Footwear, my toe and other people’s thoughts

It’s very close to zero degree celsius and I’m walking the streets in sandals. And white socks. I’m on my way to pick my son from school, a normal part of my Tuesday afternoons. But I cannot help but notice the strange accusing stares that passers-by give me. They look at my face then look at my sandals, the disgust and outrage is a little too obvious. Why are people so rude?
 

 

White socks and sandals...hmmm

A few weeks ago, I fell down the stairs and badly injured my toe. I don’t want to whip up pity so all I will say is that after a trip to A&E and some treatment, my toe has been in a bandage. I limped for a few days and had to wear open shoes to help the wound to heal. What I didn’t realise was that I would need a tag on my forehead that said “Injured Toe” or maybe a walking cane or an elaborate “limping” strategy to help people understand why I was wearing sandals in winter. Perhaps a huge cast over my ankle and foot would accentuate the pain of the fall. I wanted to stop every irritated onlooker and explain that I was not crazy or impoverished. I wanted to say that I had shoes, beautiful covered boots that were suitable for the weather. But I couldn’t so the border between my sanity and outright insanity was in danger of being crossed.  Each day of my sandals-wearing sentence was one more day that I counted as therapy. It inevitably became evident that the little girl inside me still cared what people thought. She cared that they thought she was stupid, or crazy or just ridiculous.These were mostly strangers but she often caught herself exaggerating her limp because she wanted them to know that she had a good reason to be outrageous.

My slightly cooler socks

I went back to wearing shoes for a couple of days but got told off by my nurse in my next appointment. It was back to sandals- again. I felt silly for caring. I changed from white socks (more ridiculous but thicker, warmer) to a greyish black socks that was more fashionable. Some of my friends noticed and commented, ‘So you do care.’ But I denied it and deep inside, my alter-ego was shaking a finger at me, ‘You still care what complete strangers think.’

Please tell me that I’m not alone. C’mon, what about first impressions, egos and personal branding? Tell me that somewhere inside you, you want complete strangers to think you’re cool….

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Comments

  1. my cat walks bar-footed …

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  2. Bless you, dear friend..and just know you are actually in the height of fashion…all the Spring Collections showed, you guessed it, brightly colored socks with sandals! So you are actually fashion forward and the rest of us aren’t! So-go get some really great socks and walk tall!!!!!!!!

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    • Thanks, Martha. I don’t know how much of the Spring Collection I’d take onboard but what I do know is if I was Kate Moss, white socks and sandals would have quickly become a global phenomena! But I’m K a.k.a. not. famous. at. all. :). K

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  3. I’m so sorry about your toe. Ouch! But the rest of this post made me laugh. I wouldn’t be caught dead in white socks with sandals. And I’m no fashion queen, trust me on that. But there’s just something about that combo that seems lethal. ROFL. I probably would have gone for black socks with the sandals and most people wouldn’t have noticed. I feel your pain.

    By the way, I wouldn’t be caught dead in any stuff in the Spring Collection either. When I look at photos from the fashion shows in the paper, my face gets all scrunched up. I just don’t get it.

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    • I probably won’t get it either, M. Some of the Spring Collection is very dodgy and unwearable if you ask me. But again, this is from someone who wore white socks and black sandals in winter for at least four days…. :P. Thanks for stopping by! K

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  4. Me, me! I want people to think I’m cool! Really though, your health comes first.

    But white socks and sandals…..I feel for you, can’t lie!

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  5. I normally don’t care of what people thinks of me, unless of course I’m interested in that person! 😉 😀 So I really can’t give you a good answer! But do get well soon! 🙂

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  6. OMG! I never thought wearing socks with sandals was so scandalous!

    I’ve been wearing socks with sandals for the past three years. My feet get cold in cold temp buildings. I liked showing off whatever cute pair of socks I was wearing at the time. I mostly wear sandals and socks in the spring or summer, and early fall. Although socks in the summer are a little hot, but then again, I may be working in a cold building. I’ve never noticed any rude strangers stare. My mom was the only person who made a comment about it and I can’t even remember what she said.

    However, recently, I ran across something about socks with sandals, but I thought it was silly how someone was making it an issue. I don’t know where I was when I heard it, and just remembered it since I read your post.

    Wear your socks with pride and forget those strangers!

    Mmm, I guess I don’t really care about what strangers think of me…well, not about socks and sandals. LoL!

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  7. Kemi……… lol even i would have had a good laugh………..and it should not matter . cos you would have wondered why too ?

    hope your toe is better.

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  8. Absolutely I care. But of course I pretend I don’t! Heavens. If only I was that well-established in my identity.

    However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to cause a scene now and again. 🙂 I think I healthy “fear” of what others think is all right. It keeps me in check.

    Very humorous post though. I enjoyed the balance of jest and serious discussion.

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  9. Yes socks with sandals is a big fashion no no in the US. It’s usually associated with retired people living in Florida. But you hurt your toe so who cares what people think. I would ignore those people staring and judging and wear your socks proudly. Maybe you could return the same judgemental look to make it fun. LOL!

    Nice sandals by the way!!! Hope your toe gets better soon 🙂

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  10. Knowing how cold it gets in Aberdeen at this time of year, people probably just thought you were crazy wearing sandals, and the white socks was most definitely a bad move.

    I don’t think any sane person would wear socks with sandals, unless like you they had an injured toe, apart from Americans, some of them really do struggle with how to look cool. At least you had an excuse for looking silly…

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  11. With everything that’s going on in the world, the fact that total strangers are focused on what you have on your feet says a lot more about them than it does about you. I hope your toe is better soon. And be careful on those stairs!

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  12. I’m taking care on the stairs now. Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. LOL. I’m glad you’re taking care of your foot, even though people are looking at you as if you have 2 heads! I think it’s the socks. But, we all, to some extent care about what people think of us, so no worries. Perhaps you should get those rainbow-colored socks, and people will think you’re an eccentric, fun-loving hippie. Which is not so bad. At least you’re not like my father who wore sandals, and had his little toe sticking out the entire time. That’s bad!

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  14. We all feel like that from time to time. Just remember that people are collectively dumb even if they are nice individually.

    Hope the foot heals soon.

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  15. C’mon…why not go all the way and get multi-colored toe socks?
    You obviously don’t have teen aged daughters living with you or they would have hobbled you in order to prevent you from leaving the house like that.

    I’m done worrying about what people think….if you don’t like my Tom and Jerry t-shirt and hippie skirt….bite me!

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  16. If you didn’t care, you would quite possibly be incarcerated… lol. Consider it a blessing and not a fault. 🙂 We all care to some extent, it’s just that we take pride in believing we don’t. I say you buy some colorful striped socks with individual toes and go all out! At least then you could laugh as they ponder your feet for good reason.

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  17. Hahaha. You poor thing. I think I would have done one of two things…wore regular shoes and faced the rath of my nurse, or called in sick to work.

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  18. Hey look at blog post Details Makety the Outfit. It was posted Freshly Pressed.

    http://jonesloves.com/2011/03/20/details-maketh-the-outfit/

    Heel sandals with socks! 🙂

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  19. When I go out w/out showering, my hair not looking great (slept on and combed, but not behaving), no make-up, maybe not my most flattering pants or top, I know people must look at me and think, “Couldn’t she try a little harder?”. And I suppose I could, but really, all that effort to impress others? But I still care because I think about how I look and how I probably don’t come across as anyone special or as someone who cares about herself. When I do dress up I surprise people, and my guess is from their comments they’re saying they didn’t understand and I could look good until they saw me after putting in some effort with fluffed hair, make-up, and a well-thought out outfit. Which must mean I’m not doing it all that often. Oh well. It’s a choice, but it still nags at me, so you’re not alone, not at all.

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    • Haha- it’s great to know I’m not alone. I think it’s healthy to care what people think on some level. It’s a social check. Maybe when such cares become obsessive or a huge hindrance to daily living, one may need a reality check. Thanks for your great insight, as usual :).

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Trackbacks

  1. […] my toe healed, I was eager to get back into the game. Away with sandals and socks and in with high-heeled shoes. […]

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  2. […] 4. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me . . . Footwear, my toe and other people’s thoughts […]

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