Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Missed Chance, or the Doc Marten Connection

Sometimes I wonder about the power of footwear. You can tell a lot about someone by the type of shoes that they wear. What sort of image they want to project, that sort of thing. I wear my Doc Martens for many reasons, but the one main reason is to stand out a little. When I first got them (3 years ago), everyone in my school was wearing either Sperry Topsiders or Uggs, maybe Converse low-tops. I wanted something different, something more edgy, something more "me". When I first wore them to school, I was incredibly nervous because I knew I would be judged, and I was for a while. However, as my Docs have broken in, so have others feelings about them. I used to be (and probably still am) that crazy girl with the big red boots. But now they're used to it. Amazing what people can get used to.

When this particular story starts I was not wearing my big red boots. Having just gotten out of crew practice, I was in my crew stuff and running shoes. There was a big swim meet going down at the pool, so I wandered up to take a look. Most of the spectators were either parents, siblings, or girls in uniform plaid skirts and polos from the other school competing. As I scanned the crowd, one girl caught my eye. Bleached blond mohawk, Sex Pistols album cover (I think) on the back of her jacket (complete with studs), studded belt, white jeans, and on her feet- black Docs. I know it sounds stereotypical, but the second thing I thought was "Wow, typical punk." The first thing I thought was "Doc Martens! A kindred spirit!" The immediate reaction was to run and change back into my pants and boots, and then bolt back to the meet before she left.

I really wanted to talk to that girl. When I saw her face to face, the first impression was "vulnerable", followed by "wow, red lipstick", followed by "she looks a lot younger from the front", followed by "screw that, she's got car keys". The thing was, I didn't know how to approach her. For most Doc-wearing folks I've met, a quick "Nice boots" usually breaks the ice. With this girl, I wasn't so sure. There was something... standoffish about her, and it wasn't the mohawk or the multiple ear piercings. I wish I had the guts to pull off a mohawk, I've wanted one for years. Anyone who can wear one with that much pizazz is definitely someone worth talking to, but she looked really defensive, scared even. So instead of accosting her, I left her alone. Another missed connection.

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