Wearing birkenstocks as a couple is something that happened gradually, inches over years. David had them first, wearing them when I first met him even. They were hands down his favorite shoe, and the evidence of that was marked in the almost boat like indent his feet had formed alongside the shoes. I didn’t get my pair until that summer, after listening to him lament his sock-bound feet during the rainy months. As it was he’d still wear them during drizzles, especially if it was just a trip to the store. When I bought mine it was warm and dry, though I didn’t cave in so much as break a toe. It was my big toe and it looked awful. There was a purplish black line ringing the joint and I could hardly walk. I remembered a blogger had worn birkenstocks during her broken toe convalescence. The first time I wore them it was like heaven, I couldn’t even believe it. My toe still pulsed slightly but no longer felt like it was rebreaking with every step. I was humbled and an instant easy convert. Now we’re at a much easier phase of birkenstockage. Now we both know why we wear them–they’re comfortable as fuck, and they’re plain enough that it’s not too weird to wear sandals all year round. We check in with each other, though, gauging if a particular situation would be appropriate for sandals, especially since his don’t have backstraps. I had to say no to him wearing them out drinking for a friend’s birthday, but I told him it was okay to wear them to the bank where I worked. He wasn’t sure about that one, but I would wear mine at work without batting an eye, even though I’m really not supposed to. I justify it by their regional nature, as a cultural thing. We’re really lenient on wearing them with socks, too, obviously. If you’re going to go out, go all fucking out, am I right?
My sister and my brother in law don’t wear birkenstocks. They have many other pairs of shoes, mostly my sister’s, and their shoes range from stylish to sensible, in a respectfully tasteful range. They do not, to the best of my knowledge, own a pair of birkenstocks. What they do have, however, is an ongoing hilarious Battle of the Puns. Some couples take yoga together, others go drinking. These two engage in the most hilarious warfare ever, planning out violent puntastic attack, be it finding the perfect anniversary card with a cat-tastic pun or planting a pun right on the dinner table. I’ve had them enthusiastically high five me for a brilliant pun they landed on the other person. Occasionally they’ll team up and share one they found, launching it right at David and I. I like puns, though, and neither of us are afraid of admitting that we find them hilarious. So I like to help them, too, trying to figure out which one will hate my joke more and goading the other to use it. Sometimes, though, sometimes I can knock them both out with one photo caption.