There’s something essential about me that’s frankly no mystery to anyone who’s been around me more than five minutes: I love shoes.
Now, to give myself credit, I don’t foist my shoe-love on unsuspecting strangers (much), or bring them up when the conversation is centered around world peace or reforming health care — although, come to think of it, give me a minute and I’m sure I can find a connection.
But pretty much, yeah, I enjoy shoes; talking about shoes; wearing shoes; dream-shopping for the perfect shoe for friends, acquaintances and co-workers; selling shoes I don’t want on eBay; giving away shoes that it turns out I couldn’t wear and it would cost more than I paid to send them back. Etc., etc.
And if I like shoes, it doesn’t take much imagination to realize that I adore boots. For boots are the absolute apex of shoedom. If shoes are fabulous, then boots are stratospheric.
And so you can imagine my thrill when I discovered that my husband was cowboy before country was cool. And that a pair of Old Gringo boots are on the way to his feet come Christmas morn.
It’s like this: hearken back, if you will, to the 1970s. It was before Urban Cowboy, but my dear husband wore cowboy boots, leather vests, and a cowboy hat atop his long loopy locks (I have photographic evidence). When it became apparent that I, his wife, harbored not-secret lust for shit-kickers, he couldn’t have been happier.
And then Old Gringo came into our lives. And let us place credit where credit is due: squarely upon blogging sensation Pioneer Woman who, when asked by one of her loyal readers her favorite brand of boot, she unhesitatingly answered, “Old Gringo. There is no substitute.”
The truth came out later, when I told her via email that all-consuming lust had bloomed in my heart after a quick perusal of their website. “Aren’t they great?” she said, admitting she personally didn’t own any. “If I started I’d be afraid I’d never stop.”
Oh Ree Drummond, truer words have never been spoken.
The Soileaus are now an Old Gringo family. My boots are so gorgeous I wept when they arrived, for they are festooned with darling swallows. Now, if the name of this website has been somewhat of a mystery to you lo these several months of its existence, I shall now reveal all: “Soileau” is pronounced “swallow,” like the bird, so “NouveauSoileau” kinda-sorta rhymes.
Still with me?
Since becoming a swallow, er, Soileau, I have been wont to collect items with lovely swallows upon them: earrings and the like. Since I’m also a sucker for pretty much anything to do with birds in general, this works out well. Hummingbirds and swallows: I’m totally there.
So when I found these boots I knew it was all over, baby. I printed out a picture of them and, ask anybody I work with, put them on my bulletin board so that I might gaze longingly and lustfully at them any time I happened to glance up from the keyboard.
And now, as Christmas approaches and sales they are a poppin’ the absolutely gorgeous pair of Old Gringos Tras has been monitoring for a reduction in price (the mighty hunter-shopper, remember) have been ordered and are on their way east. I don’t think anybody else in three states contiguous knows anything about Old Gringo, so the pair of us are assured that our happy feet are going to be decking the halls like no other cowboy/cowgirl combination. This suits me fine, because if there’s one thing I love more than boots, it might be simply the quality of being unique.
Nobody has toes as long and pointed as I, which is, of course, perfect for this time of year. A mischievous 5-year-old (not mine!) recently commented, with a glance at the ends of my cockroach-killing, long, pointed boots, “You’re wearing elf shoes!”
I can handle that.