddle by Mrs. Williams.  Yes, students got paddled in those days.)

Ever since that experience, I haven't had a great desire to wear or own Converse.  The One Hundred resurrected my love for them.  I know, Converse has made a resurrection over the past several years and everyone and their dog owns a pair.  So, in my obsession with The One Hundred, I set out to purchase my first real pair of Converse All-Stars.  I couldn't decide between white or navy and after some consultation from my co-worker Jennifer, I decided on navy. (Sorry but those silly neon colors are just wrong.)  Because the sizing is different (remember, you're buying men's shoes), I couldn't decided between the larger size 5 or the smaller size 4.  I went with the 4 and decided to not wear socks.  Woo!  Did my feet hurt and sweat AND smell!  But boy did I feel cute.  Yes, cute.  Not chic or sexy, but C U T E.  Smelly feet and all.

I finally have an authentic pair of Converse All-Stars.  I do love them and yes, I'm happy they are the real deal.  Before I close this chapter though, I have to give a shout out to my brother-in-law Dale Davis who has been wearing black Converse All-Stars for...well, for as long as I've known him and that's pretty much my whole life.  All I can say is, "If the shoe fits."

Number Twenty-two - Converse.  Twenty-eight down, seventy-two to go.


Jennifer Martinez-Maestas said...

Welcome to the Stewart Little Club!

Michelle Meeks said...

Thanks Jen! It's a good club to be in.