I Want To Live In A Fairy Tale World. A World Where People Won’t Steal My Flip Flops.

Have you seen my flops?

My favorite pair of knock-around flip flops went missing.

I’d like to think I misplaced them. (Nope.)

Or that some husband mistakenly grabbed the wrong pair for his wife. (Doubtful.)

Or maybe the call of the surf was too powerful and my beloved pair of Nike flip-flops just had to test the waters. (I may live in a fairy tale world but even I know that flops don’t walk off by themselves.)


We were eager to get on the beach. It was early in the morning on our very first day. The boys were hopping like jumping beans.

“Let’s go take a walk on the beach! Can we? Can we put on our suits? Please?”

We shoveled breakfast down. We threw on our suits. I grabbed a couple towels and we started downstairs. On the wooden path, over the dunes, other early morning beach-goers had left their sandals.

“Should we just leave our shoes here?” my husband said, doubtfully.

“Sure,” I said, “They’ll be fine. And if anyone needs our shoes that badly. Fine. They can have ’em.”

Of course I was kidding. We were staying at a fancy condo. Cars nicer than ours in every other parking spot. Security in the lobby. Gated entry. Anyone that could afford a condo here could afford a pair of flip flops.

We frolicked in the surf. We played in the sand. Everyone wanted to stay for the day. We rented a couple beach loungers and a sturdy umbrella and I headed upstairs to pack us lunch.

Back to the wooden sidewalk. Slip on my flops. Up to the condo. Pack sandwiches, grapes, Chex Mix, drinks. Back downstairs. To the wooden sidewalk. Slip off flops. Head to our shady oasis.

“Mom? Did you pack cherries?” and “Honey, I need to reapply sunscreen.” and “Mom, I have to pee.”

So, back to the wooden sidewalk. #2son and I slip on flops. Up to the condo. Pee. Grab cherries, sunscreen, more water and cookies. Back downstairs. To the wooden sidewalk. Slip off flops. Head to our shady oasis.

Enjoy the sun, the sand and the surf for a blissful 2 more hours. But now, we’re a bit tired. And showers must be had before dinner.

So, back to the wooden sidewalk. Slip on flops.

Wait. One pair. Two pair. Three pair….

“Where are my flops?”

Gone. Conspicuously absent. All other flops are coupled with their families. Our family is the only one with an empty spot. My spot. My beloved pair of Nike flops are gone.

I pouted. I acknowledged the irony. And I tried to get over it.

That night, shopping for souvenirs after dinner my husband said, “Don’t you really like this brand?” and he pointed to this adorable pair….

“Yes, I love my other pair.” (Sanuk yoga mat flip flops. If you haven’t tried them you are missing the ultimate in summer comfort!)

“Well, why don’t you get them? They’re brown just like the pair that went missing.”  (I love this man!)

So, I did. I replaced the stolen pair with a worthy substitute.

But I was still sad. Still melancholy. And I wondered why.

It wasn’t because I was so attached to the Nike pair. I liked them, sure. But I was over it.

I was sad because it was that icky moment when you realize you live in a world with people who don’t share your same values. Logically, I get it. But this time, I felt it.

And I was wondering how another person could walk up to the row of sandals, glance down and spy a pair they liked, slip them on even though they belonged to someone else and then walk away. Oh yeah, and then sleep like a baby that night. And every night after that.


I don’t want to live with people like that.

I want to live in a place where I can leave my lovingly worn sandals on the wooden boardwalk while I play in the waves and then find them when I need to wear them back up to the condo.

A  fairy tale world?


I guess so.


Filed under Lessons Learned, Ponderings

8 responses to “I Want To Live In A Fairy Tale World. A World Where People Won’t Steal My Flip Flops.

  1. Muahaha, maybe now would be a good time to have verucas and fungal infections … just to share with the flipflop swiping oik (presumably oikess). Hope your holiday was otherwise great though! 🙂

  2. Totally agree. It’s that miserable feeling of “but why isn’t everyone like us? We’re so awesome!” I had my wallet stolen from the back room while I was working at a bookstore once – I figured out later who had done it; it was a pair of teenaged boys, and they actually asked me how late we were open before we left and when I told them one looked at the other and said ‘so we’ve got lots of time’, presumably meaning before I got my things to go home and realized my wallet was gone. It just made the whole experience so much worse. Yeah. Icky is a good word for it.

  3. Gross. People are just yucky.

  4. I wish I could say I am surprised. A similar thing happened to my sister-in-law when we were at Sea World a few years ago. She had to park her stroller outside of the event arena, along with many other patrons’s strollers. When we came out at the end of the show, her stroller was gone. She kept saying that she was sure it must be a mistake. We stood around practically until the park closed, waiting for the ‘person who made the mistake’ to return. Needless to say, that was a waste of time.

    It is not a fairy tale world. But let me remind you of a few fairy tales, before you move: How about Pinocchio? Hansel and Gretel? Snow White? Little Red Riding Hood? The fairy tale world can be a bit frightening.

    Sorry you had to find out this way, Jane, but some people are thieves – not everyone is nice. So sad you had to learn it at the beach!

  5. Stealing is never good but different values are tough even when you know that not everyone thinks like you.
    We were at a hotel just recently which included a very nice breakfast. I was waiting in line for the orange juice machine behind a woman of a different culture and couldn’t figure out what was taking so long…until she turned around with a liter coke bottle filled to the top with OJ. She then filled her pockets with about 50 packets of sugar, took all of the apples (about 10) and walked off without batting an eyelid.
    The problem is that whether it is stealing or taking advantage of a situation it just makes everything worse for everyone down the road

  6. I have a pair of Nike flip-flops that I’m very attached to, so I feel your pain! They went missing a few weeks ago and I looked everywhere for them, until Miss D. came home from the pool with MY flip-flops on her feet. Little sneak.

  7. I guess you just never know about some people…but you DO know your husband is a sweetheart!

  8. I love those Nike flip flops so much that I have two pairs: black and brown/blue.

    I’m sorry someone took your shoes. Someone recently took Radley’s sandals, too. Except he had a wart on the bottom of his foot and a little athlete’s foot, so that person will be sorry they took his shoes.

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