It’s a tired cliché to say women like shoes. I like shoes. If I were studying the psychology of shoe selection, I would research the effect of Tee Vee celebrities on shoe purchases. My thesis might be “Women have been conditioned to like shoes by emulating Tee Vee characters who like shoes.” I’ve never watched such Tee Vee shows, but they’re pervasive enough in our culture that I’m aware of them. One such show even made a certain Spanish high-end shoe designer a household name.
The Junior League of Boston has a ball every year loosely named after this Tee Vee show.
I have some shoes designed by a different high-end shoe designer, manufactured in Spain. I like them because they’re well-made and they’ve lasted a long time. They’re attractive; they’re my “going to a Junior League meeting” shoes. I bought them because one of my Junior League friends wore them and she has style and excellent taste.
My Junior League friend was concerned about my gardening footwear; she wanted to buy me a pair of Hunter boots for my birthday. I was too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know these were the gardening boots of the British royal family and so I’ve been dodging her birthday gift since August.
I’m a lousy friend.
Hauling manure and digging in the dirt require a different type of footwear and lately, I’ve been eyeing the boots of farmers, mechanics, and lumberjacks. I’m sure the members of the British royal family are perfectly lovely people and I hear Prince Charles is a gardener himself; he may or may not actually haul and spread a ton or two of organic matter with a pitchfork. These Hunter boots sure do look attractive and stylish. A self-conscious part of me wonders if they’d help me be a better farmer.
The litmus test, of course, is “what would Uncle Bob think?”
I have a pair of “lawngrips” I bought at a power-equipment store and they’ve lasted through two summers in the garden and my week at Compost School. They’re comfortable and have steel toes just in case I drop a hammer, but they don’t have the gravitas of these boots.
In an effort to be taken seriously, I went to a boot shop here in Hampton called (oddly enough) “Famous Boot.” They have a large selection of boots, but the owner didn’t take me seriously. He sent me into the “half-price basement” and this is where I found a pair of “loggers.” They look a lot like the boots my town friends and farmers wear. The price was right and I bought them.
I wore them home on Saturday and several people noticed them right away and commented on their sturdiness. Even Uncle Bob noticed them. I felt like a million bucks, almost invincible.
I’m lucky to have friends who want me to wear princely boots fit for a queen. Not everyone has friends like that. I miss my stylish friend, and I’ve told her several times that the best gift she’s ever given me is her friendship. I hope she’ll understand that I’ve been to the basement and bought some real you know what kickers.
I guess I’m just a farm girl now, heart and sole.