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Never Buy New Sneakers In March. Never.

These are my new shoes. I have had them for, oh, a little longer than a week. They are muddy shit, now. I tell myself that I will clean them later, but we all know that even if that does happen—even if I do not forget; even if I am not overwhelmed by the obvious futility of such an enterprise—"cleaning" will not restore them to full cleanliness. Nor will anything else. The new-shoe thrill is gone; they are not new shoes anymore. They are ruined. Ruined shoes. I deserve them, because I bought them in March.

"Never buy new sneakers in March" belongs to that trove of common heritable wisdom passed from across generations within functional, well-adjusted families, along with such nuggets as "Probably don't wait a decade between purchases of new towels"; and "Iron your new shirt before you wear it, so that it won't have creases from where it was folded in the store"; and "Ask people questions about themselves to indicate that you find them interesting"; and "A Windsor knot is [whatever the fuck a Windsor knot is]."


Functional, knowledgeable, not-shitty Dad Types dispense this wisdom sagely, gazing into the middle distance, between puffs on a pipe or some shit; their children, who admire and do not reflexively distrust these Dad Types, gaze lovingly upon The Dad, and strive to absorb his knowledge, and are not too busy, like, picking off scabs and neglecting their homework or whatever, I mean, I really have no idea how this knowledge transfer takes place, because I have never witnessed it. I only know that it does take place, because its recipients are out there.

You can identify them: They are the ones with the clean shoes and smooth shirts and coherent tie-knots capably conducting conversations with each other, while you observe them with great self-loathing from the darkened corner where you sit, alone with your many shirt-wrinkles. They are the people you admire and despise (and pity for your unwarranted hatred, and hate anew for being so godawful perfect that you can't even hate them without also feeling sorry for them) in fluctuating measures.

Where they have The Kind of Practical Shit You Just Kinda Pick Up on During a Functional Childhood Overseen by Capable Adults, the rest of us have Oh Shit, Guess I Probably Shouldn't Have Bought These New Sneakers in March, God, What a Fucking Loser I Am, It Took Me 33 Goddamn Years to Figure This Out, Everybody Else Knows This But Me, and They Are Staring at My Ruined Sneakers and Thinking, "What a Loser, Doesn't He Know Never to Buy New Sneakers In March." Where they have confidence and self-actualization and happiness, the rest of us have self-loathing and resentment and a palpable fear that we're actually just unconvincingly and incompletely cleaned-up CHUDs.

So, here. My gift to my fellow CHUDs, hard-won and bought with much embarrassment and waste and self-recrimination: Never buy new sneakers in March. The mud will ruin them. March is muddy. It rains a lot in March. It's April, now, but it will still rain a lot. Probably let your old beat-up shoes carry you through this month, too. The world's weather patterns continue to obey discernible patterns, mostly, despite our best attempts at destroying them and it, and despite your never wising up to it because you have been distracted by your frantic, courageous, beautiful, futile struggle to appear adapted to the limitless and arbitrary complexity of human society. Spring is rainy, and don't buy shoes during it. Buy them in June, when it is hot. Hot is OK for shoes, or anyway I haven't stumbled across why it isn't, yet, and will check back when I do.

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