November 6th, 2001

JOY

Black 8-eye Greasys

One of the many reasons I am excited about the onset of autumn (yes, I said onset. This is my biggest gripe about living down here: fall doesn’t come until somewhere in November and it lasts about a week before we get to the Ridiculously-Cold-with-0%-Chance-of-Snow phase of the year) is that I start wearing my boots again. They lie dormant for most of the summer, as 8-hole Doc Martens don’t quite go with capri pants, but when it’s jeans time again, out they come.

I got them in the summer of 1994, the year before my senior year of high school. My grandmother paid for most of them. She’s not so much of a cookie-making and quilting grandmother, more of a shopping and gambling grandmother; she taught me how to play blackjack when I was eight. She lived in Seacaucus, NJ at the time, minutes from the outlets (and the Morton Downey Jr. set) that put the town on the veritable map.

I had coveted Dale’s Docs for some time and wanted a pair of my own, but my mother was a hard sell on an expensive pair of shoes that she thought were hideously clunky and ugly. She even went so far as to forbid me from wearing them while driving for the first few months I had my license since she thought that they were going to be too heavy for me to lift from the gas to the brake in time and that they would slip off the brake pedal onto the gas pedal when I was at a stoplight or something—which seems even funnier in comparison to the pairs I ended up getting afterwards. These seem downright streamlined compared to my steel toes and my camels, let alone the non-Doc shoes I have come to love.

My grandmother, on the other hand, is not satisfied unless she spends at least some money on us when we visit and go shopping with her, so she was willing to chip in $80 of the $110. Sold. I wore them practically every day of senior year, and even wrote a poem in Creative Writing class about them. They got a little less wearplay as I got more pairs, but they always held a special place in my heart. I even wore them on my graduation day.

I have to admit, they still look pretty good. Not brand new, but certainly not seven years old. What’s even better about them is that they have become my feet. They have taken the shape of, molded to and basically become one with my feet. I don’t think I own any shoes more comfortable. I still can’t figure out why when I’m wearing them, someone usually comments on how small my feet are when in actuality they’re a size ten, but I think it has something to do with the boots. They’re just right for me.