You had me at hello—at least that’s what I thought when I first opened the box containing my brand new pair of colorful sneakers, just a few days before leaving en vacances with my husband, baby and ten—count ’em, ten—pieces of luggage (car seat and stroller bags included). The elegant teal hue, the pristine white tread—my heart surged with joy, but also anticipation: Could you be the one?
By “the one,” I mean the pair of walking shoes that would carry me through the entirety of my trip to Paris—and eastern France—sans blisters. The pair that would effortlessly match everything in my suitcase. The pair that would actually help me lighten my already heavy load.
Because here’s the thing: I took a sartorial risk. I packed only two pairs of shoes—a pair of booties and you. In that teal color, you were bold enough to wear with blue jeans but sleek enough to pair with a dress. But even more important than appearance was the way your flexible outsole grazed my heel and toes, delivering comfort when I needed it most.
Like on the red-eye out of JFK where everyone promised my infant would sleep. He did not. And as I walked the aisles of the plane for hours, desperate to keep him entertained and seething with anger as my fellow passengers snoozed away, you were there.
Or when I wore you to the farmers market and walked up and down Boulevard Raspail while my husband stayed in the hotel to give me a mini-break from baby duty so I could stop and smell the fleurs and buy all the fromage. You were brand-new, which meant you were entitled to pinch or rub as we found our pace together. But you didn’t. You endured.
And, finally, when my eight-month-old wanted nothing more than to park hop and kick up all the dirt as we “off-roaded” with the stroller down the gravelly paths in the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens, I felt stressed about my once-perfect (now, not so polished) sneaker covered in dust. But a reminder that might as well have been stitched into your sole (soul?): I’m machine-washable. We’ll regroup when we get back. It felt like a faint and loving whisper in my ear.
So, were you the one? You were x 1,000.
Merci beaucoup for the vacation memories.