There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Style With a Smile

There exist bathrooms that have a urinal and a traditional toilet. They are men's restrooms and they lock and they are intended for use by only one person at a time. And yet, in spite of this, it isn't uncommon to see pee splashed across the seat of the toilet. I think this says a lot about human behavior. Maybe peeing in urinals just isn't some dudes' style.

Style is an unusual thing. As with many other things in life, there is blatant borrowing, if not complete emulation, but there is also much that is subconsciously adopted. One such element for me is wearing different colors of the same shoe. I've been doing this since about 2008 off and on, and while it primarily applied to my running shoes, it happens that I wear my running shoes sometimes when not running. But that wasn't the first time I'd seen this. Nike offered two-tone spikes in the late 90s, called the Jasari, a similar, but not identical concept.

Les Goblet went one further in the fall of 1998, wearing two different colors of Adidas trainers. Les Goblet is not his real name, but Les Goblet is a real person. Speaking to his shoes, I believe one was red, and one was blue. I can't recall the name of the shoe, rare for me, but I do remember that a teammate of mine had the same shoe in yellow. Why do I remember Les Goblet's name? Was it his unremarkable personal best in the 800m of something near two-minutes, his I'm-not-trying-but-I'm-totally-trying-at-trying-not-to-try archetype (is that even broad enough to be an archetype), or his shoes? I think it was none of them. I just happen to remember a lot of insignificant details. As for insignificant details I don't think Les Goblet would remember me. That's okay, I was shit at running then, and I was a sophomore while he was a senior at a nearby school.

But Les' shoes. Les is more sometimes. I thought that was a cool idea. I wanted to emulate it, and if I were ever asked, I like to think I would have given credit to Les, even though the name would mean nothing to most. But it took me a decade to do it, and when folks ask now, I never bring up Les, even though I'm known to be odd enough that inclusion of this largely superfluous detail might be expected.

In my years of doing this, I've received plenty of looks, commentary, and feedback, and strangely it has all been positive. Just as strangely I've not seen anyone else emulate it, but I've heard it's out there, as one my coworkers said recently he saw a kid wearing mismatched Jordan's in a neighborhood you would expect to see this kind of behavior. My neighborhood is also one where you would expect to see this kind of behavior. And it would be in the spirit of both hoods to want to stop doing something because someone else started.

That's dumb.  

It's too bad that the Emperor's new damn clothes has taught us nothing, and we can't live free of the perception of idiots. But then, it's my perception that they're idiots. And since this is growing tangential and at the risk of lines not directly touching, let's just agree not to pee on toilet seats and remember that if anyone says they're the authority on something, they aren't.

Anyway, I wonder what kind of shoes Les is wearing these days.

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