Disclaimer: Nothing I'm about to say is a judgement against anyone's personal tastes and is entirely a reflection of my own tastes, which I have never claimed are "good."
With that said: I despise Crocs. Hate 'em. Detest them. Cannot stand to see them. Although, don't get me wrong, you stick them on a toddler and they're passably precious. However, one can argue that tiny shoes on tiny toddler or baby feet are always precious. You could wrap deli-meat around baby feet, and I'd still find the look alarmingly cute. But once I see a pair of Crocs on anyone moving into their early adult years and beyond, I hear the faint but distinct sound of nails slowly scraping across a chalkboard. It's just got that effect on me.
So when Jeremy came back from Academy sporting a pair of army-green Crocs, I rolled my eyes until they got stuck and told him they weren't allowed in the house. I then made all sorts of unsavory comments about how his legs now appeared to be attached to dinosaur feet and wasn't he embarrassed to wear shoes that smelled like a plastic factory and looked like flotation devices? He rolled his eyes right back and kept them on. In time, I started to notice how convenient these flotation devices actually are. He could slip them on as quickly as slip them off. He could stomp through the mud, hose them off, and then stomp right inside without batting an eye. Meanwhile, I was the chump unlacing, re-lacing, getting my fingers dirty with the mud that's inevitably glued to the laces. And let's face it. I'm an outrageously busy person. Lacing and unlacing shoes is just inefficient. Then one day I (purely by accident) happened to accidentally trip into his shoes on accident and then accidentally walked around in them by complete accident and came to find out, accidentally, that Crocs are, hands down, the most incredibly comfortable, versatile, most wonderful shoes on earth.
Who. Knew? (Oh, the rest of America, you say?)
One week ago, I turned a monumental page in my personal rule-book. I ordered my own pair of Crocs. And I'll be damned if they're not the cutest little things. Today I wore them around the house doing chores, then outside onto the porches, then down the path and out into the rivers of mud and slime that have saturated our un-graveled driveway, then into the pasture, through another creek, and down to the pond. When I got back up to the house, I hosed those babies down and wore them back in the house. It reminded me of the first time I met the "neighbors;" those glorious people who saved our sick cow. Despite the blur of activity that occurred that day, I will never forget the surprise of seeing that each were wearing Crocs (yes, Crocs. While roping, pushing over, and administering shots to my cow). It was a real head scratcher for me that day; these incredibly legit cowboy people doing their cowboy-ing in Crocs. Of course now I understand.
This experience should probably teach me some sort of lesson about snap judgments and criticism in general. It probably should. However, I am an old dog, and changing my lifelong habit of making snap judgments would be considered a "new trick." At least though, now, while criticizing others, you can be rest assured I'll be comfortably shod in sensible shoes.