BY TIFFANY JOHNSON
We all have a sneaker story if we dig deep in our brain to remember, whether you get one pair of sneakers a year, only own one pair, or get multiple pairs of sneakers a month. When I was younger, my mom used to take me to the Kohl's down the street, and allowed for me to get a new pair of sneakers each school year. Sometimes, I got lucky and we caught a sale. It was go time then because she let me get two pair! Typically, I opted for a white pair and a black pair, because at that time I was convinced that white or black went with anything. I can still argue that case to this day, but I will refrain before the fashionista's rush to the comments.
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Then, the game changed around middle school and it was all because of Nelly. Yup, you guessed it . . . at that time it was the hottest song on the radio, Nike Air Force Ones, and it seemed that everyone had a pair, but me.
So, I went home and shared with my parents that I really really wanted a pair! Pump your brakes as my dad used to say. I knew it was not going to be that easy, but one could hope. My dad then questioned my desired for the shoes and why I deserved the pair. Then, I was told to create a PowerPoint presentation to convince my parents to purchase the kicks. You have got to love the black family.
Thinking back on times like this just reminds me, once more, how blessed I was to have my parents and the values they instilled in me. They both worked hard for their money, so it was their prerogative to have me present to them why I wanted them to spend almost $85 on a pair of shoes when my $30 pair still fit. Without realizing it at the time, they strengthened my presentation, sales, communication skills, and my ability to confidently get up and ask for what I want, regardless of the outcome.
I was victorious!
My mom took me to the Foot Locker at the nearest mall, and somehow I fumbled the purchase. I was so hype to get the shoes, I told the associate that I wore an 8.5 shoe, and this dude grabbed an 8.5 in men's. I was floating on a cloud at the sight of the crispy pair of all white kicks being on my feet! Do you remember how we always sized up as kids to leave room for our feet to grow? Ummmmmm, I did not realize that my feet were done growing. Lordt. Actually, I still wear an 8.5 in women's to this day.
There is a strong possibility that my mom told me to reconsider, but I did not listen. Okay . . . she absolutely told me there was a lot of room in the front, because my mom always had my back. Though, all the blame for the fumble in my mind is still going to the sales associate. He knew I did not look like I wore a size 10 in women's, which is the only reason that I would have needed a size 8.5 in men's. Once I tried on that pair, that was the only pair I wanted to take home.
If you know me the slightest bit, then you know I wore those oversized kicks with the utmost pride! I do remember a hater on the school bus commenting that they looked too big, but haters will be haters. Eventually, I phased out of my desire for the shoe, because they were too big, mid tops, and creased in the toe. Subconsciously, it could have been from comments like that from the hater.
Yet, as time went on, I made smarter sneaker selections, learned that my feet were done growing, and realized how much a pair of dope kicks can boost your confidence. This blog page is dedicated to those like me who did not always get it right with style, might not have had the freshest kicks in the stores, but still have a genuine appreciation for sneakers and continue to rock them with pride, regardless of what a hater has to say.
What is your sneaker story? Let me know in the comments below!
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