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.