As we were driving on a highway to scout our Surf Shack concept which is close to completion, my assistant Michele softly mused out loud “I always wonder who the families are that the single shoes strewn in the grass belong to.” There was a silence. I was moved. Here was a kindred spirit with an eye for the small things, the soul to notice and the heart to speak out. I then told her I was that such family. I told her of the times my mom, who never drove and thus was always in the side passenger seat, would get so angry at the squabbles that would happen in the back seat between my brother and I, that she would turn around, take off her elegant leather kitty heel and start flailing her arms around like a broken windmill, hitting whoever was in the trajectory of her finely manicured scarlet nails and buttery soft footwear. The more she landed the blows the harder we would laugh: mom’s beautifully coiffed hair would get tangled in the polyester fibers of the car’s roof, her piercing hazel eyes aflame, her lips pulled back over her tiny shining canines… Freyja, Goddess of Love and War in all her incandescent glory was a sight to behold.
Sometimes her shoe would catch on an elbow and tumble to the floor. There would be no respite before the second shoe came off and the dance would start again. Only a few times were we able to grab the swirling shoe. And perhaps only once did we throw it out of the back window, siblings united in a rare show of solidarity…which was the magic of it all. To mom: I am grateful for the ability to work best under pressure, to anticipate rough waters, to enjoy the tougher days, to laugh in the face of unbridled antagonistic passion, because I can harness this emotion and deftly guide it into fruitful relationships where the outcome is pure beauty and completion.
To Michele: I am a proud daughter of the fierce Single Roadside Shoe Tribe. HEAR ME ROAR.