i’ve lived in georgia since i was 7. one of my first days at Esther S. Jackson Elementary, there happened to be a solar eclipse. cool, right? learning opportunity? sure! so they dragged all of us kids out onto the field and warned us repeatedly to NOT look directly at the sun. i still don’t really know why this was an appropriate activity for 1st-graders, but it was my introduction to georgia public schools. well, that, and jason cohen standing up in front of the entire class at show-and-tell and saying, “there IS no santa claus! i’m jewish. my parents told me so.”
i also remember insisting that i wear shorts to school on eclipse day. now, early spring in atlanta, it’s generally pretty cool in the morning, but it’s hot by mid-afternoon, and i was willing to suffer for a few minutes at the bus stop so i could wear my jams. but standing outside for an hour watching – or, not watching, rather—an eclipse was something I was not properly prepared for, and apparently my mother didn’t realize I was going to be involved in a living astronomy lesson that morning, either. She’s a wonderful mother and I truly believe she would have prepared me for such a ridiculous event.
i HAD to wear shorts. AND short sleeves. and, of course, my brand new Zips! my Zips were royal blue with rainbow hologram Zs, and I loved them. my mom bought them for me at sears in charlotte before we moved, and they were the coolest shoes i owned. apparently, georgia kids didn’t know nothin about cool shoes, because they made fun of my new kicks. (then again, the fresh prince didn’t think they were cool either. you remember that line – “I asked my mom for adidas and she bought me zips!”) I asked my mom for zips and she bought them. I wore them once.
so, there i stood, the new girl, shivering on the kickball field in flower print shorts and my huge blue and rainbow shoes trying desperately to avert my eyes from the sky. i mean, seriously, what do you think is going to happen when you tell a couple hundred 7-year-olds NOT to do something? i looked once, squeezed my eyes tight and thought surely i would never see my blue Zips– or anything else– ever again. i was going to be in so much trouble. i was going to be blind AND in the principal’s office on the first day at my new school. i opened my eyes, saw some spots, heard a mean kid laughing at my Zips, but i wasn’t blind! whew. naturally, i drew one conclusion: teachers in georgia were LIARS.
anyway, so we came in from the eclipse viewing and several kids got extra credit for standing in front of the class and spelling the word “E-N-C-Y-C-L-O-P-E-D-I-A.” My teacher asked me if I wanted to give it a shot and I said, in whatever the equivalent of 1st grade language would have been, “hell no.” THEN jason informed us about the whole Santa thing. all in all, it was a pretty shitty first day of school. i’m pretty sure i cried at some point.
these days, it’s not Zips I crave, but boots. ass-kickin’ HOTTTwiththreeTs BOOTS*. yes, it’s incredibly superficial, but beyond my love of good tomatoes and great music is walking around in fall-like weather in a hottt pair of boots drinking a pumpkin-spice latte with no real destination in mind. so, here it is, almost mid-september, today’s high is a balmy 80 degrees and it actually feels cool to us here in the south. but it’s only cool relative to the 95 degree weather we endured less than a month ago. it’s not boot and latte time yet, dammit. but just try making fun of my footwear these days; my hottt new boots might just have to kick your ass.
*to be clear, i’m not talking about UGGS, because I think those are ridiculous, and should be reserved for places like park city and aspen. not atlanta, and not if you’re over the age of 16, but, that’s neither here nor there. we should ALL be secure enough to rock whatever soles we want these days. we’re not 7 anymore, i’m going to look up if i want to, and you should wear your stupid uggs proudly, if you so desire.