Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Let’s get some shoes.

Sallie's idea; Dan's comments in bold type

Every now and then, a trend (or 20) comes along that just doesn’t make sense and is totally unjustifiable (at least, to me). These kinds of trends come along pretty frequently in the fashion world: brightly-colored satin in summer (hello, pit stains), ridiculously high platform shoes, cartoon characters on otherwise respectable clothing. However, when it comes to footwear, I can honestly say I’ve seen few things more horrible than Crocs.

I have yet slip into these “crocs” as they are called, mostly because it’s like strapping evil onto your feet.

Never in my life have I ever seen a more ill-fitting, inappropriate-to-wear-in-public pair of shoes. They are bulky, they are rubbery, they are tacky and they have holes in them. Not that I know from experience, but it also makes sense that they would make your feet sweat a lot; like jellies (which are also unfortunate). In my research, I discovered that they were invented for boaters. However, it’s become obvious that their jurisdiction is no longer limited to bodies of water. I can see running around on a boat (where nobody but pirates would see you, anyway) wearing the foam-like shoes, but the grocery store? Come on. Get a pair of loafers or some sandals, for crying out loud. Velcro shoes would be more appropriate.

I wonder if there are some boaters somewhere bragging that they were the first to wear these shoes.

Earl: “Hey Bob, remember when you got your first pair of those boater loafers?”
Bob: “Hell yeah, Earl. Back when I started wearing them they came in two colors, grayish and almost white. Now these Croc things the kids are wearing come in all the colors.”
Earl: “I think they were just dirty Bob. I think they only came in white.” Earl spits on the boat deck and rubs it in with his bare feet. “Remember when you started wearing those rubber “live strong” bracelets Bob?”

Both Crocs and Uggs (remember those?) suffer from some of the same problems:

1) They make your feet look bigger than they actually are.

2) People wear them when they are (very) seasonally inappropriate.

3) They are incredibly ugly.

Why has it become socially acceptable to wear floatation devices on your feet? The thing that boggles my mind most is that these “shoes” aren’t typically worn by those who appear to be fashion-challenged upon first glance. Many times, I’ll see an ADULT woman wearing a button-down shirt, fitted jeans, great jewelry and expensive handbag round her outfit out by wearing a color-coordinated, but still terrible, pair of Crocs. Why? WHY?! Who told these people that this is OK?

The Greek culture surrounding The Place (my place of residence during college) was filled with the polo shirt-expensive jeans-Croc combo for the boys. Then the girls roamed the streets in a cleavage-showing tops, miniskirts and giant Ugg boots lined at the top with fake fur.

When it comes to shopping for clothing, or really anything, one of the best guidelines a person can follow is this: If it’s sold at a kiosk in the mall, DO NOT BUY IT. You’re probably getting ripped off, making a bad decision, or both.

That goes for cell phones and cell phone cases too. Think about it, what else are in kiosks: those helicopter things, Vietnamese massages, body jewelry and men trying to sell lotions. All essential to any modern mall, but all fairly annoying.

Don’t forget the fake hair clip-ins, Dan.

I was hopeful that the Croc trend would end soon, but it appears that the company making them is constantly coming out with new styles. These shoes make me long for the bodacious styles of the early ’90s. Scrunch socks, anyone?

$50 cash reward for every severed foot still wearing Crocs turned in at my house.

Friday, September 5, 2008

“It’s a small price to pay for self-esteem, Michael.”

Sal's idea, Dan's comments. Sorry for the delay...

When it comes to most personal hygiene and cosmetic purchases, I am a reasonable person. I buy a fairly limited number of good- to high-quality products and stick with them. I don’t have drawers full of makeup I’ve used once then forgotten about. I’m pretty good about buying face wash or soap and using it all before I try something different, but there’s one area where I falter and go beyond being reasonable: Hair care products.

Dan: I falter as well.

I don’t know why, but I am constantly tempted to buy new shampoos, conditioners and styling products, no matter how happy I am with my current products. Sometimes my hair needs volume. Sometimes it needs moisture. Sometimes it needs detangling. Sometimes it needs curls or to be straightened. You get the idea. I like to have products appropriate for my needs, and I frequently find that the drugstore varieties don’t all do the trick, which means I have drawers full of hair products from salons. That adds up.

Dan: For 18 years of my life I was perfectly happy using the $2.50 bottle of Suave. You know the one. It’s the 70s green bottle on the bottom shelf. It wasn’t until college, when I had long flowing hair. (Yes, I did have long hair freshman-sophomore year.) I bought into the Herbal Essences commercials (and was disappointed when it wasn’t as orgasmic as advertised) so my hair would smell great.

I know that a lot of this stuff is unecessary, but I don’t really care. You can tell me all the reasons why I shouldn’t buy this stuff and it probably wouldn’t change my mind. Using the proper products for your hair can have a serious effect on how healthy it is. It drives Dan crazy that I have all of this stuff, but clearly I know something he doesn’t, as he’s bald and I still have all of my hair. (Sorry.)

Dan: Some of you might have known that not only am I bald, but I’m bald in weird patches. I was always going to be bald eventually, but I went through a yearlong phase where I wanted to be with the in-crowd, and the in-crowd was bleaching their hair. I couldn’t afford the $40 hairdo, so off to Wal Mart I went. $3.50 for two doses of bleach was, in fact, too good to be true. Hair started falling out soon after.

I like to have a set of volumizing shampoo and conditioner, a set of moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, a bottle of Head and Shoulders (sometimes my head gets itchy), a deep conditioner, volumizing spray, smoothing serum and hairspray. I don’t use all of these at the same time, of course, but it’s nice to always have what I need in stock.

There’s an episode of ‘Arrested Development’ where Michael yells at Lindsay for paying $60 for a bottle of conditioner. In her words, “It’s a small price to pay for self-esteem, Michael.”

I’m not saying that I base my self-value on hair care products, but having a fragrant, shiny, healthy head of hair certainly doesn’t hurt.

Dan: Although my shower is filled with 400 bottles of products, (3 of which are mine) I guess I let it go without much of a fight. My wife looks good, I can live vicariously through her hair, and every now and then my scalp needs a bit of pampering too.