The year was circa 1988. Everyone had Keds. There were the basic white, canvas tied ones, or the cool slip on shoes. Then the really lucky kids had the leather version. What really made them fashionable was the blue rectangle tag on the heel.
My mom figured, why get me the expensive name brand version when they have the same exact ones at Kmart (I don’t think Target was around yet). They even had the imposter slip-ons. Yes, Mom, except they don’t have the BLUE TAG!
Looking back, I don’t blame her. The majority of my kids’ wardrobe comes from Target, and who needs a name brand anyway? Clearly it did have a major impact on me as 22 years later, I still vividly remember feeling shameful and hoping my long pants would cover the back of my tag less shoes.
The other similar memory is Halloween. Fifth Grade. My five best friends all decided to be Bears football players. This must have been around the time of the 1986 Bears Superbowl win, otherwise known as the year of The Superbowl Shuffle. I remember showing up at school to see my besties wearing official Bears jerseys of the likes of Walter Peyton, William Perry and Jim McMahon. They wore pads, football pants, official helmuts, the whole nine yards.
What was I wearing you ask? A blue jersey t-shirt, where my mom (bless her heart) cut out each letter B.E.A.R.S. in orange felt and sewed the letters on.
As a mom, I sincerely appreciate this. It is time consuming and a perfect example of her love. But, as an 11 year old – I was mortified.
Now, what goes around comes around. Every commercial my son sees he wants that toy. I explain to him that these cost money and he already has so many toys. I tell him that some kids have very few toys.
These concepts are hard for a child to understand. I hope my kids grow up to be generous, charitable and gracious. Most importantly I want them to have confidence in their hand me down jeans and cool “vintage” jackets.
Although my mom did mortify me, she did teach me well.