Growing up in So Cal I used to get reprimanded all the time for going outside in my socks. A quick trip to the mailbox or laundry room or to take out the trash – it hardly seemed worth it to spend 60-90 seconds putting on shoes when I’d only be outside for a minute or so. My mom warned me I was creating holes in my socks, but since Target always has cute socks in the Dollar Bins, her arguments had no effect. I opted for socks over of flip-flops because I didn’t like the way my feet looked. I had rough, calloused feet from gymnastics and thought my feet looked ugly unless they were pointed.
In Orange County, California, you can get away with going outside in socks, year-round. Not so in Wisconsin. But some habits are hard to break.
One evening I was outside, in my socks, supervising my bulldog as she found the best place in my front yard to potty. Before I knew it, I found myself in a lively conversation with one of my favorite neighbors. Being from Southern California, I get cold when the temperature dips below 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) and since it was November in Wisconsin, it was definitely colder than 60 degrees.
I found myself getting a little too cold for comfort, but I was having such a good time in this conversation, I didn’t want to be the one to end it. After all, it was my own fault for wearing socks outside so I was willing to suffer for my own folly, for the sake of this friendly chat.
Whether my neighbors noticed my teeth were chattering or noticed my nearly-naked feet, I know not, but eventually, our conversation reached a natural end and I was able to retreat back inside.
Did I learn my lesson? Of course not. I have gone outside in my socks at least three more times since that one evening. And I definitely got caught in another conversation with a different neighbor, standing there in my socks…in December…in Wisconsin.
Am I being obstinate or naive? Perhaps. But when I used to live in Huntington Beach, I have, on more than one occasion, walked all the way home from the beach barefooted (yes, barefooted, who brings socks to the beach?). I do own not one, but TWO pairs of sandals and I still don’t use those often because A) to this day I still don’t like the way my feet look unless they’re pointed and B) the way the sand gets stuck on the sandal straps makes it feel like rubbing sandpaper on your foot. No thanks.
This morning I caved and bought a pair of wannabe-Ugg slippers. I couldn’t bring myself buy loafer slippers because I keep picturing those loafers on the feet of some old man with a bathrobe and a pipe. The wannabe-Uggs I bought are best described as short, furry boots.
Hopefully, my new shoes will put an end to this silly snows-out-socks-out habit of mine, but if it doesn’t and you see me outside in socks, just remember I’m from So Cal and I’m (apparently) still adjusting.