Friday, June 19, 2015


 Zorries---Thongs---Flip Flops

At least once a year I'm corrected by a daughter when I use the word "thongs" in a way they deem incorrect.  Personally, I'd like to straighten out all those who may think someone of my generation is embarrassing for "misusing the word".
THONG - noun
1. a strip of material, especially of leather or hide, used to fasten or secure something.
2. a strip of leather or hide used for whipping; whiplash.
3. a shoe or slipper fastened to the foot chiefly by a strip of leather or other material passing between the first and second toes and often attaching to another strip of material, as a strap across the instep or around the ankle.
4. a brief garment for the lower body that exposes the buttocks, consisting of a strip of fabric passing between the thighs and attached to a band around the waist.

My use of the word may not be the first or second most common usage but it is a more common definition than what the younger generation feels is appropriate. 

Whatever the name - zorries, thongs, or flip flops - these shoes played a big role in my life. I could tell the passing of the seasons by my shoes and they meant SUMMER to me!

Fall/Winter brought on new school shoes. Saddle shoes were bought the week before school started getting the most growth out of the summer as possible (They were bought in a size larger than I wore for a longer wearing.) The only choice I had in regard to these shoes were black and white, or beige and a kidney red. Sometimes I wasn't even given that choice!
Spring and my new patent leather shoes were bought just in time for Easter. They were also bought big because they had to last from Easter to Christmas, and all the birthday parties attended throughout the year.
Summer was a bonus for my shoe collection. Canvas tennis shoes AND zorries. I remember when these shoes were introduced into American footwear. In the beginning they were called zorries. Whether called zorries or thongs they were a value my mom just could not pass by 19 cents worth of summer! They resulted in a yearly blister between the toes.
Me, brothers Steve and Mike
Huck - NO Steve, Steve Smith (next door neighbor), and Mike
If my saddle shoes wore out before school ended Mom placed a piece of cardboard into the bottom of the saddle shoe hoping it would last until a pair of canvas shoes could be bought. Otherwise, the week before the end of school the beloved tennis shoes and zorries would be purchased for summer pleasure.

In my mind zorries meant freedom! Freedom from tight shoes and school. The fact that zorries resulted in a yearly blister between my toes was a small price to pay. They signified the beginning of summer!

Now, years later, Flip Flops are my footwear of choice in the summer. I own a half dozen of these beautiful shoes and recently added to the collection when I bought this year's flip flops. On impulse I also bought my first  pair of THONGS in years!

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