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31
MAY
2014

Hopes, Dreams, Life, and Footwear

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We went to Devon Horse Show yesterday. It reignited a lifelong dream of mine – a dream to be one of the riders there. I want a horse. I want lessons. But most of all, I want the boots.

Have you seen those riding boots up close? They’re gorgeous. Most are custom-made! And naturally, they cost several car payments per pair.

Boots pic

Years ago, I actually did take riding lessons. I had just learned to trot “at the post” and was about to move on to cantering when my riding-lesson fund dried up. (Something pesky like a busted transmission interfered, as I recall.) I didn’t get “real” riding boots, of course. But I did get paddock boots – their ankle-high, non-custom-but-still-made-for-the-stable cheaper cousins.

I still have them, and they still have 18-year-old manure stains on them. I refuse to clean them. (Call me nostalgic.) You see, in my head, even though I now have other financial priorities like a mortgage and the water heater and such, I secretly believe I’ll take up those riding lessons again.

My closet really does tell a story when it comes to shoes. Enthusiasms that have come and gone, phases, memories…

There are the Irish dancing shoes (aka “gillies”) from lessons I took with my niece. I didn’t have time to finish the lessons, alas – my work schedule was heinous, as I served corporate overlords in a large advertising agency back then. But they were fun while they lasted. And talk about cardio! Have you noticed how much those Irish dancers jump around? I guess it’s some sort of demonic compensation for not using your arms.

Dancing has factored into many of my footwear experiments, as I studied dance between the ages of 6 and 17. I was in my 30s when I signed up for a tap class. Nowadays, I preface “in my 30s” with “only,” but to the salesgirl at the store where I bought the tap shoes, I was something of a relic even then. She asked me if I wanted the “old-fashioned” kind, and I replied that yes, I was looking for high-button tap shoes, thanks. She didn’t get it. I had my revenge, though, when I did great in the class. My long-ago lessons came flooding back and I felt like Ann Miller (look her up, youngsters!)

The tap experiment went better than the ballet one, I have to admit. About 8 years ago, I joined an “adult beginner” ballet class at my niece’s dance school, and I realized that I could no longer raise my leg above knee-level. I figured the skills and movements required for ballet would come back as easily as the tap ones had. Wrong!

Thus endeth my “adult beginner” ballet lessons. I was so embarrassed, I skulked away in shame muttering something about “yoga… maybe yoga…”

My closet also holds (or held) a few pairs of shoes that speak to my occasional forays into the world of high glam. I’m thinking particularly of a pair of multicolored gladiator sandals with 4-inch heels that I purchased in an effort to be a fashionista a few years back. I was trying to emulate my ultra-chic best friend and my equally-fabulous cousin. I wore them once (at said friend’s birthday celebration) and recently donated them to Goodwill. I’m sure someone will be pleased, if startled, to find them being sold at a thrift store for $5.

I guess I’m just a loafers-and-flats kind of girl at heart.

But those riding boots… someday…

About the Author
Writer of whodunits, blog posts, humor essays, children's books, and medical copy. Either flexible or indecisive. Your choice. :)

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