Part of getting older is suddenly finding oneself thrilled by practical Christmas gifts.
Yes, I’m aware it’s nearly the end of February: hang in there; all will be revealed.
I asked my folks for money for new winter boots this Christmas because I was stone soup broke due to the then-recent financial crisis. The boots I had in mind were really pricy, like two hundred bucks, so I felt bad asking for the entire amount but just asked for some cash to put toward the purchase. My last pair of winter boots were less than $40 at Wal-Mart and left quite a bit to be desired in the warmth and durability departments, so the new boots seemed like a worthwhile investment.
After Christmas, I was ecstatic to find the boots I longed for on super-sale for exactly what my parents tucked into my Christmas card. I love getting things on sale, and generally stumble into astounding prices on stuff I really need. The problem with sale prices is that everyone buys up the goods and nothing is left. My wee feet are usually easy to shoe, since not that many people wear my size, but all the Soft Moc stores in Edmonton were sold out of my size the week I went.
Finally, I broke down and ordered the pair I wanted at a store across the street from the hospital where my grandma was on enough IV lines to maintain a very successful hydroponics operation. I paid up front (of course) and the perky salesgirl assured me my boots should arrive within the week and promised to call me when the came in. Since I was back and forth frequently to visit Grandma, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to take the crosswalk over and pick up my boots. I also had visions of slam dunking my old boots into the trash can outside the mall, singing some excellent Motown breakup song.
A week passed, and no one called me from Soft Moc. Two weeks rolled by, and no call. By the third week, when the mercury jolted to minus 45, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and my pathetic old boots. I felt nothing in my baby pinky toes for the better part of two days. I grumbled about it, too. Finally, I called the stupid store.
“Soft Moc, such and such Mall.”
“Yeah, hi. I ordered a pair of Bogs last month and I’m waiting to hear if they’re in.”
“Reference number for the order?” This is the point when I pulled the crumbled receipt from the bottom of my purse, faded almost to illegibility with a piece of dead Juicy Fruit folded into one corner because I had nowhere else to stash my gum and a phone number for a Kijiji ad scrawled in orange marker across the top.
“Uh. 1148729-B” I struggled with the digits and definitely guessed at one.
“Oh yeah. They’ve been here, like, forever.”
“Pardon me?” I think my teacher voice jumped into the exchange here. It does that when I’m aggravated.
“Yeah. We had so many special orders after Boxing Day that we just decided not to call people. It would take too much time to leave all those phone messages.”
Uh huh. Thank you Soft Moc, for letting me freeze my feet on the cold days and slop around on the warmer afternoons. Excellent customer service, dweebs. Yes, I realize I could have called to see if my boots were in, but when the company has already taken my $109.99 and has promised to call, I expect they will follow through on their promises.
Anyway, here they are.
These little babies are called Bogs, and they’re totally waterproof and rated to minus 40 Celcius, not to mention paisley. Only two of those things are really critical in a winter boot, but both were selling points for me.
During my big dog walk this holiday Monday, I took my Bogs on their maiden voyage. The air was crisp, but my feet were snug. The sidewalks were slushy and frequently puddled, but I clomped along, functional and stylish in one swoop, and my socks remained totally dry. It was a beautiful thing.
Sadly, the boots kept my feet as warm as could be but did nothing for my calves. Normally this wouldn’t be a significant problem, since I have rather robust calves that recover from the elements with speed and finesse, but Monday was my first trip in a new pair of boots.
I currently have big red scabs on the back of both my calves, where my Bogs rubbed my numb skin for 45 consecutive minutes. This is probably the only week of my life I’ve been grateful to be built in a way that would make skinny jeans a crime against humanity: those raw spots need to breathe for a while.
I may need to invest in tall socks or some big honkin’ bandaids before my next outing in my fabulous boots.
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