By Ryn Gargulinksi: CNJ staff writer
Boots have always had a special place in my heart — and feet — ever since I was a kid.
Mom may have even had my first pair bronzed and made into excruciatingly garish bookends before I learned to walk.
When I did learn to walk, I started off running and tripped on — you guessed it — a pair of boots. They were a size 2 with white bunny fur and caused me to spend seven excruciatingly garish years of my childhood missing a front tooth.
My boots through the ages have really kicked some, shall we say, cow pies.
They include multiple pair of suede go-go types, the thigh-high black lace-ups my brother said reminded him of Battlestar Galactica and the combat boots somehow smeared with paint that followed me from Michigan to New York and now repose in my Clovis attic.
Now I’ve discovered cowboy boots. In New Mexico that’s not hard to do, since anything of the cowboy variety seems more indigenous than the yucca. And plopping down the rent money at Joe’s Boot Shop happens quicker than the state bird can run.
Of course, you can also boot shop at a sensational array of consignment shops in this town. Here you get boots that are already broken in — and they’ll cost you the water bill instead of the rent. And who cares if they once graced the feet of someone who is dead?
When confronted with cowboy boots, I find I do weird things — like wearing thick brown riding boots in 98-degree weather. Or trying to walk in a pair of excruciatingly garish hot pink stilettos I know I’d only wear if I were impersonating Stevie Nicks. Or yes, plopping down the rent money.
Alas, I cannot take all the credit for my outlandish behavior with these boots. In fact, my boyfriend helped goad me into half of the antics. He’s the one who found the maroon Doc Martens nestled under a used pants rack. He’s also the one who tried to talk me into the hot pink monstrosities.
Here I draw the line. I will only go so far to be victimized by fashion. I have suffered for it already.
We can count the size-4 antique buckle shoes I insisted upon buying from a flea market then insisted upon cramming on my size 8 feet and trotting to high school. This led to wearing socks in the hallway before second period.
We can tally the time I tried to shave designs on the side of my head, and ended up with a bald spot. This led to a string of fashionable hats.
And we must amass that instance as a kid when I decided I may look cute with a face full of freckles. So I grabbed an orange marker and bespeckled my cheeks — right before church.
New boots, I must admit, are much more fun. And certainly less harmful, as long as I stop with the six pair I’ve purchased since April (three of them cowboy, three of them combat).
It sure helps to also have a quick retort for my boyfriend’s sister, who said I had no business wearing cowboy boots because I am not a real cowboy.
I point at the combat boots in the attic and ask her when I’ve been in the Army.
Ryn Gargulinski is a CNJ staff writer. She can be contacted at: