When I finally retired my favorite boots, after having reheeled them twice, resoled them once, patched the uppers as many times as I could and then used permanent marker to hide the wear when nothing more could be done for them (Did I mention they were my favorite boots?), I went looking for another pair.
And did not find anything that I liked nearly as much.
My old boots were just the right fit, just the right height, just the right color, just the right style. And I am So Totally Not the girl who fixates on style, really. REALLY. Which is probably exactly why I loved those boots so much, and why I wore them virtually every day for as long as they could still be called “footwear” by any stretch of the imagination.
But I did need new boots, once the old ones died. I can wear dress shoes with my slacks at work, but they aren’t as comfortable, or as versatile, or as warm (and it’s cold year-round in my office so shoes that accommodate socks are a plus).
I found a pair of beautiful gray suede boots that fit me perfectly with a good height heel (a little on the thin side) and a nice decorative flair. Beautiful, but let’s face it – suede boots are thoroughly impractical.
I also found a pair of black leather boots that were only 1/2 size too large and only slightly too round in the toe and only slightly too short up the calf (but that is largely hidden by my slacks anyway).
And then there were a lot of other shoes that either weren’t boots or weren’t attractive At All or weren’t in my size. Slim pickins, really.
So I remember walking around the store carrying these two boxes – the impractical beautiful shoes and the servicable almost-right-but-not-quite shoes, having already visited 3 stores before with even less success, growing increasingly desperate for any shoes at all… and realizing that there was a sale going on and a savings card in my purse and one of those pairs was going to be all-but-free if I bought them both.
That’s right: I could own one pair of less-than-ideal shoes for almost-free, if I just bought the other less-than-ideal shoes. Why did I not see the illogic of this at the time? I don’t know. I can only say that I was desperate, and grieving the loss of my favorite boots.
It’s been a year or so since then. And I have worn those black not-quite-right boots a lot. A LOT. I totally got every penny (and then some) from them. They are going to need replacing one day soon, and I will not mourn their loss but I will feel good that I made my illogical purchase work.
The beautiful almost-free suede boots, however? I have never worn them. I only wear so much gray, first of all (though this may be partly because I don’t have any practical gray shoes with which to coordinate). And the suede boots don’t really suit anything I wear in the summer months; they are really more appropriate for the other seasons. But they are suede. Treatments aside, I don’t trust that they won’t get ruined if they get wet, so I don’t wear them if it’s raining or snowing. Or MIGHT start raining or snowing, which is never quite a sure thing here.
The “almost” in almost-free combined with the precious closet space that has been used to house them all this time make for an excellent case of buyer’s remorse.
This morning, I looked through my closet. My not-quite-right-but-servicable-black-boots are exhausted, and need a day off. My dress shoes would require a foray into stockings and cold toes.
The rains seem to have passed. And I have this gray jacket that would coordinate nicely with some gray boots…
Oh but they’re suede! (Rummage rummage rummage through the closet. Realize I have no office-and-season appropriate alternatives.)
Hmph. Well, they’ve sat there for a year, “too good” to wear. I wonder: Is it really any worse to wear them once or twice and possibly have them get ruined (but maybe not), versus owning them and never getting any use out of them at all?
I am wearing totally impractical shoes today. They fit well, and they look pretty when I look down at them.
But I really hope it doesn’t rain.