Spring – when a man’s fancy turns to boots
It’s that time of year when I want to go out into the desert, lie on a big flat rock and, like any respectable lizard, soak up all the sun possible.It’s not that the winter has been hard. It has been fairly mild.It’s not that my usual case of cabin fever was severe. It too was mild. The family didn’t have to pry Cabella’s spring catalog from my hands at the dinner table.But some time in March a signal deep in my primal brain goes off. It travels down the spine and ends up in my feet. As a result they can’t stay still. No matter where I might be I find myself jumping up and pacing back and forth.It’s impossible to stay seated for more than five minutes in meetings.A few days ago I grabbed the leash and headed out the back door without the dog.Although not a cure for this condition, there is something that helps … buying a new pair of boots.But let me warn you that this boot-buying business is not something to be entered into lightly. One must be centered and almost fanatically focused in order to participate properly in this annual ritual.First and foremost, there are a few dos and don’ts.Don’t even think of buying your boots from a catalog. Boots must be tried on, and that’s just the way it is.The catalog is important, however. Spend lots of time looking through it not only to find the right boots to buy, but also to prepare your wife for a major purchase. Good boots are expensive. The next thing is to leave your old boots in odd and inappropriate places in the house.”What are your boots doing here in the middle of the floor?””Hun, they were so uncomfortable that I couldn’t walk another step.”It helps to turn the boots over and comment, “Boy, look at these lugs, they’re worn down to nothing. No wonder they’ve been hurting my feet.”Find a good time for the trip to the store. You want your whole family to experience the great pride a man feels in picking out the right boots.There’s an odd fellow I go to who does my boot fitting. He knows what I need to make my feet happy. He also gives me a laminated discount card identifying me as a member of his exclusive boot club.These good-looking, ankle-high, waterproof, cushion-soled, arch-supported, lightweight hiking boots feel like I’m walking on air, like I’m worth a million dollars. I strut slowly up and down the shoe aisle.”These boots will do fine,” is my byline. Now, some members of the opposite sex may not understand all this fuss about men’s footwear. Need I mention how many pairs of shoes reside in a woman’s closet?Real men need only one good pair of boots to be as happy as a kid in a candy store.If I could only find that discount card.Writing with more than 25 years of experience in federal land management agencies, Bill Kight, of Glenwood Springs, shares his stories with readers every other week.
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