I became enamored of cowboy boots when we were at GATS last year in Dallas, where everyone had nice boots and I decided right then and there I needed a pair. We travel in Texas a lot, and cowboy boots are not only a fashion statement, they are a necessary tool for traversing the dusty lots full of snakes, weasels and scorpions without having your toes chewed off by said vermin. (OK, I’ve never seen a weasel in Texas, but since it seems to support every other bitey, stabby life form on Earth, I’m assuming there are weasels there.)
I spent months looking at boots, trying to decide just which ones would be the right pair for me. I inundated my Facebook page with posts of pictures of boots, and entered every single contest Country Outfitter ran to win some. When my birthday came last month, I just knew George was going to drive up with a pair of gorgeous boots in the truck for me, and he tried, but he couldn’t make himself spend 200 bucks on a pair of shoes I hadn’t tried on. He promised to take me to Cavender’s, the boot mecca, on our way out West.
As soon as we hit Missouri, I started looking for Cavender’s. We all know the issues involved with shopping and having a 53-foot trailer behind you– it’s pretty impossible. I was going to have to find a boot store with ample parking for trucks, on the highway, and on our route.
Joplin was the place. I found a Cavender’s with a big enough parking lot to put the truck in, but it was out of route and George hates going out of route. George also hates hearing me whine about cowboy boots, so he went out of route (bless his heart) and deposited me at the front door of the biggest boot store I had ever seen.
Walking into a Cavenders with someone who is obsessed with boots is like taking a heroin addict into an opium den. My eyes glassed over immediately. I was intoxicated by the leathery smells and wanted to touch every single pair of boots in the store.
“Babe? You OK? We don’t have a lot of time, get the ones you picked out and try them on so we can get back on the road.”
“So. Many. Booooots.”
“Babe. Focus for me and let’s get this done.”
“Look at these. They’re delicious.”
“I’m not sure boots can be delicious, let’s get the sales lady to help.”
“Oh my god, these are the prettiest boots ever.”
“Well find your size and let’s go.”
“Oh wait. Look at those. They’re like buttah.”
“Babe, seriously. We have a live unload, I’ve got an appointment.”
“Shhhh. You’re ruining this for me. Can’t you see I’m in heaven?”
“I’m not sure where you are right now, but I know where you need to be and that’s in the passenger seat of the truck.”
“I’m going to kick that stupid truck with my new boots.”
“That stupid truck is paying for these boots. Now let’s do this.”
By the time I sat down to try the boots on, the sales lady was giving me the stink eye and had her hand on the phone to call the law. I’d lined up several pair to try on, but as soon as I slipped my foot into the Macie Beans, I knew they were the ones.
“Oh yes. Yes. Yes. These are the ones. Oh my gosh, these are gorgeous and beautiful and perfect. They made them for me.”
“Good. Put them in the box and let’s go.”
“Put them in the box!? Are you kidding me?! I’m wearing these babies out the door.”
“Babe, I don’t care. Just get your feet covered with something and let’s go.”
The mean old sales clerk made me take them off so she could check to see if they were both the same size, but she let me put them back on and wear them out. I almost killed myself walking out of the store because I couldn’t stop looking at my feet long enough to pay attention to the doors, other people and displays of hats.
“Pay attention, babe. You’re just like a little kid. You almost walked over that guy.”
“Little kids don’t wear kick-ass cowboy boots, mister. And I’d advise you to watch your tone, I’m now officially a badass.”
“I have a feeling I’m going to regret buying those things for you.”
“No way. And my next pair need to be red, with flames on the side…”
On March 18, Weddle’s trailer crossed over the centerline of the highway, ...