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Really, it's a mid-life crisis.

Coffee Cowgirl
For some people, it will always be Doc Marten's. For others, it's Converse hi-tops. I'm referring, of course, to the iconic footgear of one's rock-n-roll, live-fast, heart-on-your-sleeve youth. (Some of you are in the midst of it right now. If so, shield your eyes, move along, nothing to see, old people are so embarrassing.)

My equivalent kicks were a pair of canvas lace-up boots I found in the Sportsman's Guide catalog. SG called them "Israeli Commando Boots." They only sold them in men's sizes, but the laces made up for some of the extra width. I figured if they were good enough for Entebbe, they were good enough for First Avenue. I wore out two pairs.

And then they were gone. SG didn't have them. The ecological shoe-niche they'd occupied in catalogs and stores was now filled with paramilitary leather hiking boots. I mourned and moved on, but I never stopped longing for my boots/youth.

Then last fall I saw a woman in line at the bank...wearing them. They were made by Palladium, she told me (while she tried to hide her conviction that I was a middle-aged weirdo who was about to hit her up for beer money); if I Googled, I could find them on line.

In black canvas. In women's sizes.

The boots I'd loved and danced in were knock-offs of a boot that had been made for years by a company I'd never heard of and didn't know to search for. I could buy my youth back.

I waited for a sale (the real things were considerably more expensive than my old knock-offs). I made my move. While I waited, the doubts arrived: they wouldn't fit. They would be uncomfortable. They wouldn't be the wonderful gothpunkstompygrrrl boots I remembered.

Yesterday this box arrived:
IMG_20130419_153730

Two of these were inside:
IMG_20130420_101557

They're even better than I remembered. Maybe it's time I pinned my heart back on my sleeve.

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Emma Bull

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