Farewell Birkenstocks

So I’ve been ‘let go’.

After fitting people with bunions on their feet for Birkenstocks, having little snotty kids throw crocs at my head and listening to my boss tell me why [insert customer name here] is a ‘fucking lunatic’ I was recently told in plain terms that I’d been ‘let go’. And while I am aware that my boss’ choice of words were only selected in order to soften the blow of my redundancy, somehow he hit the nail on the head. Finally I was let go. Free. 

You see, through my short time working in the shoe industry I learnt two very important things.

1)  Yuppie mums have now started to give their kids names like ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Indie’ and even with avant-garde names like that these tots still throw tantrums (and shoes).

2) Older people who have developed a healthy amount of cynicism and bitterness must let younger wide-eyed individuals discover cynicism on our own terms for ourselves.

Sitting for 7 hours every Tuesday in a 5 meter by 5 meter shopspace I was fortunate enough to be exposed to my boss’ life lessons about how ‘youth is wasted on the young’ and the real world is an ugly place. Youth is indeed fleeting. It is true that it’s only a matter of time until we, too, become wrinkled, develop back pain, become fascinated with things like mortgages and the plasma television we don’t have and eventually view funerals as integral parts of our social lives. But for young people this time has not yet come. It will come, but until it does why should we have to live according to the heavy, logical and burdensome life-lessons which come with experience and pain? We’ve got plenty of time to live like that, but only a small window of time to feel hopeful, indestructible and pay minimal tax. Why do old people begrudge us for this? They had that too. As opposed to getting botox, naming your kids ‘Phoenix’ and trying to rob us of our time in the sun, I really think it’s time to pass the baton over. Let us believe in something even if its stupid (and even if it’s only as deep as MTV).

We’ve all met that rare older person who embodies youth. They let their hair grow grey naturally, they seize life by its proverbial balls and laugh with all their teeth exposed, even if some of those teeth have started to fall out. Perhaps time will make me bigoted, bitter and angry, and like my boss believes, I will eventually ‘see the light’ and view the world as a place filled with people who want to fuck you over and exploit you. But for now, I’m happy in my youthful naivety and I hope that I still have that spark when I’m old and my boobs have hit the floor.


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