Get that outta here!: No Jordans for me, ever!


First of all let me say this, I do not have anything against Michael Jordan. I don’t know him personally so everything I know about him is second hand information, at best. The fact that he is a very wealthy businessman who financially benefits from the sale of a shoe that bears his name is not innately problematic or evil. If I were in the same position I’d probably, no, scratch that, I’d definitely do the same thing.
The reason that I don’t own a pair of Jordan’s is very simple: I like having groceries better.
The other day I was walking by a national chain store that specializes in sports shoes (which will remain nameless as I don’t intend to give out any free shout outs) and this guy is standing by the entrance.
“Hey, you wanna check out something,” he asked. I felt weird because it was like he was asking me if I wanted to see something that I shouldn’t be seeing, which made me want to see it even more. I shrugged my shoulders like “sure, what’s you got?” He invites me to come in by telling me the new Jordan’s are in. I wasn’t in a rush, plus the smell of new shoes is like nose crack to me.
So I obliged him and let him guide me thru the drab maze of uninspired foot wear. Nothing was inspired. It all looked the same. But then, all of a sudden, there it was. There was…the Jordan. It was suspended in mid-air behind a sheet of glass that was painted like a backboard. It was like it had wings that gently propelled it above the surface of the planet. Most noticeably absent were any signs of a price tag.
As we approached he told me to take my shoes off because I was about to be standing on holy ground. “Don’t look directly at the shoe,” he said. Amused I responded, “c’mon bro.”
He was dead serious.
So I’m standing there in my socks, staring at the bottom of the shoes (because I couldn’t’ look directly at them). It was impressive. It was stylish, aero-dynamic and, best of all; it had the new shoe smell. He asked me if I wanted to try it on. I didn’t want to corrupt what had unwittingly turned into a religious experience. I had no intention of buying it.
“This shoe chooses you,” he said with the wide eyed look of a mad scientist.
I was starting to remember that I had somewhere else to go, plus my feet were starting to get cold. And this guy was starting to get really weird.
“Nah, that’s okay. How much is it?”
You’d have thought I just spit in his face. Deliberately he began to put the shoe back behind the glass without saying a word to me.
Maybe he didn’t hear me. I asked again. By now he had put his shoes back on and left. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
All over a stupid shoe.
And that’s when it hit me: I will never own a pair of Jordan’s.
Sneekerheads take their shoe wearing fetish to a fanatic level that is completely lost on me. Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things, and I like being able to afford them. But the day will never come when I fork over close to $300 for a pair of fancy sneakers that make you want to injure the person who dares to step, get close to or otherwise violate the same air space as the shoes do.
As I walked out of the store and the smell of new shoes gently wafted away from my nose I realized that, had I been younger, there would’ve been no way that I would’ve walked out of that store with those shoes. And that’s just it; the people who benefit most from drunken consumerism rely on the sizzle, not the steak.
And that’s just it. The sizzle doesn’t impress me anymore. As we get older we start to want what is real. This applies to everything, even in our shoes. If I know that it cost less than $20 to produce a shoe that is being sold for the amount of money that a multi-million dollar ad campaign is trying to convince me to spend on it is an exercise in futility. Game recognizes game and it’s simply…too late for games.