Wednesday, March 31, 2010
the secret life of boots
I am deeply devoted to my work boots. As you can see from the pair on the left, they've seen quite a bit of action. That's about a year's worth...maybe. What you really can't see in the picture is that my beloved dogs found something extra tasty on the bottom of my beloved boots and decided to eat the soles. I mean that literally - there are large areas where the soles are just...gone. They each took a boot and went to work. When I made this discovery, they informed me that they were simply cleaning them for me ("Yes, that's it! Cleaning them!").
After searching everywhere within a reasonable distance of my house, I finally had to order new boots, because apparently women around here don't do any actual, real work. ??? Not one store had any ladies' steel toe work boots. Not one. Ahem...FIX THIS, retailers. At any rate, a new pair of beloved boots arrived yesterday. I've been limping along with the old ones and figured I'd have them resoled when the new ones showed up. I was thrilled when the box arrived!
And then I wasn't. Make no mistake, I'm still happy to have new boots, but now I'm deeply conflicted. I suddenly feel a strong allegiance to the old pair. They're the same exact boots, and yet, this old pair knows their way around. They know the route I like to take to feed the animals, and the holes I don't want to step in. If they could carry a bucket, they could probably go out and do chores by themselves. They never complain when they get wet or dirty or scuffed. I know the new boots will be just as faithful, but to put them on now almost feels like betrayal - like remarrying when the corpse is still warm.
I have to go do chores now, and I already know in my heart that those ratty old boots will be the ones on my feet. I may let the new ones make occasional trips to town, but I think mostly I'll keep them waiting in the wings...waiting for the old guard to finally kick off...waiting for their turn in the power position. Where I'm sure they'll do just fine.
* Believe me, in the moment, I said things far more colorful and varied than "harumph".