Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Christmas Miracle

Holy Pete, ya’ll. I totally forgot to tell you about my Christmas miracle. I was saving it for an Epiphany story but overshot the 12th day of Christmas by…um…58 days. Oops.

Ok, so. The story begins on a cold December afternoon in 2004. I am at a shoe store with my mother, where I am searching for a pair of black boots for my semester abroad. They must be versatile—for wearing with suits, skirts, and jeans—comfortable for walking, and without crazy-tall heels. I find them. They are on sale. They are delightful. Mission accomplished.

Cut to late January, approximately nine days after arrival in London. My boots and I are at a supremely Eurotrashy, um, coffee shop near Leicester Square, where my friends and I have been dragged by one supremely aggressive roommate. It is hot, horribly crowded, and you can’t hear yourself think. Someone steps, hard, on my left foot, crushing the toe of the boot. The damage, though cosmetic only, is seemingly irreparable, though they are otherwise pristine.

Sad boot.

For five years, I wear them anyway, upwards of three days a week during the October to April chilly period. I have them reheeled annually and resoled twice. Shoe polish provides temporary luster, but the boots are past their prime. A looong way past it. They start to look rather worn and beaten—in no small part due to the oddly-creased toe—but I love them to much to replace them. Casual searches for new pairs only reaffirm the perfection of the originals—real leather, versatile, comfy, a pleasing and unexpected patchwork pattern on the leg shaft. Gosh darnit, I’d traveled Britain and Europe in those boots. We have HISTORY.

Historical Boots -- See how the toe is all mangled?

Fast forward to December 21, 2009, nearly five years to the week after the purchase of The Boots. I’m at church, talking to my mother and Mrs. O, my old piano teacher, when across the room I spot, beneath a blue choir robe, a pair of boots that look remarkably similar to mine. “Hey!” I exclaim, shocked. “Those are my boots!” Mrs. O looks puzzled. I explain the Saga of The Boots.

“I have those boots. I never wear them. Do you want them?” she asks.
“The same boots?”
“Same boots.”
“Probably not actually the same boots. I got mine five years ago,” I respond doubtfully, not wanting to get my hopes up.
“I did too, and they look just like that. Anyway, they’re eight-and-a-halfs. What size do you wear?”
“EIGHT-AND-A-HALF.” I hardly dare to believe that such a thing might be possible.
“Are they Liz Claiborne?”
“I think so.”
“What color is the lining?”
“Mine are purple.” Oh, piffle.
“Maybe they are purple, I don’t remember, I never wear them.”

The next day, I go to Mrs. O’s house. The boots are sitting in their original box, looking like new. The soles have no marks on them. They are THE SAME BOOTS. THE EXACT SAME BOOTS. And she gives them to me. And lo, I am overjoyed, and there is much celebrating throughout the land.

The! Same! Boots! but not crushed.

“This is like Christmas!!!” I exclaim. And it is. Since it's, you know, three days before Christmas.

And that, my friends, is my Christmas miracle.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED this and am SO GLAD you found new boots. How great!

    As a side note, I like how Mrs. O kept boots she did not wear for 5 years. I would have gotten rid of them :-) But I am thinking maybe you would have kept them too so perhaps that is one reason to keep things?!