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.


Jason Phoon said...

what do you mean by "I was her White Rabbit" ??

golfwidow said...

I only ever wear flip-flops for pedicures. I hate that thingie between my toes.

Prince Gomolvilas said...

There were Asians working at A&F six or seven years ago? You sure they weren't there to mop the floor?

Peter Varvel said...

JP, I used to work in the animal costumes at Disneyland. Have you ever read that children's classic (in any language)? "I'M LATE!"

GW, I almost put that exact detail in this post (the pain/discomfort of the thingie, not the pedicures). I hate it, too.
I IZ in yo' hayed!

PG, a mop would've been handy after viewing such eye candy in that store.

Brenda said...

I have been to two weddings where the bride wore "formal flip flops" complete with shiny bits and all:-
Practical perhaps:)

Moose said...

I had a pair of sparkly flip flops that would look just smashing with a ball gown. Of course, my table manners are wretched, so take my etiquette advice with a heaping tablespoon of salt.

Peter Varvel said...

B, I LOVED the girls who wore Converse high tops or other trainers ('sneakers,' to you Yanks!) underneath their formal floor-length dresses to the prom!

M, were you that little girl my sister brought home for lunch, when we were kids, the one who joyously exclaimed, after belching and smacking her taste buds, "Mmm, taste your burp!"--was that you?

Quin said...

i live in flip flops in the summer...