Note: the following topic was requested by one of my best friends in the whole wide world. I'm honored that she thought of me to handle it....especially since I haven't written much in the past two months but shopping lists. Anyway, I hope you enjoy.
I do not like buying shoes. This greatly disappoints my father, who is a shoe fanatic. My mother was as well, to the point that she would hide her newly purchased pumps in the car trunk and warn us not to tell how much she spent. But I never saw the point. To me, shoes are just....well, shoes. Eventually, even the best shoes start to fade or crack; they get smudges that no amount of shoe polish will hide; sometimes, they even start to pinch your pinky toe.
But you have to buy them. Walking around without shoes would make me Britney Spears.
Two years ago, I needed a new pair of workout shoes. After rolling my eyes at the exorbitant prices and the "air cushion Robotronic technology," I finally found a pair that suited me. They were comfortable, affordable AND they came in my favorite color. I snapped them up and immediately started to wear them everyday.
When I put them on, I felt great. I felt like they made me run faster, jump higher and look sort of sexy while doing it. I received lots of compliments about my new shoes, to the point where people wanted to know exactly where I purchased them. They were absolutely, positively perfect.
Eventually, I noticed my shins starting to hurt after a long run. I assumed I just needed to stretch more, so I did. I changed my posture; I even tried a different running trail. Still, my shins continued to throb. I finally realized that the source of my shin ache happened to be my beloved shoes. I was crushed. Was it time to toss my super sneakers?
The beginning of a relationship is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. If I could bottle that "butterflies in your stomach/can't eat/can't sleep" euphoria, I would be a billionaire. Everyone wants to feel that way. In fact, everyone needs to feel that way at least once in their life. Even the memory of it will make you smile.
But the feeling cannot last forever. Soon enough, you discover that your sweetie is....*gulp*....not flawless. She doesn't drink anything but Fresca. He never misses an episode of American Idol. She does not understand why you think wrestling is real.
He is a Lakers fan.
Disappointed? A little. Reason enough to end it? Absolutely not.
I know we all toss around the phrase "nobody's perfect," which is very true. However, we need to add an addendum to that statement, especially in regards to relationships: "....and no one is ever going to be just like you."
As much as I love me some K. Marie, I could never date someone exactly like me. That would be terrifyingly frustrating. Only one person gets to be sullen and moody until they get their morning coffee and that's me.
So, what do you do when the relationship is no longer new? You accept the newness of your current state.
Girlfriend, you already know he enjoys spending time with you. Brother, you know longer have to play your highlight reel on dates--she's still captivated by the ordinary in your life. And HALLELUJAH, you don't always have to plan these epic dates. Sitting on the couch watching the NBA finals--in basketball shorts, sans makeup--feels just as nice as dancing until dawn in six-inch heels.
It's still a little scary, taking off the mask and revealing this multifaceted, sometimes fragile, sometimes stubborn, sensitive person. But it's you.
No longer new, but deliciously real.
It's comfortable, just like that old pair of shoes.
Even though my shoes no longer worked for running, they were too cute to toss. So, I incorporated them into other parts of my life. They are perfect for a day of catching sales at the outlet mall. They work well for Casual Fridays, with my jeans and a witty t-shirt. They are the shoes that I keep in my car when I am wearing heels...because eventually, they are coming off.
No longer new.
Still perfect for me.
To those of you who are in relationships, I wish you many moments of comfort, love and happiness with your shoes.
And to those of us who are not in relationships?
Keep your eyes and your heart open. You haven't tried on every shoe just yet.