Dear Red Cowboy Boots,
Thank you for arriving. Really, of course, I have to thank Kristin, who bought them, and thus brought you into my life. When I sat on the blue exercise ball in our old apartment, and read the email she sent me, through tear-smeared eyes, I didn’t know what to say. A week passed before I could comprehend having you on my feet.
And when the first pair arrived, I threw the layers of white tissue paper into the air, trying to reach you. But you see, that pair? They weren’t you. They weren’t the pair I am meant to be wearing on my wedding day. They were the pair that forced me to shove my foot past the point of cramped toes, to reach the sole. After a minute or two of sweating and pushing, I admitted defeat. Those were not my boots.
I took a photograph of them, and put that photograph on this website, so I could share my joyful gratitude with everyone reading. But part of me felt guilty. They weren’t you.
When I called the online shoe company from which that lovely woman Kristin had sent you, they turned to confusion, right away. “We don’t have any larger sizes. Sorry.” You see, cowboy boots, it’s not that I needed you to be clownishly large. My feet dance easily. But you boots are quirky, and a bit narrow. The largest size that company had available just wouldn’t work. All the larger sizes had disappeared. (You must be popular with the ladies.) And they didn’t know when more boots would come in.
I faced the idea that I might not be wearing you on my wedding day. How was I going to break it to Kristin?
Life rarely stymies me for long. I found a way.
One afternoon, just before we started packing boxes to move our lives a bit farther south, I called the Lucchese boot company in Texas. An older woman with a honeyed Southern accent listened to my spilled-out story, then said, “Don’t worry, child. Send them back to us. We’ll send you the boots you need.”
The week after we moved into our new home, a large red box appeared on our porch. There you were.
The first time I slipped my foot inside, you welcomed me.
Every time I wear you into the world, I am celebrating. Dancing, a little. Clicking my heels and spinning in easy circles on the hardwood floor. You see, much as I love you, and I know you are my boots, I need to scuff your soles a bit. When I am walking down the rag-tag aisle toward the Chef, I don’t want to slip and fall.
If I did, he’d laugh. And then I’d look up at him and start laughing too. So I guess it wouldn’t be too bad.
But really, I just want to dance. And you are the perfect boots for dancing: warm and slightly stiff along the shins; fierce fire-engine red; becoming pliable. I can only imagine the hours in which I will be wearing that white wedding dress and you on my feet.
In two weeks, that will no longer be imagination.
In two weeks, I will be wearing you, and marrying the Chef.
Even though I have been feeling the pressure of the thousand details to be completed, after you showed up on the doorstep, and I put you on my feet, my shoulders settled into ease. Enough with the stresses. Bring on the dancing.
Thank you, red cowboy boots.