Monday, November 30, 2009

Boot Scootin’

I got stuck in my boots yesterday.

There are all sorts of things I love about being single, but there are times when it would be nice to have someone else around.

Yesterday was one of those times.

It was a glorious Sunday, sunny and bright and I was muddling around the house, as my British friends would say, “happy as Larry.”

I don’t know who Larry is—don’t ask. Since I usually think “happy as a clam” (which doesn’t make any more sense), I usually now picture a smiling clam with a little  “Larry” nametag. Pinned to the left corner of his shell. You know, like, “I’m Sandy…Fly me.”


I was happy and relaxed, and thinking about what a great day it was, and had just decided to take a long walk with the dog later, when it occurred to me that I didn’t know where my riding boots were. The ones I bought when I lived in Liverpool.

I haven’t ridden in ages, but somewhere in the back corner of my brain and rapidly elbowing its way forward, it occurred to me what a nice day it would be for it.

So off I went, hunting through the various closets until I found them.

And started to pull them on.

(And yes, Kim M., if you’re out there anywhere, I did remember to check them first. Not for mice—that would really be unlikely—but for spiders. Because the number and variety of arachnids out here is unbelievable.)

No spiders. Good thing, because I didn’t actually remember to check until I was halfway into the second boot.


Well, they still fit. Sort of. Were a little tight, to tell the truth.  Especially that hard edge up around the top of my calf, right under the knee. But not as bad as I’d been afraid of and I decided to leave them on for a while.
See if they’d stretch out.
Did I mention that these are rubber?
But rubber stretches, right?

So off I went, and they either did stretch out a little or my lower extremities went numb. One way or another, they were actually pretty comfortable.

For a while.

A couple of hours later, I briefly considered leaving them on to walk the dog. By the time I actually got around to walking the dog, however, I decided that that might not be such a good idea.

You can’t actually flex your ankles in hard rubber riding boots. And I realized that I did have some feeling in my lower extremities and some part of that feeling was definitely PAIN.

Apparently my left foot is slightly larger than my right foot.

Or maybe it’s just that one toe.

In any case it was time to take them of and trade them in for a pair of running shoes.

But in the meantime I’d been walking for hours, barefoot and bare-legged, in tight RUBBER knee-high boots on a WARM day.

You get the idea.

I mean, they’re lined. Sort of. With thin nylon lining stuff that gets warm and damp and (it turns out) gloms onto bare skin in a smooth, unbroken (and almost unbreakable) air-tight seal from knee to ankle.

I couldn’t get them off.

Here’s where a guy would come in handy.

Someone to grab those boots by the ankle and PULL.

Of course, if I were really prepared for all this country living, I’d have a boot jack ( hanging by the barn door, ready for such an emergency.

Having neither boot jack nor barn, I was left to struggle on my own.

And struggle I did.

Now, to my credit, I didn’t panic. Worked on that pesky left boot first. Used the right one to get it started. Since they’re rubber, they don’t even have that hard, raised edge around the sole and heel to grab with, but I did the best I could. Stood on the side of one foot with the other. Kept wiggling and twisting—the boot, my ankle, my calf—and inching it down. Maybe centimetering it down would be more accurate. In between I lay backwards on the bed in that time-honored pulling-on-jeans-that-are-too-tight move, and used both hands and both arms and everything else I could think of to p-u-l-l.

And finally got it off.

Then I realized that now I had NOTHING left on my left foot to get the right one started.

The one that was WAY too tight up around the calf to begin with.

Just breaking that air-tight seal took a couple of minutes. I finally, at great pains—and a giant mess—used one hand to pull the rim of the boot away from my leg and the other to dump baby powder, mostly on the floor, but some of it made it into the boot.

Took twice as long to wiggle my way out of that one.

Luckily, rubber is sort of flexible.

Luckily, so am I.

But a little help would have nice.

I left them standing by the door. Not back in the closet. Just seeing them there makes me smile.

Besides, I might need them sometime.