A wave of nostalgia swept over me as I recently visited several of my favorite shoe stores and encountered rows upon rows of jellies sandals. As a child of the 80s, I had my fair share of "plastic wear," and I sported it like the fashionista-in-training I was. I guess we should have known then the pains I was willing to undertake for the sake of fashion. I wore those things until my ankles bled and Mom made me toss them out. It broke my heart when she insisted I stop wearing jellies, but I guess I understand her point of view at my now more mature age of 31. It's difficult to stand up when you're sliding around in your own pool of muddy sweat. Ok, so they didn't make for pretty feet, but I sure felt like a princess when I wore them.
To this very day, some 26 years later, I can still remember my most favorite pair. Nonnie took me to Payless Shoe Store and I picked out a solid (no-holed) clear pair with an allover white lace print. They reminded me of Cinderella's glass slippers. What more could a little girl want in a shoe?! I was devastated the day my dad ran over them with the lawnmower and cut them in half as a result of my leaving them out in the middle of the yard. As a kid who grew up out in the country, there were no fashion runways to prance down, so I spent a great deal of my time barefoot in the backyard. A part of my soul mourned the loss of such unique and beautiful jellies--and I never again saw another pair like them.
I chuckled to myself a couple days ago when I learned from my mom that my 2 1/2-year-old niece, Tori, has discovered the joy of jellies and their likeness to Cinderella's glass slippers. I guess you could say the apple doesn't fall far from the family tree. I swear to goodness, Tori is a miniature version of me at that age, and I must admit--I'm so proud (and a little scared for my brother and sister-in-law!).
I just hope that Nonna (my mom) doesn't mind a little foot sweat so that my favorite niece can feel like the princess she is. Maybe Mom has become a tad bit more tolerant in her golden years as a grandma. I can't wait to take Tori shopping and buy that baby girl any pair of jellies she has her little heart set on. Call it a right of passage if you will. I just want her to experience the joy that colorful plastic brought me as a child. Ah, jellies---the greatest invention since sliced bread and peanut butter!