Originally posted May 7, 2008
Crocs and Croc-wannabe's are springing up
everywhere again, which reminds me of an encounter Holly had
with the fashion police last Spring.
"You got the wrong ones," her friend announced, with eyes
downcast at Holly's new shoes. They're pink, plastic, and
closely resemble those wildly trendy Crocs.
Apparently, the resemblance wasn't close enough for Holly's
"Whoa," I said reflexively. "They're fine shoes. And
really, what makes any shoe the right shoe or the wrong
shoe?" Holly bit her lip. She'd made a major fashion
faux-pax, and no amount of mommy-reframing was gonna save her.
But really, now, what gives? These girls were
That night, before sleep, a tucked-in and teary Holly sniffed
and asked if we could possibly go to the shoe store as soon as she
I scooted her over in her bed to make room for Mommy. For
this conversation, I needed to be comfortable.
"You know something, Miss Holly? I've been thinking about
the whole shoe she-nanigan." My nonsense elicited a
teeny-weeny smile from my daughter, so I continued. "Let's
think about this, shall we? She (a cutie-pie who is
forgiven but shall remain nameless) spent twenty-nine dollars plus
tax on her shoes, and you spent nine. So who's the smarty
Yeah, baby. Big smile from Holly. Encouraged, I
embarked on a terribly erudite philosophical discussion about
consumer trends, perceived value and just how much fun it can be to
think critically about fads and to just Payless (I don't know if
they sell Croc wannabe's, but I couldn't resist the wordplay).
We're talking plastic, people. I'm a bargain hunter at my
core, and plastic shoes, well, the buck stops here. Come to
think of it, buying all of those plastic shoes just unduly supports
the petroleum industry anyhow. Not so environmentally
friendly. I'm not knockin' plastics altogether, mind
you. We've benefited greatly from plastics used in the
Medical field (catheters, IV's, etc.), just for starters, but
think about it. What will archeologists say about us in
two-hundred years when they unearth all of our colorful, clownish
crocs in croc-choked landfills? Will they scratch their heads
and wonder - not just about our peculiar fashion sense - but about
how we let down our polar bear brothers by picking up so many crocs
on our shopping sprees? Maybe Holly and I will rethink
our shoe buying habits altogether. Become more
discerning and all that.
(But do I have to give up my Teva's?)
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
See more of Jennifer's stories here.
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