Pink checkered Vans & me….not meant to be? Oh YES THEY ARE!
12.31.16 coming soon! I had started writing this post in December and was going to write a funny post about my plight and quest for the pink and white checkerboard Vans I have coveted since the 8th grade.
3.4.17 Holy crap….I have ’em!!!!
Let me set the scene for you…..
The year: 1982
The place: O’Neill Junior High School in Downers Grove, IL.
I was 13 years old and in 8th grade. The top songs on the radio were “I Ran (So Far Away)” by Flock of Seagulls and “Rosanna” by Toto. BMX biking became very hot all of a sudden as did the fashions that went along with it.
And Vans were at the top of that list. These canvas slip-on shoes were being donned by a huge population of the school, primarily the black and white checkerboard ones which seemed to be the standard on all the boys and even began to get popular with all the girls. Jeff Spicoli (played by Sean Penn) in the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” even wore them as the ultimate surfer dude.
I wasn’t all that interested in them until I saw THESE beauties.
Pink and white checkerboard….SO CUTE, right?!! Well….I thought so! And still do! I wanted a pair so badly but they were uber-expensive and they weren’t in the family budget, unfortunately. So I admired from afar and hoped that one day I would get a pair.
We moved back to NJ at the end of 8th grade and when I started high school, it didn’t seem like Vans were as big of a thing here so I kind of forgot about them. But every time I saw them at a mall or in a skate shop, I would ALWAYS look to see if they had pink and white checkerboard ones.
Fast forward ‘a few’ years….
The year: 2013
The place: rehab (haha)
I find myself in a rehab/chronic pain program at age 43. I’m a grown adult who is happily married and has two nearly-grown kids. Fashion is not exactly a priority for me…especially since at the time I was skin and bones and didn’t really care what I had on.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts my awesome friend, Jackie. It’s funny how she keeps popping up somehow in these gratitude posts, but I guess that says a lot about the impact she has had on my life. She was my rehab roomie, and although initially being annoyed about having to have a roommate who was 20 years younger than me (the nerve! Lol), she became a fast kindred spirit and gratitude guru.
Talking to Jackie and finding out about life as a 20-something back then was fun and interesting. I don’t remember how the subject of Vans came up, but she informed me that they were popular again (or maybe they always were and I didn’t notice?). I told her how I had always wanted a pair of pink and white checkboard pair of Vans.
Her response? “So get them!”
I remind her that I’m a 43 year old Domestic Engineer and that I cannot pull them off. She assures me that I absolutely can and all of a sudden I am contemplating buying a pair.
I mean…who cares, right? I’m sitting here in rehab for God’s sake and about to embark on the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’ve lived through hell somehow and made it out alive….now it’s time for a change.
So I decide to get them!!!!
If you have read my previous blog posts you may remember that I discovered that I could order from Amazon and have items shipped to me at rehab. For real!! So since Jackie had inspired me to go for it I go and find the pair…put them in my cart…*click*…and they’re on their way!
(cue the Debbie Downer music)
Not only are they a completely different pair of Vans, they are a Men’s size 9!!! Noooooo! Where are my pink and white checkerboard Vans?
The shipper screwed up. And it turns out that, despite the photo I had ordered from on Amazon, they no longer made the pink and white checkerboard Vans for adults.
I’d missed my window. It was over. I was so bummed out.
Over the past several years since, I still casually look for the pink & white checkboard Vans every time we were at the mall or even online….just in case. But they don’t have ’em.
Last week I happened to mention my long non-history with my nonexistent Vans to my friend Sue. I don’t remember how we got on the subject, but within probably 30 minutes Sue had not only found a pair, but she had ordered them for me!
KIDS! They make pink and white checkerboard Vans in KIDS sizes! And my feet are small enough where I can fit into a kids 5!
Today Sue gave them to me and I immediately put them on my feet. They were like Cinderella’s slipper, but for my non-Princesslike self….they fit like a glove. And I love them. And they symbolize a lot for me.
Here is what I have learned from all of this:
- My fashion sense is that of a child’s
- You’re never too old to pull ANYTHING off. That idea is something that we create and put into our heads. It prevents us from living life the way we really want to. Order the Vans!
- Where I once wouldn’t have worn them outside of the house as I would have been afraid of what peeps would think….I no longer care. LIFE IS TOO SHORT!
- I have the best friends.
- These Vans are never coming off of my feet. I don’t care what else I’m wearing, these will be the shoes that go with them.
Thank you, Jackie for encouraging me to go for it. For someone who is 20 years younger than me you teach me so much every day and I am blessed to have you in my life…and now on a much bigger level than just rehab roomies. I love you.
Thank you, Sue. I should have known that if I mentioned being on a quest for something you would take it and run with it. Because that’s the person that you are…you give the shirt off of your back for your friends. I’m blessed to have you in my life too.
Listen up, peeps! I have a message for you…Order YOUR Vans! Do something you think you’re too old to do….if you’re breathing, you’re not too old. J
Order YOUR Vans! Do something you think you’re too old to do….if you’re breathing, you’re not too old. J
For my retro tv commercial of the post, I leave you with the one other thing I really wanted badly as a kid and never got it. (Sue…no need to seek this one out. I’m pretty sure I can live without it now. Lol)
RETRO TV COMMERCIAL! Anybody remember this toy? I wanted it sooo badly!