“Endless summer. Someone has mentioned this phrase and at the Museum, it’s true. Also endless spring, fall, and winter. After all, just because the weather changes that doesn’t mean things don’t fall to the ground any more or less. It’s an endless season for us here, ” said Claudia McGill, Assistant Curator in Charge of Seasonal Activity. “The season of giving, the season of receiving, the season of objects on the ground. Year-around celebration.”
“We have a photo here that captures the spirit of – item dropping and finding – I guess you’d say, ” she went on. “We were sent this cute little photo of a baby’s flip-flop. Just the one. Shoe, I mean. Not photo. Or baby.”
Here is the aforementioned item.
A baby flip-flop, for a baby to wear. Isn’t it interesting how that works out?
It was spotted resting on a post in the park, where it’s been for several weeks, according to park-goer Claudia McGill. “I guess some baby lost its shoe, I would say a girl, from the pink color of the shoe, you know it used to be that boys wore pink and girls blue, back about 1900, but now we have it switched and I wonder how that happened but anyway this shoe is for a girl, I think. Because it’s pink. Well, it has pink on it, and no boys will wear a flip-flop with pink on it. Even though they used to.”
The pathos of this little object, separated from its twin shoe and its baby owner, is made all the more poignant the longer it sits out in the weather and decomposes.
“A cute little baby shoe like this just shouldn’t be sitting out here. It’s just wrong,” said staff member Claudia McGill, who has been observing the shoe for the Museum. “It’s going to fade and get crumbly, I’m afraid. I just don’t want to see that happen.”
But the cultural phenomenon of leaving lost objects in the open in the hopes their owners will find them has a powerful pull on societal impulses. “We must leave it for its owner, that is what we believe, strongly believe, and to go against it and throw it in the trash is just – reprehensible,” said Claudia McGill, Staff Therapist at the Museum. “We cannot live with ourselves having done such a thing, the trash thing, I mean, and so we are forced to witness the slow deterioration of hats, gloves, shoes, hair thingies, you name it, lost and not found.”
Well, we can hope things go better for this little shoe. Happy end of summer. Even if at the Museum the seasons are eternal, well, we out here in the world know better, don’t we? Nobody is going to be needing this little flip-flop pretty soon even if it does make its way home.