As the weather grows warmer (and in passing, allow me to pay a tribute to the beauty of Halifax in this season, although this seems to annoy some readers), they crop up all over the place. Unhygienic, uncomfortable, un-pretty, unflattering (who thinks a long dusty toe is seksy?) and generally unsuitable for everything except possibly, poolsides, I am talking about the favourite footwear of Haligonian ladies, and, it distresses me to add, a number of men too: the dreaded flip-flop.
The name is horrible, all floppy and wet. The look is even more foul- where shall I start? The thin flat soles which are not good for your back and feet? The thick wad of plastic lodged between your big toe and the rest? The gaping hole which appears and reappears between your heel and the sole as you walk -no sorry- flop around? Ladies, these are not shoes- they are bathroom accessories. Leave them with your loofah and your toy duck, please.
Incredibly, I see ladies formally dressed and made-up, (well, as formal as you get in these parts), flopping about. I simply cannot digest it. As I myself have the stature of the eighth dwarf Stumpy who never appeared on Snow White, I give flat soles a wide a berth as possble. Recently, I have realised that I don’t even actually like them: ballet shoes only look good on ballerinas, as far as I’m concerned, and even they are continually standing up on their toes. Real women, unable and unwilling to get up on their toes every five minutes, need a soft gradual slope on their feet to connect to the ground. Otherwise, their legs risk looking cut off at the ankle, especially with cropped pants and shorts. Flat soles in general, and flip-flops in particular, make those with anything other than willowy, modelesque legs achieve the Stumpy look, even if they do have tall torsos.
Looks and names aside, the message flip-flops send is even worse. While a ballet shoe does convey certain sense of care for detail, the flip-flop gives only one message: I am too sloppy to own/find/put on a pair of shoes. I cannot do what children are taught to do at the age of two. I do not care what you think. And I am proud of it. And because my feet ache and I have grit and dirt between my toes, I am probably in a foul mood as well.
Why blot the otherwise beautiful landscape of Halifax-by-the-ocean? This summer, just don’t be a flip-flop slob. Just put on a pair of sandals.