Birkenstocks for Life

Today I purchased my third pair of Birkenstocks. Even though I am not quite ready to give up my second pair. They really are no longer suitable for public consumption.

I acquired my first pair during the summer of 1985 in Portland, Oregon via an unauthorized purchase using my parents credit card. When I returned to Colleyville Texas, sporting my new sandals, my mother uncharacteristically drop the f-bomb when describing how ugly she thought these shoes were. I'm not sure if it was her immediate hatred or the (much) later adoption of those same shoes that cemented them into my permanent wardrobe. Likely it's neither. The fact that they're the only open-toed shoes that I can wear all day long without pain is the reason for the latest pair.

I remember taking my wife, then girlfriend, to the Birkenstock store in Austin for her first pair. It was one of our more romantic early dates. Up to that point, I do not believe she’d ever spent that much money on a pair of shoes. Well… with the exception of cowboy boots, of course.

My first pair died, and it was time to move on, I brought them on a camping trip to Krause Springs. It was the first time as an adult that I would burn an artifact in the ritualistic way to say goodbye. As we were dousing the coals the next day, the buckles were there in the ash, boy I wish I'd not left them behind.

Side note: I do not recommend burning Birkenstocks the smoke from the soles and the cork was just awful

The sales rep assured me that the shoes I bought today we're the same model that I had worn into the store. They didn't look anything alike in color or texture, I guess time will tell.

I read an essay a few years ago about how there are only so many dogs one can love in a lifetime. Well, I have to say the same goes for Birkenstocks. As I move into my sixth decade, I'll be surprised if I have more than just one or two more pair.

Disclaimer: To date the only association I have with the Birkenstock people is through their retail outlets.
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