Tales From a Recovering Sneaker Addict

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They say you always remember your first.

For me, it was the Nike Air Max 90 that started it all.

We were somewhere in Manhattan. Perhaps along 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.

The storefront was small, but the window display blew my 13-year-old mind: Dozens of pairs of shrink-wrapped sneakers, each emblazed with a neon sticker boasting a monstrous price reduction. These sneakers were begging to be bought, and I wanted each and every pair. A sneaker addict was born.

As I gazed into the window, aware for the first time that sneakers could be cool, my parents must have seen something illuminate inside my soul. We entered. Every fiber of my being told me this was my chance, an opportunity to finally own a coveted pair of high-end sneakers, which until this point, my parents had shielded me from. But who were they protecting? Me from the absurdity of material objects or themselves from financial hardship?

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