Allow me to explain.
I've spent a good few years (well, maybe a tad more) wearing shoes that make people think. Some people like them - people that wear tie-dye, work in the paddling industry, own organic pizza cafes and the such. I like to call them 'river shoes' because that makes me feel cool. (And I presume you'd agree that feeling cool is important.)
I often offer that I am a river person without a river. What does that mean? Well, I wear Keens, usually, or something of the like. Lots of folks who work as river guides or professional kayakers or trail guides or homemade granola makers also wear them. We do own two kayaks (the sea kind), but one would be hard pressed to call us 'river people.' I like river people, though. They are nice. They spend a lot of time outdoors. They like to have fun. Their feet are comfortable. Their shoes are wash and wear, meaning you could guide your canoe through a shallow patch of mud, then get out and head over to meet your friends at the campfire. Get it?
So, who wouldn't want to be a river person? I can't imagine.
My shoes are river people shoes. They are very comfortable. They are my friends; not my enemies. (I do have some unfriendly shoes; but I don't wear them much, and I'm not fun to be around when I do.)
I have taken a lot of slack for my shoes. Apparently, I am only being hit in the face with what I dosed out to my father, as I was growing up. I believe I remember often referring to his groovy sandals as Jesus shoes. I guess I didn't know better then. That was before I was as smart as I am now. I had no idea at the time that Dad's shoes were what was making him such a wonderful guy! I was remiss. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent.
Some people grab a look at my shoes and try to turn away quickly, without a word. Some people laugh about them. Stylishly dressed youngsters frequently ask me why I wear 'those brown shoes every day.' I just smile and explain that they are comfortable. I don't go into the whole thing about my being cool and riverish and artsy. I don't take them to my closet to see the other groovy shoes, scattered about on the floor (unlike their neatly paired and straightened uncomfortable friends that go unworn).
Once a friend told me that she was urging her husband to buy some comfortable shoes; and he asked, "Are you trying to get me to dress like Deana Graham?"
So, you see, I've been through a lot. I've watched styles come and go and ebb and flow. I've held my own. I'm above the trends, friends. I have my own style. I'm a river person. I'm friendly. I could probably make my own organic oatmeal if I really wanted to. My feet are comfortable. My shoes are my friends.
I've been known to state that if everyone in the world wore my types of shoes, there would be no wars. I believe that. I do. Should we try it?
But back to last week's atrocity. I must let it out.
I was in Atlanta, photographing a business woman for her website and shooting some head shots. It was an enjoyable time. Her speaking agent was there, too, and the two of us interacted easily together to set up the photos we thought she needed. It was a good day. You know the drill - the sun was shining, the clouds were puffy and white, etc.
We had moved outside to take advantage of the light and get some full body shots for her website. I was working hard. I was into it. I was loving it. Get it? I was busy, going about my work and loving it. Everything was going along swimmingly.
And then I heard it . . . I was 100% sure I had understood her correctly. There was no doubt.
"Deana, those are absolutely the ugliest shoes I have ever seen."
Right there, on that sunny day, in that beautiful space, two of my dearest friends were blasted. I didn't even have time to cough or anything so they wouldn't hear the smear. It was just out there, floating around in the air, in front of God and everybody. The ugliest shoes ever? Say it ain't so? Did she really just say that?
Yep, she did. I held my head tall. I laughed a confident (river person) laugh and went about my business. My subject laughed nervously and I uttered some weak retort like, "I'm not really going for beauty - I like to be comfortable." Laugh. Laugh. Clear the throat.
But it gets better; I'm not making this up folks . . .
We headed back inside, took a few more head shots and I began to pack my equipment. Just as I gathered the last of my lenses from around the space, I looked over at the table. Their sat the river shoe basher at a table, with her laptop ready to work. And then it happened, RSB leaned down and began to take her high heels off, one at a time. "Ooooooooo," she said, "I've got to take these babies off - my feet are killing me."
River Shoes people unite - we win.