I Should Be Tarred & Feathered For This…

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Preferably with ostrich feathers to restore some of the luster to my badly-tarnished crown. I just purchased something I swore I would never purchase: a pair of L.L. Bean rubber boots. Oh the shame. Oh the sorrow. Oh for the love of God… This is the ultimate sign of growing up and giving in, and I hate every moment of it. It was not a joyful shopping experience. The creaky wooden environs of the L.L. Bean store have always made me ill at ease, and up until tonight I’ve only used the space as a short-cut from the parking lot to the mall. Kayaks and customers in sweatshirts closed in on me, and I fought with a few racks of fleece before finding my way to the “footwear” section. Once there, the dismal palette of grays and hunter greens and every shade of shit imaginable stared forlornly from their wooden perches. So this then was hell.

Let’s back up a bit, though, to the snowy day my Ice Blue Show Queen (a.k.a. the Mini Cooper) stood in the parking lot outside my office building. By the time I made it out a little after 5 PM, she was covered in snow, and the parking lot was buried in a few inches of cold fluffy ice crystals. My black wingtips crunched and groaned beneath my feet, and snow fell across my ankles and snuck beneath the arch of my feet. It was awful. The 100-foot walk was brief, but in half a foot of snow it felt like forever. When I finally finished brushing the white stuff off my car all by myself (co-workers had scattered when I ordered them to help me) my feet were frozen and wet and my shoes were cursing me out for daring to treat them with such disdain. I told them to pipe down and suck it up. (Yes, I talk to my shoes. They’re that nice.) I thought briefly of doing what I never thought I’d do, but put it from my mind. Not that. Not yet.

A week later, I was walking into work and daintily trying to navigate the slushy mess another winter storm had left behind. Burgundy leather recoiled at the contact with white and gray salt, practically squealing and begging me to stop. When I entered the building they cried out, spattered in white salt and gasping for breath and fresh water. This couldn’t go on much longer. There were shoes at stake. My babies. My precious…

So tonight I did it. I took the plunge and bought a pair of L.L. Bean rubber boots, just for walking through the mess this winter has so brutally dumped upon us. They were handcrafted for me “at L.L. Bean Manufacturing in Brunswick, Maine by Holly and the Bean Boot Team.” Holly signed her first name, but didn’t dare leave her last because she knew I’d hunt her down and make her pay for this. Well, someone has to pay dearly for making me break such a solemn vow.

They don’t go with much of what I’d normally wear (being that I don’t typically carry an ax or favor plaid flannel) but I will make them work. This will be my greatest challenge – and my biggest defeat. Winter, you win. For now…

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