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January 27, 1999
a year ago

Big Boots

I had absolutely no intention of getting boots. I have very nice Doc Martins and they're very solid and very black and very Doc-like. No need for boots other than those as they look keen and are really solid and really good for all-terrain going.

The work day was filled with training in the morning, and odd stuff to catch up for the last few days and mornings in the afternoon and then John and I went to REI to get John a pair of nice boots from REI as the kids from the soccer team had given John a gift certificate for the Redmond Town Center and REI was in the Center and, well, they had boots. Lots of boots, mostly geared towards hiking and the like. John really needed a nice pair of boots to wear around, and wanted a pair that he could wear around Boulder as everyday kinds of shoes in the snow, ice, and possible mud. He wanted water proof and comfy, so we went upstairs to the boot place and he sat down and started trying on boots.

The salesguy was cool, and dressed a bit like a boarder and he was wearing these enormous boots unlaced. He was bouncing about in 'em and talking with his boss about 'em and how comfy they were and talking with us about 'em as he was thinking about buying 'em as they were from the clearance rack for like a third of what they normally went for and they were just a touch too small for him as his toes were just hitting the ends. We got all that as John tried on about ten different pairs of hiking boots, both low and ankle support height. All different brands, different sizes and different colors and makes and everything. We had a mountain of tried-on boots and the salesguy would clear 'em away whenever they piled too high for someone to get around 'em.

It was fun watching John shop. He knows what he wants and he goes to every pain to find it, and it's really cool in comparison to me.

He finally found something that he really, really loved and went with it, though, only after wearing one of one and one of another shoe for a while to see how they felt different and then comparing those against yet another pair. That was really fun. So, this whole time I'm just sitting there, half trying not to fall asleep, gradually piecing together the fact that the salesguy was thinking about those other boots. I found out that the boots were rated to -70, and the sales guy said, "Hey *everyone* needs boots rated down to -70!" Also that they were the only pair that size on the clearance table, that there were 12's and 13's, which, on hearing that, John bounced over and tried them on, but they were way too wide for his feet.

The sales guy eventually boxed up the Baffin boots, and set them aside and put on his own shoes as John was narrowing things down to the last three pairs. So I asked if I could try them on, and he said sure. So I put them on and he laughed, "Feels like a pair of giant slippers don't they?" I nodded. They did, indeed. Deeply and plushly lined, solid in construction. The one thing I wanted to test was if my feet slopped around in 'em, so I went up the slope and down the slope they have there for people to test out hiking shoes on and, sure enough, while I had room in the boot to wiggle around a bit, there wasn't enough to slop around in.

So, when the salesguy said, "Okay, you gonna buy something?" to John, I nodded and said, "I'll take those." The guy gave me a fast double-take and then made big puppy-dog eyes of sadness. So I grinned and said, "Well, if you really want 'em, I'll leave 'em here for you." He grinned back at that, "Hey, way I see it you just saved me $50."

We got both boxes of boots and John was super supportive about my getting them as they were such a deal, compared to what they usually went for. When we finally got home, we found out that my box of citric acid was on the doorstep. Hoorah! Though a bit late for me to do much with. I made dinner from the Fishin' Place and by the time we finished eating it was nearly ten. Mostly because, as we ate, we watched the Antonio Banderas version of Zorro. It was funny, slick and pretty, though I, as always, loved Anthony Hopkins. I just cringed mildly at the girl's fencing, as she hadn't any idea what she was doing with her counter-balancing arm. A few of the fights had incredibly close distance rather than decent distance between the opponents, but in one of those fights it was understandable. A few of the fights were just unbelievable, and from the staging they were supposed to be, so I didn't mind quite as much.

I wore the boots for our walk with Fezzik and they were *wonderful*. It meant that I could walk pretty much anywhere I pleased and it wasn't a problem. Into foot deep water, and into mud and around water again and Fezzik thought it was great fun. My feet stayed toasty warm and dry and I imagine in a Colorado winter storm, they'd be just as warm. Down to -70 is such a reassuring thing to say.

The funny thing is that with the warm boots, my hands stayed warm and the rest of me was more relaxed. That was a very interesting thing to find out. I got to sleep warm and happy and tired.

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