A Relationship is Like a Pair of Sneakers.

crystal - new york, New York
Entered on March 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude

I believe a relationship is like a new pair of sneakers. If you don’t care for them, they will stink. In the beginning of a relationship you put your all into it, but if there’s no communication and nourishment in the relationship, then it will grow distant.

When I was younger my father was always there to care for me. Although he was an immigrant from Guyana and all odds were against him, he still tried his best to give me the necessities of life. Whether it was a new dress for school pictures or new shoes for Easter Sunday, he made sure I had it. I didn’t see him much during the day, so I made it my duty to stay up at night to tell him how my day went or just to talk with him. Going to the park was our favorite. While I was playing on the swings, he made sure I didn’t get hurt. He use to reserve every Saturday for quality time with me, but that dwindled down to once a month. I no longer waited up for him at night because he never came home. He would hang out on the corner from sun up to sun down and entertain the local fiends with what he called “adult candy.” That was his job. When I was eight years old, that lifestyle caused him to get deported, and our relationship to go sour. Now my father and I don’t communicate unless it’s my birthday or someone is sick in my family. I’m now 19 and haven’t seen my father in over 10 years. He no longer cares for our relationship, because if he did he would have chosen family over the streets.

The first time you get a new pair of sneakers, you feel like a brand new person, as if all eyes are on you and no one can steal your shine. You make sure no one steps on them or damages them. When I was little, I was like his new pair of shoes. Anytime I told my father I had a problem or someone was messing with me, he made sure he got to the bottom of it. After a while he stopped protecting me; he stopped cleaning his sneakers. He stopped wearing them and just threw them in the back of the closet. Slowly but surely he forgot he even had those sneakers.

I learned that if I love someone, and they mean a lot to me, then I should put work in the relationship at all times, not just in the beginning. I am going to stay committed to the relationship and work hard to keep it strong.

Now when I buy a pair of new sneakers I, cherish them. I clean them every so often and make sure they don’t stink. My friends call me crazy for wearing a 5 year old pair of sneakers, but I just laugh because I keep them clean.