Zorie Story

Today’s guest post comes from Sherrilee.

My father’s sister, Joan, spent a couple of years in Japan, teaching English. I was four when she came home, bearing exotic gifts. One of these treasures was a small black enamel chest of drawers; since it wasn’t to my parents’ taste, I lucked out. For reasons that I’ll never understand, it was always referred to as “the Chinese chest”. I still have it; it lives in my dining room and now I’ve raised another generation to name it incorrectly.

The most enduring gift, however, were the zories; she brought 2 pairs for me and 2 pairs for my sister. I had never had anything like them and nobody else I knew had them either – not the older, traditional Japanese style with tatami soles on wooden platforms, but plastic zories. White. If my mom had let me, I would have worn them everywhere.

My parents were ecstatic because they discovered a perfect gift for me for any occasion. Zories weren’t popular foot ware when I was growing up, but they did manage to find zories in places like Ben Franklin and Woolworth’s. I didn’t know anyone else who wore zories; in fact, I was in college before I knew that everyone else in America called them flip flops!

The last 15 years have been zorie-heaven for me. These days you can get zories in any color, any design and they are CHEAP. I have an Old Navy account so that every year I am eligible for their $1 flip flop sale. I have white zories, blue zories, purple, yellow, coral. I have fourth of July zories, Halloween zories, Christmas zories, flowers, stripes. Four years ago my company started a super-casual summer program – the dress code is pretty much thrown out. This means I can wear my zories to work every day in the summer.

As the Old Navy sale was approaching this year, I thought I would do an inventory of my zories to see what colors I could add to my collection. I pulled them all out of the closet, paired them all up and laid them all out, beginning with the white and finishing up with the black.

Then I made my fatal error; I counted them. THIRTY-EIGHT!!! I own 38 pairs of zories. 38! I didn’t go to the sale this year.

I may not go next year either.

What do you have too many of?

82 thoughts on “Zorie Story”

  1. Oh my, vs, that’s quite the collection. It wasn’t until a day or two ago that I first learned what Zories are, when Crow Girl mentioned them on the blog. As a kid, I had a pair or two, but I’ve never liked the feeling of plastic on my feet, too hot, so they were never favorites. I liked the original Dr. Scholl’s sandals, but I’ve never owned more than one pair at a time.

    Cookbooks, LPs, and CDs are among the things I have too many of. Although we do have a turntable, our amplifier doesn’t have a place to plug it in, so it’s useless. Haven’t been able to play the records in at least 10 years, I should Freecycle the lot. Maybe today is the day.

    I also have too many dishes and glasses, especially in view of the fact that we rarely entertain anymore. Anyone in the market for a chipped set of Royal Copenhagen porcelain dishes?

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    1. Thanks, PJ. I have to give CG credit… it was her mention of her zories that made me think I should do something about MY zories!

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      1. You’re most welcome for the inspiration! When I was a kid Pier One was still cool, and they had the modern tatami zori with velveteen straps and soft soles. At the time I didn’t even know they were Japanese, I just liked the grassy smell of the matting and the contrasting textures. I was heartbroken when they stopped carrying them, and in those pre-internet days I couldn’t get them anywhere else.

        I don’t wear the cheap flip-flops because they’re terrible for my feet and knees, but I went through several pairs of vegetarian Birkenstock thong sandals, and now I have a pair of Chacos.

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        1. I’m lucky that my feet and knees seem to tolerate the cheap zories. I know that lots of people can’t wear them!

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        2. I admit, even as a little kid, when you had to have “thongs” to go to the pool, that little piece between your toes just bugged me.

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    2. I got real money for a few LPs a couple months ago. Some people say they sound better than anything else, blah, blah, blah, but I’m willing to sacrifice a little quality for a music collection that I can fit in my pocket.

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  2. Call me on the LP’s I don’t care what thou also do, I’m collecting I just spent last week and Weill finish up this weekend building my lp shelves in the garage via hans suggestion
    I love LPs. I have about 10,000 as and I do not think thats too many
    I will come and get them when you are ready

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have 3 one in my garage one in my TV room ( what sound) one at the office. I love throwing on another album as and enjoying 25 minutes. Just the right amount of time for a music sampling of an artist or genre

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    2. Come and get them, tim. Just let me know when. Do you want the turntable too? It’s a Sony, in good working condition. Plays 45 and 33 rmp records.

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        1. LPs are all packed up and ready to go as soon as tim gets here. Same for the turntable. Thanks for the inspiration, vs. The Big Declutter has begun!

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        2. Yea PJ!!! I’m still not ready to let go of my LPs. They are in the attic along with the turntable… maybe one of these days I’ll have tim over!

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        3. When you get to be my age, vs, you’ll probably be ready to let them go too. I kept only one, an album signed by Steve Goodman. There are several boxed set of whole operas that I really had a hard time parting with, but if I can’t play them, what’s the point in keeping them?

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Good morning. Good job writing about your zories, VS.

    I have a large collection of small things I keep in several drawers. Many of them are small puzzles and small “nick nacks” given to me as gifts. Also there are a number of small musical instruments including tin and wooden flutes. I can’t begin to make a complete list of all of the other not very large items in this collection.

    I have tried to sort out these items and have dispose of some of them. I am never able to reduce the number of these things by very much. Their numbers keep increasing with the continual addition of more little “treasures”.

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  4. What do I have too many of?
    Bills… I could do with less bills.
    I got health insurance in the nick of time
    I can’t imagine paying for the hospital visit out of pocket.

    Edith
    Get chamomelia for the twins at whole foods
    Its magic for teething found in the homeopathic remedies area get 30 c or if they have 200c get that. Callb612 910;900zero for directions

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    1. tim – we’ve tried EVERYTHING – everything – including chamomile. last night the twin who is having the hardest time slept a little better and ate some food, so maybe…maybe…he’s getting better (fingers crossed). that doctor who said “it’s just a matter of soothing them” and ” i’m sure it’s hard with twins, but you have lots of help, right?” – I would like to invite him over from 8pm to 3am and see how he does soothing a screaming baby.

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  5. I collect….. Records guitars hats suit coats
    Hats and coats and shoes and now pipes have become business ventures .
    I love sherrilees zorries on the bed. I think the rainbow coalition may need to talk to you. One orange…no teal…I went to China and spent time talking to zorrie makers a couple years ago for a potential partner who asked me to. One more page in my mile wide inch deep knowledge base. The high end ones wrap ribbons and or materials around the straps and the options become mind boggeling.
    17 cents is cost on the cheepos a buck for the fancy ones. Garden clogs are a buck too. Thought about bringing in 10000 pairs tho sell for 5 a pair…
    Looking for a hat factory that can make fur felt hats . I found the one for wool hats but I need the good stuff.
    Collecting is the opposite of having too much. I’m having a little trouble with today’s concept I’m afraid.

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    1. There’s teal in there, tim…. between the blues and the greens. In fact, I have two SHADES of teal… a lighter one and a darker one. Just wore the lighter ones yesterday!

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  6. Clothes that I need to donate because I don’t wear them, papers that need to be properly filed, power drills (I use two, but I think there are four, possibly five, rattling around in my basement)…

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  7. Organizing becomes the challenge doesn’t it
    I’m a great collector but alphabetizing albums is my proud achievement. Rock folk classical jazz r&b show tunes male and female vocalists world music and sdpokern word compilation and some odd stuff thast sf doesn’t fit into any of the above
    Then the 78s I play on the victrola. Fun stuff.

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  8. And the zorie mystery (to me anyway) is explained! We called them thongs when I was young. But what does a kid from suburban Mpls. know?

    I have too many financial files and data from what seems like the beginning of time. Tax returns, old bills, old receipts, stock trade confirmations, bank statements, account statements. A deep dark part of me must think I’ll need them someday to reconstruct my financial life in case anyone is interested …like the IRS?? Or my biographer??? 😉

    We also have way too many wine glasses. We rotate through about a dozen on a regular basis, but three or four dozen others just sit in the cupboard gathering dust.

    I’m sure we have too many nails, screws, nuts bolts and general hardware stuff and junk. Most of it litters the garage. Someday we’ll set off a small nuclear device and clear the whole thing out and start over. But of course one never has a spare nut, bolt, screw, or nail to fit the current project, so one must trundle down to the hardware store for 3 nuts or 6 nails to finish a five-minute job that has now taken 30 minutes thanks to all the time wasted looking for the right fastener in the pile of junk fasteners stowed in various peanut butter jars, plus the 10+minute roundtrip to the store.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s Murphy’s Law about the screws and nails. I have a large collection of these as well, in little baby food jars, but am amazed at how often the job at hand calls for something I don’t have!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. They were called thongs when I was growing up, too.

      I think there must be a potential smartphone app that would create a hardware sharing service. You could request a 1-inch hanger bolt and post that you had a box of 3/4 inch steelhead brads or some leftover carpet tacks, and all the hardware would migrate to where it was needed.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. Projects.

    Actually at the moment what I have too much of are payroll hours, so I can’t do my projects, but Grandpa always said, “never complain about having work”. As a Depression Era young farmer, he knew whereof he spoke, so I take that advice.

    Someday, I will have the dosh and time to do my projects, and at that point, I will not have too much of anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pencil boards. Oh, lordy, pencil boards. I’ve mentioned them here before, but that was quite a while ago. I was deeply into anime fandom for several years, and discovered the pleasures of collecting shitajiki.

    Traditionally shitajiki were thin sheets of cardboard, later plastic, that Japanese schoolkids put under the page they were writing on so the pressure of the pencil wouldn’t mark the next page. Companies figured out they were great marketing tools, and started making shitajiki with art from anime, manga, movies, and games. They became popular collectibles: cheap, attractive, and easy to store. I first saw them in the dealer’s room at an anime convention, but then people started selling them on eBay and the wolves came out of the walls, as Neil Gaiman would say.

    I don’t know exactly how many I have, but it’s probably around 500 (did I mention they were cheap?) in sheet protectors in 3-ring binders. My most expensive was about $40 for a CLAMP double board, IIRC, but most were $5-10. Even so, those little sheets of plastic represent a *large* investment over about 5 years. And now, of course, anime mania is over, I’ve fallen out of the fandom, and if I wanted to sell them I couldn’t, much less make any of the money back. But, hey, I had fun, I own a lot of pretty artwork, and at least I don’t have shelves and shelves full of gashapon figures like some people.

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  11. Just thought of something else I have too many of: collectors’ plates. I have three sets: Russian fairytales, Chinese folk tales, and Danish Christmas plates. I know I’ll be long gone before these come back into vogue.

    The more I think about this, the more I envy Steve that he got rid of most of his stuff before moving to Portland.

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      1. Steve, I’m curious about why you wish you had brought even less with you to Portland. Totally agree with the sentiment, but am interested in the whys and wherefores.

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  12. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Oh woe is me. I have too many troubles and I’m singin’ the BLUES!. What a 2 week period. I will air my troubled laundry:
    1. Lou’s dad, age 94, has nearly died twice in the last month requiring a stay at Mayo and his local hospital. Last Monday, July 28 was the last one of these. This takes us to an emotional peak, then drops us back at the starting point. Not his dad’s fault, just emotionally exhausting. He is again developing symptoms of all systems failing as I write this.
    2. My mother is with me this week after my brother, with whom she lives, took a well-deserved break in the Boundary Waters and dropped her off. His wife has taken full custody of her sister who leads a troubled life. My poor sister-in-law, who I dearly love, is way too stressed.
    3. All is now well with this, BUT my yearly mammogram revealed the need for a more thorough diagnostic mammogram on the very day I wrote about my cancer transitions on this very blog. I had the procedure Monday and was cleared. I will say diagnostic procedures and bedside manner have improved markedly (meaning no surgeon pulling on my big toe, saying, “Jacque. You have cancer.”)
    4. My former colleague who did the nasty a few years ago then had her license suspended, applied to get her license to practice back. This is profoundly upsetting to me.

    Pout-Pout-Pout-Life sucks and then you die-Pout-Pout-Pout

    I also have way too many antique canning jars.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hang in there dear…. and at least you canning jars are antiques. Mine are just too many regular ole canning jars!

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        1. Just got rid of 15 old cookbooks. Gradually making room for all the books that are stacked on top of others. Feels a little lighter already.

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        2. You’re on a roll. I also have too many cookbooks… but I did institute a rule a couple of years ago that if I get a new cookbook, an old one has to go. This rule has actually kept me in line, although I do have a new one that I haven’t put on the shelf yet because I can’t decide which old one to jettison!

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  13. I have not been a collector of just about anything, but I’ve still managed to accumulate way too many things. Years ago I discovered the joys of cooking with a sharp chef’s knife. But my sharpening skills were not up to a professional level, so I bought a new chef’s knife to have a sharp one. And then another and another. At one point I had about a dozen chef’s knives. I only brought eight to Portland.

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  14. I just threw out my knife sharpener because I couldn’t figure out how to use it. Back to the zories – I recall wearing my mom’s 55 years ago or so. Dad brought them back from WWII (I think) along with some gorgeous kimonas (sp?). As to saving stuff far too long, I held onto my collection of size 12 tops and dresses until a few months ago just in case I regained a lot of weight. After hovering around my present size 0 since my cancer, I figured it was time to call Goodwill.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This all makes Sherrilee quite the ZorieStellar. (…i couldn’t resist…)

    I have too much artwork. Or is that ‘not enough?’ I can never remember…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry, didn’t check the site again after lunch. It’s entirely possible. I turn up in unexpected locations at unexpected times.

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  16. I am in Luverne with dad and husband so dad can see his coffee buddies. I have two households now if you count my dad’s condo. Too much of too many things. Dad is feeling poorly these days and I can understand the ups and downs Jacque refers to. Hang in there, Jacque. Pout away. Tomorrow we are having the other condo ladies come over to
    choose whatever fake flower arrangements they want from my mother’ s considerable collection. They all look nice but there are only so many decorative sprays a person can tolerate.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I’m having a hard time answering this question. After being inspired by my mom for so many years, I got serious a couple years ago and have been working very hard at getting rid of stuff. Now when I look around at my stuff, I’m relieved. I still could get rid of things – like books and cookbooks and recipes – but they are not at all overwhelming. I’m not very good at organizing, although I am improving somewhat, but when you have just a little stuff, it’s almost no work at all to “organize.”

    I do have too many slides (remember those?) and negatives and those are only “too many” because I don’t have a slide projector (and wouldn’t want to set it up if I did have one) and the negatives are a big mess, because they are in no order whatsover and I don’t know if there’s a print of any particular negative or not. So, I’ve taken some of the money I got from selling my unwanted stuff and bought a fancy scanner that can scan and digitize both slides and negatives. That will be a nice little project to keep me busy for a few months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Note: I am inspired by mom to get rid of stuff, not because she’s a minimalist or anything, but because she has So Much Stuff.

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  18. I have a lot of little colored votive candle holders. I was inspired by a scene in Don Juan DeMarco where the lovers are dancing on a patio lined with candles in little colored votive holders. I started buying them at garage sales. I had a policy of not spending more than a quarter per holder.

    One year at Christmas I lined up a dozen of them in white bakery bags as luminarias, but I’ve never deployed the whole arsenal at once.

    Liked by 1 person

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