Timber Land

I love Timbs, and there’s no singular reason why.

As at this point we don’t have any public readers, and the first ones we have will likely know me, my previous statement comes as no surprise. In fact, I’m sure most of you rolled your eyes when you first became aware that I’d written something about Timbs. And I can’t blame you.

I mean, I suppose I could, but it wouldn’t make any sense. Plus, where would it get me?

It isn’t as if I always loved Timbs, though; I used to despise them. I recall back in middle school, Timbs somehow, out of nowhere, became a status symbol, and were worn by all the “popular” boys. Perhaps it was an attempt to draw everyone’s gaze downward, away from their braces and this-doesn’t-work-for-the-shape-of-my-head-but-I-need-to-do-it-anyway-to-fit-in haircuts. Either way, I remember sitting in Mr. Ackley’s (LDA’s) social studies class in 7th grade and seeing the allegedly-cool kids toying with their tags and freaking out if anyone even said the word ‘scuff.’ What a load of nauseating materialism.

My loathing of this behavior hasn’t begun to wane, but my problem was more the superficiality than the medium through which it was expressed. For, as I came to experience in college, different demographics wore Timbs differently, an approach which, toward the end of my tenure at DKE (and my loose affiliation with Lafayette), began to embody a certain lifestyle. And now, as Nog once famously said, “I loooove Tiiiimbs.”

My adoration of said footwear was a gradual process. I obviously didn’t always own a pair. In truth, I never wanted Timbs until I joined DKE and saw the older kids strutting around in them. I didn’t have my own pair through the end of my sophomore year at DKE, but would instead satisfy my craving by borrowing Dog’s old pair after he’d bought new ones. After my mom bought me my very own on a day trip to the outlets, however, I slowly began wearing them more and more. In fact, all of us at DKE started wearing them more and more, until it became a noticeable phenomenon.

Out to dinner? Timbs. Trip to the beach? Timbs. They were always a must for the beer pong table, but by senior year, I refused to go into Brother’s Bar wearing any other type of footwear, pong or no. If I had to give away every piece of clothing I owned except for one, my choice would be clear. And unlike Dog, I have no interest in buying a new, fresher pair to replace the old.

Rather, my Timbs will always prove a sharp contrast to the pristine condition demanded by my middle school classmates. In fact, they’re downright filthy. Their laces haven’t come untied since the first time they were knotted up over 4 years ago. They’ve been with me from London to New Orleans, and have endured everything from grass stains to beer to mustard to upturned buckets of vomit (man, that was one crazy day). They’ve spent more time with me than probably any living person, other than my old lady.

My life has changed a lot over the past four years. When I brought my boots home, I was a red-eyed, rising Junior living at my mother’s house, stalling until summer vacation was over. Since then, I’ve graduated college, lived in both D.C. and London, seen my pledge father and real father pass away, got a second tattoo, conned my way into a long-term girlfriend, and been both unemployed and employed twice. As I walked that path, there was only ever one choice as to what would be on my feet.

“With the hoods fatigues, with the boots with trees….” – Notorious B.I.G.

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