Friday, February 8, 2008

i'll see your work commuting shoes in hell

I was so happy to see the skies were grey this morning. Not only that, but when I stepped outside and felt a renewed chill in the air I almost broke out my jazz hands. Why, you ask? Because I hate seeing these:

Ahh yes. The ubiquitous flip-flop -- DC's premiere commuting shoe for 60-degree-plus days, which we got to had to experience earlier this week. And while I concede this ever-present digitoplantar disaster is at least a step up from its rubberized brethren, the flip-flop paired with DC business attire is as dangerous as it is dishabille. (Seriously, flip-flops are unsafe.)

But unlike Crocs, which I am wholeheartedly against being worn in all public situations, I actually do think there is a time and a place for flip-flops in public. It's called the beach. OK, and (only if I'm feeling extra nice) I'll let flip-flops slide in the case that you're doing laundry or running to the corner store to buy Schlitz, because chances are your other attire would gel well with this glorified slipper. But let's not go crazy! I firmly draw the line there.

What I'm saying is, if you're heading to work, effing just invest in footwear that both looks nice and is comfortable enough for you to at least hobble on and off the metro in.

As you might've been able to glean, I am not one that often puts "comfort" ahead of "not looking like an asshole," so I'm not necessarily the right person to advise on what is and isn't suitably comfortable for the weak-footed. But, I'm not so out there that I welcome foot pain on a daily basis, which means I know for a fact that being comfortable and not looking like a total tool are not mutually exclusive. Alas, you can have the best of both worlds!

*And now, cue the drum roll for my paltry attempt to give advice to the mentally challenged...*

Ladies, if you can't handle heels, go with flats -- and I DO NOT mean a Reebok cross-trainer. And boys, I'm guessing this "advice" doesn't apply to you, but if it does then, well, you also should, um, switch from heels to flats...

Yet underneath all of this lies the crux of my frustration -- the very idea of a commuting shoe. Maybe it's just me, having not spent very much of my adult working life in the United States, but is the "commuting shoe" particularly rampant in DC? I feel like the concentration of suits'n'flip-flops, suits'n'Reeboks and suits'n'(gasp!)Crocs is astronomically higher here than it is in other U.S. American cities I've lived in, mainly Chicago, Boston and New York. And what makes it even worse is that people walk just as much if not more in all three of those cities than I think most people do here. So for serious, what the hell is wrong with people's feet here that they can't handle even the comfiest of non-tool, office-suitable footwear?

Sadly, as with most of my questions pertaining to this enigma of a city, that last one was very much rhetorical. I already know the answer and it has nothing to do with people's feet. Instead, it has to do with DC's overall aestheic. In other words, people here actively TRY to look ugly. And by god they are succeeding. Way to go!

And on that note, have a fabulous, retardulous, commuter-shoe-free weekend!


Anonymous said...

Amen. I walk all the way from Cleveland Park down to the Hill everyday for work, and I would never -- never ever -- consider wearing flip flops. I mean, aren't those meant to be worn in communal showers at the YMCA? Ugh.

Marissa said...

Yes! I'll add that to my list of acceptable times to wear flip-flops, or as my mom refers to them, thongs.

Liquor store.
Communal showers.

Thanks for reading and commenting, by the way!

The Vinyl District said...

Warm weather seems to = feet season. Wish it was also hunting season.


Marissa said...

Everyone, The Vinyl District makes a good point. Get a pedicure, or face the consequences.

The Vinyl District said...

Er, it's not just that. Maybe I should have said feet/moron season.

Marissa said...

But isn't every season moron season?

The Vinyl District said...


Sadly, quite true. The bar just seems to lower in warmer weather...

L said...

I seem to remember calling you from baggage claim at SFO to inquire whether Crocs are business casual, because the lady in the aisle behind me had rocked a green pair with a navy suit on board. And that flight originated at JFK. All of which is to say, perhaps its not just a DC thing. Perhaps if you spend an afternoon in midtown you will see the same thing. Luckily, my life in nyc was lived primarily between canal and 14th, so I couldn't really say.

Also, my dad calls them go-aheads.

Marissa said...

l --

Like you, I rarely ventured to this mythical "Midtown" you speak of. Does it really exist? I mean, really???

Also, scene points for your dad as I'm sure he calls them "go-aheads" as in "go-ahead and get the eff out of my face." Can your dad guest blog on here???

Anonymous said...

I saw someone this morning wearing those strange toe shoes with a work dress on the metro. Horrifying. It was like watching an alien go to work.