Flip-flops or laptops?

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By: Tim Chai <[email protected]>

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions” -G.K. Chesterton

On my final night at the Ball State University journalism workshop the fire alarm went off in the residence building, Noyer Hall. Idly laying on my cot checking the latest updates on www.perezhilton.com of Lindsay Lohan’s DUI arrest, Beyonce’s head-first fall at a concert and Britney Spears whipping dog dung with a nearly $7,000 Zac Posen gown, the events unfolding outside didn’t even hit me when a fellow staff member burst into my room and yelled something about a fire.

I stared blankly at him. “What? Why does everyone on this floor have the crazies?” Becoming frustrated, his next comment was not so nice. “Get you’re a** up.”
Oh, my bad.

Delayed already by my incompetence to recognize the familiar sound (I thought that it was my editor’s phone), I had few moments to try to salvage any important possessions. It was in those few moments, spanning only 10 seconds at most, I learned what was most important to me.

I had brought numerous valuables with me to the camp: my laptop, my cell phone and my iPod. My eyes never strayed to those items in the chaos. Wasting precious time—time that would’ve meant life or death had the fire been real—I hastened my search for not my $1,400 computer, but rather my $20 flip flops.

But, in my defense, they are great shoes. My blue J. Crew ones in particular perfectly align to the contours of my feet. All things considered, they are my little slice of heaven.

Unsurprisingly, I found a strange comfort in conformity and familiarity. There’s a soothing feeling about wearing something so recognizable, something that’s walked with me hundreds of miles all over the world for the last few years. Maybe it was four days of breathing the mold growing on the dorm blankets, but I felt peculiarly at home.