This summer, I traveled home for a leisurely vacation.  But when I stepped off of the plane, I saw a horrific sight.

My younger brother, the person whom I share genetic code with, was wearing Crocs.  In public.  Where people could see him.  And more importantly, could see me with him.

I nearly fainted.

Further interrogation revealed that the hideous plastic masses clinging to his feet were not his idea.  He had been sucked into the Crocs cult of personality by his girlfriend.  (So, at least I have that to cling to.)  And she had a lame ass excuse to justify her purchase, “They’re great for when he’s playing outside with the dog.”

If by that she meant that they would make a suitable chew toy for his Golden Retriever, then I agree. But her reasoning provides insight into the American obsession with Crocs.

Ever notice how every person who owns a pair of Crocs has an excuse for why he or she bought them?  I compiled this short list in 15 minutes with a simple Google search.  See if any of them sound familiar.

  • “I got them for gardening.” Then why are you wearing them in a restaurant/church/store?
  • “They help my (choose body part) pain.”  So does morphine.  See a Doctor.
  • “I wear them when I fly.”  Well, you’re on terra firma now.
  • “I can wash them in the dishwasher.”  What part of dish-washer isn’t perfectly clear? And who regularly requires that feature?
  • “They go with everything.”  Yes, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten dressed and thought, “If only I could accessorize this outfit with a pair of hot pink plastic clog-sandals.”
  • “They’re so comfortable.” So are my pajamas. But I’m not wearing them in the Halls of Congress, now am I?

Good fashion doesn’t require an excuse or an explanation. But that being said, I’m not completely against Crocs.

I think that little kids look adorable in them.  And if grown-ups want to wear them in the comfort of their own homes, then by all means.  But these shoes are not suitable for public consumption.

Think I’m wrong Crocs wearers?  Okay.  Close your eyes for a minute.  Go ahead, close ’em.  And think back to the very first time you wore your  Crocs in a public place.  How did you feel?

Did you feel a little silly?  Maybe a twinge of shame?  And when you got back home, were you just a little bit grateful that no one had seen you?

You were weren’t you!

But you had openly thwarted societal convention and lived to tell the tale.   You were a rebel. A non-conformist. And sitting there in your SUV sipping a Starbucks in the Whole Foods parking lot you were overcome by your own power.

But Crocs are a gateway drug.  If you give into the temptation to break the laws of fashion who knows what faux pas you will commit next.  Scrunchies, stirrup pants and tye dye, oh my!  Oh my, indeed.

The bottom line is this: wearing Crocs around the house is totally fine.  Because everyone has their secret only in the house attire (mine is a pair of old black yoga pants), but I would NEVER step one toe out of my apartment in them.  Ever.

You can express your individual style and be comfortable without violating Belle’s First Rule of Fashion: Never wear anything in public that you wouldn’t want George Clooney to see you in.  So, put the Crocs away before you hurt yourself.