The other day as I was cruising Facebook, I saw an ad seemingly targeted to one of my weaknesses: things that glow in the dark.
The ad was for the Keds you see above; they have freaking stars that glow in the dark! I’m trying very hard not to want them but they reminded me almost immediately of something from my childhood that I LOVED: a very cheap pair of fake Keds with sunglasses printed all over them.
As I’ve written about before, I grew up incredibly poor. No one in my family was getting clothes or shoes all that often, so when I wound up getting a pair of knock-off Keds with super cool sunglasses all over them (I had to have been about eight), they were all I wore.
I don’t have a photo, but I can see them clearly in my mind.
I wore them everywhere.
Apparently, as a kid, I had smelly feet. And, apparently, my feet were so smelly, my mom didn’t want those fake Keds in the house AT ALL. To be fair, our house was incredibly tiny with five people in it so I can’t say I blame her, but my precious shoes had to live on the back porch when I wasn’t wearing them so they could (presumably) air out every night.
It’s not like it mattered; they smelled awful all the time.
These shoes actually kind of remind me of them:
I remember the inside was supposed to be white, but had gotten so dirty from incessant wear they were a lovely/gross brown; you could see my entire filthy footprint. Thinking back, they were probably revolting, but I adored them.
I’m not a huge shoe person. I used to be.
On my first trip to New York City back in 2003, one of my priorities was to go to Manolo Blahnik and buy a pair of shoes; I still have them. One of my first trips to Paris, I bought a pair of Prada heels which I also still have. My other shoes are far less fancy, and I typically wear comfortable shoes on the regular because I’m outside with our pup multiple times a day.
I also have a couple dozen pairs of really lovely shoes that I’ve either never worn, or worn only once, but I’ve not bought any nicer shoes in years.
The poor little kid in my mind REEEAAALLLY wants to buy a pair of those glow in the dark Keds.
This is what they look like in normal light:
And in the dark:
I am such a HUGE sucker for anything glow in the dark. Like…maddeningly so. Some time back I saw a water bottle from my favorite bookstore back home (Powell’s) and found out it also glowed in the dark and I was like SOLD! Sure it has weird and slightly cheesy sci-fi stuff on the outside, but it’s a freaking Nalgene that glows in the dark. How could I not make use of that? Sometimes I like to let it charge up during the day, and I bring it back to my bedside at night because I love it.
I also love glow sticks and often have a handful around. Not so long ago, my partner’s parents sent us a package and inside were glow sticks and I was like THEY GET ME.
Recently I acquired some canvases to paint new art for our walls, and, for one piece, I bought a significant amount of glow in the dark paint; even if it winds up looking cheesy, I can’t wait. There is something so deeply childlike about anything that glows in the dark and I love it.
Shoot, if they made PlayStation controllers that glowed, I’d be all over it. Last gen I had a couple of those Rock Candy controllers that lit up and those were as close as I could get. I felt like I was playing games in Tron. I felt very cool.
I am never cool, but I FELT cool.
I sometimes think about how things I loved as a kid have influenced what I love now. Some things haven’t changed. I still love glow in the dark anything, I still love jelly bracelets, I still love rainbows. I still love neon and bizarre clothes (thanks, Jem!). I still love ’70s and ’80s music. It’s almost funny because I didn’t have what you might call a happy childhood, but I still have so many fond memories of things from that time.
I loved those smelly fake Keds. And I’m going to try to hold out on those glow in the dark ones.
Let’s see how well I do.
What are some items from your childhood you have fond memories of? Have you tried to re-obtain them in adulthood? I’d honestly love to hear what they are.
Please be safe out there, friends. Cheers.