In 4 short days, I'll be in the Yukon for a month. For the past 3 months, I've been getting into shape, learning about myself, and experiencing every emotion from excitement to fear to anxiety. As of tonight, all my gear is packed and ready to go. The packing list that the school sent me is easily 12 pages long. I'm still not sure how one goes about wearing 3 pair of underwear, one pair of pants, 2 t-shrits and a pair of shorts for 30 days. It's also hard to imagine wearing a puff jacket and long johns and sleeping in a -15C sleeping bag when all of the weather reports I find suggest that the temperature will only go as low as 7C. But the kicker, the biggest kicker of them all? crocs..
Since their introduction into this world, I've cringed at crocs. Their oversized bulkiness, their primary colors, their overall FUGNESS. I'm all about things with function and I "get" that crocs float, are lightweight and are great for boating/padding. Fine. Then that's where they shall be worn. Is it acceptable for them to be worn as casualwear walking down the street? Hell to the no. When I got a facebook invite to join the group "I don't care how comfortable you are, you look like a dumbass in those crocs" I eagerly signed up.
So imagine my panic and anxiety, when crocs were listed on my packing list "must bring" as a lightweight shoe option. It was almost as bad as discovering that, for the next month, I won't be using toilet paper, but instead will be using "nature's toilet paper" (which happens to be smooth stones, sticks, spruce cones, leaves, moss and snow- incidentally I'm allergic to trees... but let's not go there) I wasn't sure how I was going to tackle this bit of information (the crocs, the toilet paper, I'll deal with later- I'm thinking that smuggling contraband toilet paper might just be necessary)
And then, like a beacon of hope, an email from one of my best girlfriends showed up in my inbox. Until then, I suffered silently. I let no one know my dilemma. So when I got her email, I almost cried. Native Shoes are made from the same lightweight floatable (incidentally, environmentally unfriendly pvc) material but have some style infused into them. I was excited. I could pull this off! Look, floating, light shoes that won't make me look like a German tourist! There was hope.
A few weeks ago, I set out on a mission to get myself a pair. I thought of how I'd be the envy of the group. Well, it turns out all of the main street hipsters threw a wrench into my vision. There's not a pair to be found in the city. Or online. Or thru bribery. I went into the Main Street Shop (Anti-Social) and innocently enquired about my saviours. The cantankerous owner of the shop (maybe that's why it's called Anti-Social?) barked at me without even looking up at me. No hope of getting any until August. At the earliest. All hope was lost.
I tried to find SOME way of justifying wearing crocs. What if I don't get red ones (red crocs seems to be the international symbol of "I'm a German tourist") What if I disguise them? What if there's no photographic evidence, maybe it wouldn't have happened? I just couldn't do it. What's worse, is that my instructions are that said shoes must fit with a pair of socks. Because I insisted on geting the cushiest, comfiest socks, my socks add about 2 shoe sizes to my feet. Wow. This was going to be a sexy look.
I went into the crocs store on Robson (trying not to pass out from the off-gasing of the pvc fumes) and tried not to panic. It was hard. The first rack I almost walked into was high heeled crocs. I can't even justify that with a sarcastic comment, so I won't. I settled on a cute(ish) pair of crocs that can pass as boat shoes. If you squint and ignore the matte plastic sheen of the pvc and whiteout the "crocs" logo, they don't look so bad. But with hiking socks? Well, maybe if I don't mention to anyone on my trip that I went to fashion school, I won't get arrested by the fashion police...