Really? I'll have to check that out then.
I love the smell of new running shoes. When I was a kid I wanted to be a shoe designer. I was 13. I would send drawings to Nike and sometimes they'd write back, sending me catalogues and such. I'd pore over those catalogues--even this one Nike catalogue had such a unique wonderful smell to it. My folks didn't see the point in spending $50 for shoes that I was going to grow out of, so they'd make me wear plastic, cheapo Dollar General shoes. I remember one day on the playground some girl said, "Hey, do you know your shoes are generic?" I hated those friggin shoes so much. The irony was too much-- all I wanted to do was design cool shoes but my folks made me wear awful shoes. In protest, I'd get mad at school and drag my feet across the floor leaving blue skid marks on the floor. The teachers were not happy that I was marking up their floors, so they told my parents to get me some different shoes.
All I ever wanted was a pair of Nike Air Delta Force. They were pristine white with navy blue trim. All the cool kids had em (The uber-rich kids had Nike Air Revolutions, with the ski-boot design). I tried everything to get my folks to buy me these shoes. I mowed the lawn, I did the dishes. Once, we drove all the way to the mall in Terre Haute Indiana to look at these shoes. I tried them on and was literally walking on air. Then I looked over at my mom and dad and they were debating.
"No. We're gonna pass. These cost too much" and they dragged me crying from Foot Locker. I was crushed. Meanwhile they'd found my little brother a pair of actual Nikes and I was jealous with Nike envy. I wished my feet were smaller so I could borrow his shoes. Above the heel, on the lip of the collar it said "Nike". I told him "Watch this!" and I got a fine point marker and drew the word "AIR" under the word Nike. "Now your classmates will think you're really cool.
Finally one day, my parents came home and said they had a surprise for me. We sat in the living room and my dad went into his room and came back with a bag which contained a box. He handed it to me. I thought "no way this is happening to me. I NEVER get what I want." But like a dream, I took out the box and opened it. There they were... the size 7 1/2 Air Delta Force Nikes that I was lusting for. It was one of the happiest days of my childhood.
The kids at school actually started treating me with a little more respect, it was true. They couldn't lord their "sneaker caste system" over me anymore. I was so careful not to get a speck of dirt on these shoes and I used a special polish on them every night before bed.
One day after school, about two weeks after getting these shoes, I realized I'd forgotten to get a textbook out of my locker and I had to go back to school. There was nobody there in the locker alcoves, but there was a extra-curricular sports event going on-- some girls sporting event. This pack of girls from a school called Cumberland, I believe, was exploring the halls of our school-- and they looked down the hallway and saw little old prepubescent 5'1'' me. "OH, look he's so CUTE! Hey, what's your name?!" They started toward me and I was terrified. Girls scared the hell out of me. Fight or flight kicked in. Couldn't fight 'em. I slammed my locker and started to run. They came after me, giggling and calling to me. I ran faster down the hallway to the daylight at the end of the hall. I got to the door and looked down. It had recently rained and there was no sidewalk or pathway for a span of about 40 feet from where I was standing until the pavement-- It was all mud. I was wearing my prized Air Delta Force shoes and there was no way I was going to get them muddy. But I turned around and saw girls were closing in on me-- I definitely was terrified of them. So with visions of Indiana Jones and Alan Quartermain in my mind, I imagined that I was wearing no shoes and that the mud was a bed of hot coals. I took a deep breath and ran...
When my feet hit pavement, I looked down. Ah, hell. My shoes were covered in wet, sh*tty mud. I ran around the corner of the school and back to where I needed to be to walk home in shame. Behind me, I heard the girls again--they'd turned around and saw me walking past the other exit. They were calling out to me, but I ignored them. It was like Beatlemania. I hated being 13, but now that I think about it, it doesn't sound so bad. I got home, took off my shoes and went to the task of trying to clean them. I did my best, but there was nothing I could do to restore that brand new look to them. Dammit.