Friday, August 26, 2011

how I came to have a blood feud with justin boots, part the first

I have a lot to say today, or at least I did when I was sitting in the bandstand at the county fair with my children. It was probably some really moving stuff about home and roots and the dignity of honest labor, but I've forgotten it all now.

What I do remember is my new blood feud with Justin boots. Do you sometimes wonder how I have the energy to sustain all these blood feuds? Me too. It's a lot of work, and sometimes I have to let other things slide, like mopping the floor or serving those who are less fortunate. But it is important enough to me that I'm willing to sacrifice--because I honor my commitments. I'm sorry, it's just the way I was raised.

So, here's the thing. I have not worn cowboy boots that much in my life. I grew up in the country and have attended many a rodeo, and I dig the Western mystique and all that, but it must be admitted that there is a lot of embarrassing ugliness to be found therein. Country music, on the whole, has gone to a very bad place where they celebrate ignorance and xenophobia and carousing and loose morals and general redneckery. Of course they're singing "Sweet Home Alabama" all summer long. Durfs. Pukes are pukes, and being American does not bestow dignity upon undignified behavior.

Also once I wore my pearl-button shirt and boots (with spurs, which makes my blood run cold to remember) to elementary school and was serenaded all day long by one of the boys in my class with the chorus of "Rhinestone Cowboy." I don't think he was really trying to call me a poseur, and I'd be willing to bet that I'd spent a fair amount more time on a horse than at least half of the kids in my class, but because I actually knew what the term "rhinestone cowboy" meant, it was that much more devastating--that someone might think I was all hat and no cattle! That, combined with my growing awareness of the ookiness of the typical cowboy boot wearer . . . exit cowboy boots for a couple of decades.

But then six years ago I had to replace a pair of Chelsea boots I'd worn out, and I was in Smith and Edwards, and there was a pair of Fatbaby boots, and I did have livestock now, and I needed something practical for wearing in mud and snow and poop, and the price was right, and I was weak, and I found myself buying my own pair of cowboy boots for the first time in my life. There was a little shame at first, until I reflected on the practicality of my choice, because I do live in a mucky place, I do own both chickens and goats, and besides, I'll wear what I want, thanks.

So my first pair of boots were Ariats. Here's what I said before, and I'll say it again. They are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. And that first pair lasted me five years. But finally the tread wore out and I had to replace them, and I thought I'd try out the Justin L9909s, because they were the same shape, looked to be of similar decent-but-not-investment quality, and they were ten dollars cheaper. This was in March of this year, as in five months ago.