Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

The Anti-Highlander


The thing about THE HIGHLANDER is that there can only be one. (This isn’t technically true, but it should be.)

The thing about an Anti-Highlander is that there should always be another. This is a rule I came up with after my brother gave me one of the pieces of advice that I continue to live by:

If you find something you like, buy two.

I think he dropped this gem on me a million years ago after he found out that the kind of Levi’s he preferred had been discontinued. The salesperson may have told him that the rest had been sold off at a discount and my brother was pissed that he hadn’t stocked up.

I took the lesson to heart. Right now, in boxes around me, I have brand new versions of several items I already own, ready for when the ones in use now wear out, but no item wears out as regularly as my size 37 narrow purple suede Arizona Birks.

Arizona old

People look at me like I’m homeless when I wear these.

I got my first pair when I was 14 or 15 and they cost $85, which seemed like an absurd amount of money for two straps glued to some cork. But I loved those damn sandals, wearing them in the snow with two pairs of ragwool socks in the winter. They were the first pair of shoes I’d ever owned that felt like I wasn’t wearing shoes. No part of my feet ever hurt or was pinched or got blisters while wearing them. After two years, I wore holes through the bottom so that my heels touched the ground when I wore them. I got my first replacement pair when I went off to college and have been averaging a new pair every few years since then.

Arizona new

I’m shocked every time by how new the new ones look.

I recently got my sixth or seventh or maybe eighth replacement. And in a few years, there will be another because that is the way of the Anti-Highlander.

Arizona both

Still keeping the old ones for a few more years.


Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

2 thoughts on “The Anti-Highlander

  1. Or buy more, I’m quite tired of having favorite makeup colors disappear… I’m with you on comfortable shoes, too.

    • I buy so little makeup that salesgirls have often been snotty to me (“This product was discontinued YEARS AGO.”) but I still remember really good skin lotion from the early 90s that I wish I’d bought crates and crates of. Running out of stuff totally stinks.

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