I believe that you can spend hours in a shoe store, but the good shoes are always the first ones you pick up. It could take a while, but the first shoes are the ones that will stick in your mind, even if you go on to find a different pair. Good shoes are the ones that will not betray your feet just hours after you put them on. You can wear them all day, and still feel good in them. I believe in instincts.
My best friend Lauren and I met in third grade. Third grade girls in my private school in L.A. were almost as bad as the girls who roam the halls of seventh grade, the land of all evil. They are mean and will not be friends with you if you don’t have a 310 area code or have the latest in Abercrombie. Those friendships never lasted because they were based on material things and not what’s on the inside. So it was a miracle when Lauren and I met each other. In that third grade year there were about five other girls that we hung out with at recess, but normally we stuck together.
Sixth grade comes along and Carolyne joins the inseparable duo, forming an inseparable trio. At first, Carolyne seemed like a wannabe who was trying to join the group that created the social hierarchy in our school. Because it is Los Angeles, that hierarchy was based on appearance and only let in the “top” girls. There was the minimum $45 uniform shirt, in whatever brand was booming at the time. This clique based the worth and status of other people on the ability to buy whatever they laid their eyes on. Initially, I did degrade Carolyne in my mind, but I thought that someone so focused on being in with the people who I hated and who hated me could not possibly be a close friend. We sort of stumbled upon each other. I do not exactly remember how, where, or when, but I know that we did and since then, we have always been her second choice, even if we did accept her for who she was. We ended up becoming the inseparable trio in sixth grade; however, I always felt like there was something to Carolyne that did not quite click with us.
I moved to Phoenix at the beginning of seventh grade. I was the new girl at a school with twenty two kids in the whole grade. It took me a while not to feel like the odd one, as most of these kids had been with each other since they were two, and it took me even longer to reconnect with Lauren and Carolyne. When November came around, Lauren had already written me twice, and I had called her back after she left me a message. She made the effort to stay connected with me even though I was struggling to adjust. She had patience with me as I walked along a new path. It was the middle of November, almost Thanksgiving break, and I gave Carolyne a call. She started yelling at me because I had not called her. When I told her I was adjusting to my new surroundings and it was hard to call, she gave me even more grief. I knew that my instinct was right and she was just who I thought she was when we met in sixth grade. Even in sixth grade, I could not even sleep over at her house because the one time I did, she did not talk to me because her mom insisted on getting us something, I think it was a cookie, for us to share, and she went crazy. She said I should have declined again or something.
Carolyne was the really cute pair of heels that gave out on me. We were friends for a while, but when things got tough, she bailed out. I would love to reconcile, but I do not see that happening. My instincts with her were right all along and, she is now in a circle of kids who I do not like. We have lost contact, and although it is sad to lose someone who I thought of as close, I know I will always have Lauren. Throughout time, I will meet a lot of new people, and I may even try them on, or wear them for a while. Regardless of how long the shoes fit, I know I will always have Lauren, my comfortable pair of shoes that I found first and, stuck with me. Even once, I stayed at her house for over forty-eight hours and we did not get sick of each other. When I met Lauren I knew we were going to be friends for a while because my instincts were right all along. She is a comfortable, cute pair of flip flops that go with everything and I can wear her even on the craziest of adventures and know she will not leave when the goings get tough.