Sunday, December 30, 2007
I don't hate flip-flops as much as I used to.
As a teenager, I got it into my head, somehow, that wearing flip-flops would only perpetuate the image of me as a rice paddy peasant. Flip-flops were for FOB's (fresh-off-the-boat immigrants), not for Asian Americans. I didn't want anyone to misinterpret that I wasn't "in the know," especially white people!
Let's just say that my adolescent distaste for flip-flops symbolized a mild self-hate for my Japanese heritage--in America--and predated my embrace of cultural pride.
So, it was almost a shock for me to see flip-flops become so common and acceptable (here in Southern California, at least), and even fashionable and trendy. I think it was six or seven years ago, around the turn of the millennium, that I noticed a young, Asian American sales rep at Abercrombie & Fitch wearing expensive jeans and flip-flops during his shift.
It marked one of the first signs of being past my prime.
I loved, however, going back to college and seeing that flip-flops and board shorts, and even plaid, flannel pajama bottoms, had become everyday-wear for coeds attending classes. I am all for comfort.
I am a bit incredulous that I am even seeing flip-flops on guys at the gym, on the weight floor. You just know they're going to end up dropping a thirty-pound barbell or twenty-five-pound plate on their toes.
Cinderella had a pair of flip-flops, according to Dawn S. at Disneyland. Dawn was one of the pretty, smart, and funny girls who played Alice in Wonderland. Often, I was her White Rabbit. Dawn had a dry sense of humor and I loved listening to her tell fairy tales to children:
"The Fairy Godmother waved her magic wand and Cinderella's rags changed into a beautiful ball gown. Cinderella worried about finding the right pair of shoes to go with her gown. She had some flip-flops in her room's closet, but that would never do."
I don't hate flip-flops as much as I used to, but Dawn was right--flip-flops never go with formal wear.