For the longest time (a year, maybe), I've been searching for the perfect pair of Oxfords. They had to be mannish, but not too mannish, and -- this was critical -- they had to be silver. So when I finally stumbled across a pair online that were on sale a few weeks ago, I immediately bought them.
When they arrived, I opened up the package, and was startled at how shiny they were. Man, I dunno, I thought. I mean, they're perfect, but I'm not sure if I can carry off this much shine. For several days, I left them in the box, until finally, last week, I took them out, and wore them. They're comfortable, and they're certainly eye-catching. I tentatively decided I liked them.
When I picked Alex up from school that day, I modeled them for her. "So, what do you think?"
"Oh," she said slowly. I could tell she was picking her words carefully.
"You don't like them ..." I studied her face.
"No, it's not that ...." she paused, thinking. "It's just that ... well, I've never seen you wear anything like them before. They're just not you."
Something about her statement sounded like a dare. I've worn them a lot since then.
"Yeah, Maggie, maybe you're the kind of person who wants to go ziplining through tree canopies, but that kind of stuff terrifies me," I protested. "I just am not a ziplining kind of person."
She thought for a minute, considering my words.
"It's not that I want to be a person who ziplines," she said slowly, carefully, "so much as it is that I want to be the kind of person who would try ziplining. I want to be the kind of person who makes an attempt."
I loved this concept, and over the years, her words have stuck with me. I've considered them every time I've been given an opportunity to try something new, something that would stretch me in some way. And while I certainly have no inclination to even be a person who tries ziplining, I certainly want to be a person who attempts many things.
Including, I suppose, wearing unexpected shoes.
Song: Happy by Pharrell Williams. The first time I posted a photo of my shoes on Instagram, someone commented that the image made this song immediately come to mind. These are, therefore, officially my Happy shoes.