Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the annual holiday party for Blindspot Records, my friend Bart Mendoza's San Diego-based label. I didn't know what to expect, but it was sure a lot of fun. And there was a lot of great food there.
I played a few songs on a lovely old upright piano, and then proceeded to talk to a bunch of different people about how awesome Burt Bacharach is, and share stories with people about our favorite songs and performances.
Towards the end of the night, I ended up talking with a cool metal dude named Travis, I think. He was super nice, and was there with his best friend, who was also super nice. We got on the topic of San Diego. I love San Diego, but it's not for everyone, and there's always interesting perspectives on it.
Travis said he felt really out of place in San Diego, but not in Los Angeles. And then we got to talking about San Diego. I shared my thoughts, which are as follows: since I'm from an incredibly small town, I appreciate the mix of a larger city with more diversity and excitement and entertainment combined with the fact that I feel like people in San Diego are pretty nice.
Then he said, "It's like... you know, everyone wears muscle shirts and sandals all the time and I'm like..." He casted a glance at his kickass, black, steel toed moon boots.
I made the obligatory dig at the neighborhood culture here when I asked him, "Where are you hanging out, man, PB?"
But then I glanced down to my own feet and I had an unfortunate realization. At that particular moment, I was wearing the only pair of black heels I own (vintage Ferragamo from Agora in Athens, GA), but earlier in the day, I had been in my unofficial uniform: Havaianas and leggings. (In the summer it's skirts and dresses).
I wear sandals ALL THE TIME. Much of it is the weather here; it's always justified. Some of it is due to my years as a professional dancer, which shaped my feet in some undesired ways. Part of it is a reaction to spending six months in Paris and being forced both by climate and cleanliness levels to wear closed toed shoes extensively. And a lot of it is just because I love my feet and I love sandals and I think they are the most comfortable shoes.
It hit me. I am part of the problem. I am one of the "Sandal People" that apparently overrun the streets of San Diego! No! It can't be! How can it be?
I was very glad I wasn't wearing sandals at that party, but I'm also very glad I'm wearing sandals today. I'll happily wear the label. I'm a Sandal Person, and I'm okay with that.