The kind of morning that lasts all afternoon

I sufferer from a terrible stereotype, I’m a northwest liberal who wears Birkenstocks. 

In my defense, I’ve never worn socks with them that I can remember, but I wouldn’t put that past me either.  I’m prone to throwing on my trusty pair of Arizona (two strap) dark brown leather Birks and heading off into whatever weather is on the other side of my front door.

They go with everything: jeans, shorts, jean-shorts, some pairs of khakis…oh hell, who are we kidding, ALL pairs of khakis…they’re the perfect footwear.

Now, in point-of-fact I do NOT wear birks with my slacks to the office or client sites, but I have no compunctions about wearing them out in a casual setting…pretty much ANY casual setting.

What they just don’t go well with is a Northwest Winter.  For years, I’ve pretty much ignored the weather and just worn my Birks.  Hot and dry?  Perfect.  Rain?  no big deal.  Snow?  it doesn’t snow that much around here, and I have boots as a backup for those days anyway.

But there’s always this point in every year where the weather turns against me, where the rain sets in and the damp takes over.  I’ve never really cared before, but today was different.  Today things changed.

I woke up this morning and fall was in the air.  Falling cold and damp from the sky to be specific.  Fall was puddling up in the parking lot, and for the first time I can remember, I actually cared if I walked through it.

I commute about 35 miles (one way) in to my office, and from my driveway to the parking space, my wipers were on the top intermittent setting.  Not quite a mist, not really raining, just enough to make everything damp, slow up traffic, and deliver the deathblow to a tenacious summer.

When I opened the door of the truck and looked down, there was an inch-deep pool of fall, waiting to drench my Birks and make my hike to the front door a soggy mess.  For the first time in years, I regretted my loving commitment to my Birkenstocks.  This might not seem like much, but for me this is a watershed moment.

Birks have been a defining element of my self-image.  When I think of myself in the abstract, I think of myself in a pair of Birks. 

Comfortable.  Casual.  Understated.  Unpretentious.

At 9:11 am this morning, My self-image met my rational side, and my rational side said “grow up junior, you need a decent pair of shoes.”

I suspect this foretells more changes than just my footwear, but on my way home tonight I’m just gonna start with some new shoes.