I love my SouthSide neighbors. Really, I do. They’ve created a Southern micro-economy that can support two charcuterie, a botox clinic, and countless restaurants serving $20 hamburgers. But every so often, my neighbors engage in behavior that reminds me I’m no longer in Brooklyn or Seattle. These transgressions can range from the occasional gender-blivious pronoun to the city’s complete lack of a placenta restaurant. But the thing that’s been really irking me lately is how many of my fellow Jefferson Heights moms allow their kids to wear Crocs to the playground.
Everyone knows Crocs are shameful and ugly. When I see someone wearing a pair of Crocs, she may as well be wearing a sign that says “I Hate Myself and I’m Not Ashamed to Show It.” I refuse to wear Crocs for the same reason I dissuade my partner from wearing sweatpants or T-shirts. Pride means something to me, and it should mean something to your kids too.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why Crocs are popular: they’re comfortable. And they’re easy to slip on, and they’re easy to clean. And I can only assume they’re affordable. All those are very compelling reasons why you may want to wear Crocs, but they are also equally compelling reasons why you should NOT want wear Crocs. Looking good has never been about ease or affordability, okay? People should want to look good. And they should want their kids to look good too.
This has never been more important than now, when smart phones and social networks mean that virtual photos of your child will exist forever. I can only imagine how betrayed my daughter (Remedy) would be if her future boyfriends or sorority sisters were to unearth pictures of her wearing Crocs — even if she was only a child at the time.
Not only does the choice to let your child wear Crocs harm your child, but it also harms me. It makes me think less of my neighbors and my neighborhood. And that makes me less eager to email my friends in high-rent cities like Portland and LA and urge them to relocate. That choice to let your kids wear Crocs ultimately affects my property value. As an invested stakeholder in Chattanooga’s most exclusive neighborhood, I can’t have people associating Jefferson Heights with Crocs — even if it’s just kids playing in the sand on the playground. We may as well just wave the white flag and allow the “West Village” to lure Chattanooga’s next generation of social elites.