Vintage, But Not My Own

I have a pair of Chucks that I adore. They cost me $80 and I got them at a vintage shop after a 12-hour work day assisting a photographer. The $100 b
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I have a pair of Chucks that I adore. They cost me $80 and I got them at a vintage shop after a 12-hour work day assisting a photographer. The $100 b
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I have a pair of Chucks that I adore. They cost me $80 and I got them at a vintage shop after a 12-hour work day assisting a photographer. The $100 bill he handed me lasted for a whopping six hours before I pulled these beautiful black, high top Converse sneakers onto my feet. I love them, but they're kind of bothering me. I feel like they're not really mine. I mean yes, I paid for them from my hard work, but these shoes are worn in, deliciously and beautifully beat up and special, not through my own hard wearing, but through somebody else's. This might sound crazy, but I feel like I've stolen someone else's coolness. The truth is, I wouldn't have bought them if they'd been brand new. Their discoloration and wilted state were part of their appeal, all thanks to the street pounding of their first owner, the length of their life (and my mother's would-be reaction) be damned. I'm not sure if this has to do with the fact that they're shoes (insert proverb here) or the fact that I receive so many compliments on them whenever I wear them (my standard thought: "They're not really mine!"), but I just feel like a phony wearing Converses I didn't beat up myself. Have you ever experienced guilt at not having worn in your vintage shoes? Or is my existential shoe dilemma totally unfounded? --LEAH MELTZER