Pierre Cardin black leather Cowboy Boots that is.
These were the first items I bought with the first salary I’d made in over seven years. I had just moved out of my marital home and it was the first time I had ever lived alone.
I remember being nervous and excited at the concept. For the first time in my life I would be living by my rules. I no longer had to compromise with a significant other. I was at last truly alone to make my own decisions.
And the first decision was my Cowboy Boots.
I only remember wanting to buy a pair of boots for winter. Any boots really. But as I walked into the shoe store it was fate that led me to the farthest aisle, where boxes and boxes of gleaming cowboy boots were lined up ahead of me. It took all of five minutes to have the boots on my feet, paid for and me out the door.
Looking back the boots became a second skin. They went with me everywhere I went. To work and back, to friends, to clubs and pubs, to the local park with my daughter, on dates, whilst zip lining in the Magaliesburg to having passed out in them a couple of times too.
It didn’t matter what I wore them with either. Dresses, skirts, denims and shorts. Hell in the peak of summer I wore them, regardless of what my feet smelled like after.
My boots had such a reputation that my friends and family merely had to glance down at them and know that it was going to be another wild day out with the goose.
Well if those boots could talk…
They’ve seen their share of better days, I’ve had to glue the soles once already, the tips and heels are well worn in and the leather no longer gleams new but is a beautiful soft dull black that can only come with lots of use.
I’ve considered replacements. But it would be sacrilege.
The boots are no merely shoes or a fashion statement. They are as much a part of me as the name Goose is.
It’s a marking of an era.
Not only that but they were there giving me the confidence to meet new people. They were my self esteem when I had none.
When I wore them I was no longer Romaigne, failed wife with nothing going for her, mousy blonde hair and pale skin, shrinking violet with no personality.
I became the Goose, the loud opinionated funny hooligan that made friends where ever she went. The one that everyone stared at and thought “Is she Crazy?”. The Goose never had self esteem issues, the world was her oyster and her eternal optimism shone through and past everything else.
The fairy tale of Goose In boots is not without it’s drama. The Goose became the unstoppable alter ego that had no limits.
It had a life of its own, where Romaigne had to look on helplessly as the Goose did one destructive thing after another in the name of experience. Hurting people and herself in the process.
But how could I take off the boots, turn into the wall flower I used to be?
I didn’t want to lose that part of myself.
For in those first few days and weeks and months of freedom those boots were there for me when I was alone at home. They gave me courage to speak to my friends and colleagues. They gave me strength to stand up for myself during my divorce and they allowed me to let loose a the spirit that had been locked away inside myself throughout my married years.
It took a long time to realize that the Goose was not the only reason that I had friends or self confidence. That deep down inside I knew it was all me.
I didn’t have to be wild, with or without them. I had to look beyond the boots and be true to myself. I had to make the decision to pack the boots away. If not for a little while, to get back to me.
No all Goose and not all Romaigne. But somewhere in between.
I still love my boots, and it will be a cold day in hell before I get rid of them, but they no longer define me or dictate who I am.