I am back after a long hiatus and what actually got me back here was not something new that I noticed in the shops (physical or virtual) but a comment made by someone. I have a pair of what I call 'my office shoes' which are not really formal shoes but they just come handy whether I have to put on jeans or trousers. I was wearing these shoes on an official trip and an Indian gentleman in the hotel lift who had a strong American accent asked me where I got my shoes from. Before I could reply he asked me if they were American. My shoes are very much local and not American and I told him so. He just remarked they looked 'very American' as he left the lift.
Bemused at this I wondered what he meant by 'very American'. I had been to Los Angeles last summer and this 'Americanness' seemed to elude me. Well, my shoes were really in a bad shape then, having been worn almost every alternate day for last three years. They are genuine leather shoes from a brand called 'Red Tape' and look as if they have been used. The most distinctive feature about the shoes at the time of this 'lift incident' was that the shoe-laces had really taken to the wear and were fraying terribly. This had also excited a couple of stylists I had once bumped into a swanky mall.
So in the end, I assumed by American, he meant the shoes looked old but in a polite, appreciative way. What I am talking about is the difference between something old and something vintage. So it is with a loving eye that I celebrate my trusty brown shoes. I have another pair now and the shoelaces have been replaced and I polish them more regularly now than I did before, but they still look very old, very broken-into and I guess they only get better with age!