Boots

boot labelMy feet have been bothering me all year. I thought that it was maybe just me getting old, but my lovely doctor says that it is plantar fasciitis, and that I need to stretch my feet. And I have been stretching my feet. And my feet have been getting slowly yet not entirely better.

boot

You see, I wear work boots to work.

I have worn one hundred and fifty-dollar boots and sixty-dollar boots and twenty-dollar boots. I have worn steel toe boots and waterproof boots and insulated boots and oil resistant boots and men’s boots and women’s boots and farm boots and leather boots and hiking boots and boots that fit a couple of pairs of insulated socks.

Still, on a good year, I completely wear out six pairs of boots. On a bad year, up to ten pairs. There is only a modest difference in wear time between the forty dollar boot and the one hundred forty dollar boot.

waterproof boot

I have been around and around about this before.

I always buy at least two pair of boots at once. Today, I bought two pairs of non-steel-toed hiking boots. They look sturdy, and comfortable. I am always optimistic about the prospect of my new pair of pair of boots.

I try to care for my boots. I waterproof them occasionally. They dry out on most nights.

Still, the soles peel off. The seams split. The leather cracks. The steel toe detaches. The shoe-lace threaders bend. The waterproofing wears out. I wear holes in the soles. Frequently, the big rubber lugs are actually hollow. Once you break through, the soles are finished.

I take a kind of pleasure in how many pairs of boots that I wear out. My co-workers do not demolish nearly so many pairs of boots as I do. I am proud to be a working person. Proud to be a female in a “man’s” job. Proud that I can work circles around my co-workers, with only half of their physical strength. (When I started this job twelve years ago, I realized that I would need to make up for my lack of brute strength by using organization, and my mind.)

I did not ever imagine that I would be in the position of doing physical work. I had always dreamed of being an entertainer, which is what I did through most of my 20’s and 30’s. When that was done, I didn’t know what to do, and just kind of fell into something.

But on many days, I arrive at work, and I love my job. I love being really good at my job. I have thousands of little pieces of knowledge gained by experience, and experimentation. On many days, my job is like a pleasant walk through the park, and my mind is free to do whatever it will.

boot sole

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