I was a fourth-grader in the '80s when I got my first pair of Chucks, and I haven’t been without a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars in my closet since.
Despite the fact that as a “grown-up,” I know Chucks are about the worst thing possible to wear on my feet -- and I take a preventative ibuprofen before I even put them on — I’d still like to replace the ratty-looking pair I have right now. I just can’t bring myself to do it.
For 30 years I’ve worn Chucks because they were arguably stylish and certainly cheap. Only half of that statement is now true. To replace the pair I have now with a similar pair would cost me no less than $40, if I'm lucky, and probably closer to around $50.
While I like to wear Chucks because they help connect me to the days when I just naturally felt young and hip and didn’t have to consciously make a footwear choice to feel that way, shopping for Chucks certainly brings out the darkest “get off my lawn” urges deep in my soul.
The first crotchety old man point is I don’t want to pay $50 for any sneakers, because I don’t wear them often, and because I’m cheap. I’ll gladly wear last year’s sneakers on sale.
Second old man point is, I don’t want to pay $50 for Chucks because they are terrible, ill-fitting, feet-hurting shoes that I don’t wear often.
But these are the sorts of arguments I have with myself over almost every useless consumer purchase I make. Here's the one that makes it impossible for me to buy new Chucks: I used to buy them for $16 at Stereo Advantage in high school. For all the kids out there, that’s when it was across the street from where the Walker Center is now. I got a few pairs under $10 at one of the annual tent sales there.
While the old Stereo Advantage on the south side of Main Street is long gone, the good news is at least you can still buy Chuck Taylors somewhere if you’re willing to part with the cash. The bad news is, I don’t know if I’ll be able to find anyone to fix my VCR.