The story behind the reason I bought the black over-the-knee socks that turned out to be such a successful purchase:
I didn’t need a new pair of black boots. I have a pair of perfectly sensible black boots that have proven themselves in the snowiest, iciest days. They look acceptable, if not stunning, with skirts and work well with pants. I did not need a new pair of black boots.
But then I saw them. In a weak moment, I saw a pair of boots. These were not the low-heel, made-to-be-worn boots that sat in my mostly-beige closet. These were man-fantasy, spank-me boots, with 4 inch spike heels and buckles and zippers and an aura of clubby nights I hadn’t seen since, oh, wait, since never. I knew I should walk right by them. But I didn’t. I touched them. I looked at the brand. BCBG. I hadn’t even walked into that store since pre-children, and even then, I never bought anything. Nice girls do not shop at BCBG. I looked at my current outfit. Tommy Hilfiger Boyfriend jeans, cable knit blue sweater, loafers. I was one step away from Talbots. I grabbed the boots.
It took me awhile to figure out how to put them on. With my baby pulling other shoes off the racks, and customers giving me nasty looks when I failed to stop him, I zipped the last zipper and looked at my legs in the boots in the mirror. “These are not me,” I thought. And even as I pulled them off, I found myself grinning in a slightly lewd way.
I told myself to put them away, to not even think about buying them. And even as I told myself that, I saw myself walking toward the register, boots and baby in hand. As I waited my turn, I thought, “Put them down. You can’t carry a baby wearing those boots. How are you going to shlep groceries into the house? How are you going to drive to piano, Mad Science, playdates, in those boots? They’re totally wrong for suburban soccer moms.” After I had them in the sack, I thought, “I’ll just return them. They might work for Rihanna, but, honey, you’re no Rihanna.” These are not the boots of a woman who has had 4 children and truly enjoys bath time. They are the boots of a woman who has nothing saggy. They are the boots of a woman who knows how to dance to Ludacris, who may even know Ludacris. And yet, they are mine.
I haven’t worn them. I thought about wearing them to church and laughed and laughed and laughed. I showed them to my sisters and step-mum. They smiled politely. I know what they were thinking. “They’ll look great under your ratty old bathrobe.”
But I have a plan. Once a year I socialize with people who work with my husband. Every year, I wear conservative black pants and a festive-yet-understated sweater. This year? Oh, this year, I’m wearing boots.