When I was in middle school my longing for a pair of Doc Martins was so intense that at times it caused me physical pain. Tragically I lacked sufficient funds, being only 12 years old and my mom insisted up and down "I'm not going to buy you $100 shoes. You don't need $100 shoes."
"YES I DO!!!!" I would cry inside
I was completely convinced that were I to get a pair of brown steel toed Doc Martins I would instantly have legions of friends. I dreamed of walking into class, my Doc Martins distressed from my wearing them so very very often, this would make them cooler because by wearing them for long periods of time would infuse them with my essence, making them unique and special. I would be in class, and the cute boy next to me would suddenly say "Wow those are great shoes,"
"Oh these?" I would ask, and then we would make out.
You must understand that I had no friends in Middle School, and through unusually cruel geography I carpooled with all the Queen Bee's of my school. The "it" crowd. It was a truly terrible time. You might think that this proximity to coolness and popularity would rub off on me, but you would be completely wrong. I don't think any of them spoke to me the entire school year, and on days when the other moms were driving I was frequently forgotten and left at school, and forced to walk home in my utterly pathetic shoes.
They all had Doc Martins. This was the X-factor! I didn't take into consideration everything else about me that made popularity utterly impossible. I ignored my predilection for books and PBS, my love of star wars, and the fact that at that time of my life I only listened to swing music and 1930's/40's jazz. Surely all those would be overlooked if only I had a pair of Doc Martins.
Of course I never got them, and I was never popular, but I developed a hatred for brand names. I now refuse to purchase anything emblazoned with "Hollister" or "Aeropostal" (which is why I've never bought anything from either store.) I refuse to be free advertising.
The only name brand I do go in for is Chuck Taylor Converse, because Converse make everything all right. I find it odd that I should still look to a shoe to solve all my social problems. I like to imagine that people may look at me and say "Look at that unremarkably dressed young lady, oh wait, she has converse, and they're a little distressed, that makes them unique and infused with her essence. I guess she must be cool." I find myself thinking this about other people, so I assume that they are thinking it about me, and I think I have given those shoes much more power than they actually possess. I think I'm in a bit of a Chuck Taylor bubble and I have unrealistic faith in their influence over others. I can't help myself though, I love my chucks.
And nothing ever really changes.