I was plodding around the shoe store not long ago when I stumbled across the 1980s. “Jellies!” I exclaimed, as if I’d just recognized an old friend from high school. “Jellies! I can’t believe they have jellies!” There they were in their polyvinyl chloride glory, the plastic shoes of my girlhood. They came in pink, purple, blue and silver, though I think jellies should only come in pink because that’s the color mine were when I was 8.
If you were not a little girl in the 80’s you might not know what jelly shoes are. They’re plastic shoes that come in crazy colors, sometimes with glitter mixed into the PVC. If you are blind and cannot behold their wonder, don’t worry, you will be able to smell jellies from across the room. The scent is like the new car smell magnified a hundred times over. Why would anyone want to wear plastic shoes, particularly in the summer when your feet are bound to get slippery with sweat? I don’t know. I just know mine were pink like this pair and I loved them.
I’m not sure who decided jellies deserved a comeback, but I know fashion is cyclical and if you wait long enough whatever has gone out of style will come back in style. I’d suspect some marketer thought people my age would see them and be struck with nostalgia when remembering the pink plastic shoes of their youth, and make a purchase hoping they could buy back their childhood. Perhaps next they will launch Strawberry Shortcake sneakers or Rainbow Brite boots.
Anyway, it worked. Yes, I confess, I bought a pair of jellies (which were half off if you bought another pair of shoes of equal or greater value, so that makes it totally ok). They were cheap, so I figured what the hell. I did however make sure no one was looking when I grabbed a pair. Sadly I made this purchase before I was diagnosed with flat feet and tendonitis, so I can’t wear my jellies without further injuring myself. I can only sniff them, and get sort of high.
A funny thing happened at the store though. At least two other people walked by the jelly shoes display and suddenly exclaimed, “Jellies!” like I had. I wanted to hide a secret camera in the shoe store and see how many people yelled, “Jellies!” during the day. I’ve never felt compelled to shout out “Flip flops!” or “Crocs!” at a shoe store. Jellies might not be the most practical shoe, nor the best smelling one, but they have a special place in my heart, or rather on my feet.