Friday, September 23, 2011

Goodbye My Lover, Goodbye My Friend

As I begin to sing the beginning of James Blunt's song, "Goodbye My Lover" it has become a time to say goodbye to a dear friend of mine.

If y'all will remember, a few weeks ago I wrote Boo Boo about an accident I had on campus. Unfortunately I wrecked a pair of shoes in the process:
(Taken yesterday, rest in peace my friends)

It has come HIGH time that I dispose of these Platinum Jacks, but it is not easy let me tell you. I wrote this essay for Jack Rogers blog a few months back but I'm going to repost it for y'all to read:

What item takes you from your first “real” job, to two high school proms to graduation ceremonies to college orientation and move in? Maybe a camera, lucky key chain, or maybe even your parents. For me it was a beloved pair of shoes.  

It all started with my first job working in high school. In Annapolis, Maryland, Jack Rogers are a shoe-must, so I fell in line. I decided among the colors at our store, gold, bone and white, silver and then I knew what I wanted: my “Platinum Jacks” as they’ve fondly been nicknamed. Using one of the first “big-girl” paychecks that I ever got, I happily purchased my first pair of Jack Rogers, a pristine Platinum pair, size 9.5 had Katie written all over them. At the time I was a rising junior in high school.  I tried to break them in, wondering how some women wore these shoes 24/7 in the summer. I later developed my seasonal 3-circle blister synonymous with spring, flowers, and Jack season.  
In the spring of junior year, there is one event at my high school that every girl looks forward to and every boy looks away from: the prom. I had my dress picked out from August. Pink and green with swirls and a sweetheart halter neckline, with a goldy-silvery connector. I had a slight problem, with the mixed metal ring, what shoes did I wear? Prom-blem solved with my trusty platinum Jacks. I wore them to my senior prom and after prom as well, because lucky for 6’1’’ me, my Jacks didn’t make me tower over my date.

After senior year, about a month after graduation I headed down to Columbia, SC for only the second time in my life for college orientation at the University of South Carolina. I brought numerous outfit options but only 1 pair of shoes because with all my clothes, I was a little strapped for room. What did I bring with me knowing they’d match whatever I wore? My platinum Jacks, naturally. By this time, my collection consisted of black, gold and platinum but why fix what’s not broken, right?

Fast-forward to August 2009. Our big, blue Honda Pilot is packed to the brim with brand new bedding, desk supplies, all the clothes I could fit, lights, bed lifters, a laundry basket (and ample amounts of detergent), and my little family. We were all in comfy clothes necessary for lugging all my boxes and loads of stuff up 14 (yes, 14) flights of stairs to my new residence hall room. Brimming with excitement and nerves, my dear old dad moved most of the stuff. I had a Gamecocks t-shirt, white shorts and my platinum Jacks each and every trip up the stairs on my first day.
(My freshman year roommate and I at our FIRST game!!)

When you go to an SEC school, college Gameday is more of a holiday than anything else. Girls dress up, for us it’s all about the LBD. We all don our little black dresses, big sunglasses, and either Jack Rogers or cowboy boots. Welcome to the South y’all!  I’ll remember my first gameday. USC was playing Florida Atlantic University and I wore my first black dress to a game. My dad thought this was ridiculous. My roommate and I were so excited and copiously considered our footwear choices: comfort, could get a little dirty, style, and obviously it would have to match. She went with flip flops, but I knew only one pair of shoes could get me to my first big college football game. My Jacks, now about three years old, were perfectly worn in, plus it was early September so I was still totally used to wearing them from living in them over the summer. My Jacks made it through the entire season, although not bringing the Gamecocks as much luck as we would have hoped. My platinum Jacks also made it to the USC-Alabama game of 2010, that’s when they were lucky! Ask any USC student about that game and we can talk your ear off about how great it was and how it helped with the decision of the number one recruit but really, my student body owes it to my fabulous platinum Jacks that got us that W. 

It’s clear that my shoe of choice for the past 5 years has been my platinum Jacks. Through the years, my friends have acquired their own pairs, I’ve accrued 2 more pairs: white and silver to add to my collection. I now have 5 pairs that work a decent rotation, but it’s my platinum ones that have made it to most of the important events of my college life. They got me through high school milestones and I look forward to see where they’re going to take me with the rest of college. If these shoes could talk…



Emily said...

Wow, what a great post! I recently had to put my first pair of Platinum Jacks to rest...I immediately bought new ones, but they're not the same yet! when I was reading that I pictured my own Jack Rogers Journey! xo

Royar said...

This is such an awesome post! I actually bought my first pair last spring as a rising junior and now I already have had many adventures and look forward to the memories ahead! I love Jacks! XO

Royar said...

This is such an awesome post! I actually bought my first pair last spring as a rising junior and now I already have had many adventures and look forward to the memories ahead! I love Jacks! XO

Little Bow Prep said...

What a lovely post!

Legally Brunette Kate said...

I was never into Jacks before I started blogging, but I've seen so many girls wearing them that I already have them on my wish list for next summer!