Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dear Uggs,

Hey guys. I need to get something out in the open.I know you've noticed the hesitancy lately with which I've put you on. And a few times I've even grabbed for you, stopped, and then passed you up for Converse. I've seen the questioning look in your soles, and I want to explain what's going on.

Well, I guess I'm kind of deciding whether or not we can keep doing this, me and you. You know, like whether we can keep carrying on this way. I just think it might be time that you two are indoor shoes only, like slippers or house-socks. Let me explain:

I am not one to jump on a fad or ride on the tail-end of it until it crashes into oblivion. As a matter of fact, I pride myself on my originality, which I foster by not watching television or reading trashy pop-star magazines. I get most of my fashion inspiration from fashion blogs, my particular mood on any particular day, and the weather.

But you, on the other hand, happen to be an exception that I cannot fully explain other than to blame it on my lack of cold-weather attire knowledge. You are most definitely a fashion fad- one who has seen it's better days and now might be hanging on by a string. But, I didn't ever choose to join this fad. You see, when I first moved to Utah a few years ago from California, I had scarcely a proper coat and only shoes made of canvas, which, it turns out, aren't waterproof. Who knew? So I spent the entire winter shivering and cursing the snow on behalf of my soaked, numb feet.

I began to dream of warm footwear, and my fashion instincts went out the window. Last year, on a pre-Christmas shopping trip at Costco, I passed a display of Kirkland boots that were on sale for $30.00. My first reaction was to stop and peer out of the corner of my narrowed eyes. I slowly surveyed the display boot...panning up and down, as one would do to a stranger whom they are suspicious might be a Russian spy. I quickly turned away as images of countless 13-23 year-olds in cut-off jean mini skirts and Ugg boots flooded my mind. Every self-preserving urge inside of me told me to walk away, Angie...walk away!

But my toes.

Oh, my toes.

Who were still little blocks of melting ice.

And weak and poor of spirit.

My toes, who were in pain, called out from bellow in a collective cry:

"Try them on! Just try them on for goodness sakes! We beg of you!"

So, there I was- a mother bending to the pressure of her whining children: I peeled my wet canvas shoe from my soggy foot. I dried it a bit on my pants, and slipped it into a size 9- the only size they had left that would remotely work.

I can not fully describe what happened in that instant. My foot sang tidings of great joy (which was perfectly appropriate, as Costco's Christmas carols provided the lovely accompaniment), and I knew that I had to buy those boots. I did not care that they were a size too large, making it appear as if I were wearing some sort of leather casts. I vowed not to care about form- lousy, uncomfortable, unpractical form! Function was my new focus! No more wet feet! No more time-limits out in the snow! I could slosh around all winter long!

I wore them everywhere, from morning until night. At bedtime, I placed them at my bedside, where they would stand, like little obedient guards waiting for the dawn to protect and serve. I wore them to the bathroom, took them off while showering, and promptly resumed wearing them after drying my feet. I loved this new warmth and comfort that I lived in, and I wondered why anyone would ever choose any other shoe, until...

One day, I took a good look at myself in the full-length mirror. I was astonished at my profile: my feet were completely out of proportion to my body. I was like a cartoon. Further, I couldn't help but realize how unattractive the whole ensemble appeared.

How did I get this way? I asked myself.

But then I heard a chorus of familiar friends, who obviously grew up watching the same after-school specials as I:

It's the inside that counts, Angie, not the outside! And the inside is fuzzy and warm!

I decided that it wasn't that bad, and that maybe it only looked that way because the boots were too large. I would simply buy a pair in my correct size, and everything would be fine.

Mark and I went home to California for Christmas, and my mother started to press me about what I wanted for a gift. A few days before Christmas I was out doing some last-minute shopping and I passed by a pair of innocent-looking Ugg boots in the window of a country-western clothing store. They sat there staring at me with their fuzzy little bits popping out from the insides. I decided to stop in and try them on.

And that's where I found you, my good friends. Yes, that's where I first slipped you on my feet and fell in love. You were so much softer than the Kirklands! So much lighter and less bulky! I promptly phoned my mother to let her know that I had found my present.

Since then, my dear ones, you have been even more loyal that the Kirks. I have taken you outside even when there's just a hint of a breeze.

But I cannot lie. I have noticed the stares. I have heard people talk of Uggs and their "ugg-liness." I have heard the accusations that you are not boots, but slippers- unfit for outdoor wear. I have been told that the wearing of them is fashion suicide (hello, Janeva), they look like camel-colored baby seals (Hi, Naomi) and that most people would not be caught dead in them.

I wish I could say that I am immune to such opinions, but I am not. I guess I am not as original as I thought I was, Uggs. I am starting to feel more and more ashamed of my Uggness. I am neither brave nor confident in my wearing of you lately, and today, as I entered the bank with you on my feet and a bag full of pennies and nickels to deposit (long story...) I noticed the look of scorn on the teller's face. No, I'm sure it wasn't due to the pennies. It was you, Uggs. She was thinking, "I would never wear those out in public." Yes, I can read minds. Anyway, as I left I wondered if I should just get rid of you all together.

No, don't fall over like that. Don't turn away your fuzzyness and pout. I would never do that. If need be, I would hide you in the back of my closet for all eternity, but, no, I would never in a million years throw you out. We have too much history together- too many rainy, snowy, (and even sunny and warm...but shhhhhh!!!) days spent tromping around in happy comfort.

But, dear Uggs, I must tell you of my plans. I have decided to buy another pair of boots that I will wear this winter. They will be knee-highs like you, but they will not be of the fuzzy sort. They will be more form than function and they will probably disappoint.

I tell you this now because I don't want you to be alarmed when they show up next to you in the closet in a few weeks. Please don't harass them or make them feel unwelcome. I want you to remember that, while they are on my feet more than you, they are not loved nearly as much. They are simply more aesthetically pleasing and acceptable to the public.

Oh, Uggs, I am so sorry about this. Really, I am. I did not intend to cast you away so abruptly after all of your service. I do appreciate all you've done. I will never forget you, and I will slip you on when I am at home now and again. And I might even once in a while take you to the video store late at night with your best friend, Sweats. But, you know, I've had to have this same talk with him a few years back and he's already dealt pretty well with it. Maybe you guys should talk.

Anyhow, thanks for everything.




naomi said...

Fuzzy bits poppping up out of the insides? hahahahahahahaha. Seriously though, I can't agree with you more. When I first moved here all I had were converse. Chuck Taylor is obviously not a fan of snow though. See, back home, I could get away with it - you know, just walk through 1 inch of rain on occasion? but snow.....
I do not think any less of you for loving your uggs. I have been tempted by their fuzzy insides once or twice, and then I found wellies for $7 at J.Crew and now I will wear them through the snow, with thick, ugly socks. So seriously, who really is making the bigger fashion faux pas here?

Courtney said...

Angie. You crack me up. You are such a creative writer. I'm jealous! I hope your Uggs understand. I'm sure they will, and well, if they don't...then I know a girl who's moving to Idaho in t-20 days that you could donate them to so they don't feel so sad. I could love them for you. :) haha. Happy Holidays!!!