Oh my God, I’m actually wearing pants! I may or may not have run out of dresses at this point. Or the weather was getting better and I didn’t want to wear boots but I couldn’t find flats or other appropriate shoes to go with my dresses. My toenails are not currently ready for the public. Do you ever get annoyed and clip them, but then you keep going and clip them too close to the skin, and not even evenly? Or is that just something weird that I do? The point is, they’re too short right now, and my pinky toes barely even have a nail. I’ll have to wait until they grow to a decent length and then get myself a pedicure before I bust out the sandals. Also, I haven’t shaved my legs and the one pair of leggings I have are kind of thick, so yeah. Pants! I got these black pants the one time my friend took me to Marshalls after Pirate Pak Day at Whitespot. The purple top is from Ross Dress for Less in the States and the black cardigan is from Bryan’s at Lansdowne Centre. The scarf is from an Orb Warehouse sale. I guess I used to always buy scarves when I went to those. The necklace is from a Christmas craft fair I went to at Steveston Community Centre with my parents last year. I like that it’s adjustable so you can wear it at various lengths, long or short. Plus, it’s got just the right amount of bling. You can’t really tell from the picture, but my Claire’s earrings are in the shape of little black safety pins. And for added bling, my UBC SUB ring and my dollar store bracelet. Because that’s how classy I am.
Me: What do you want for Christmas?
Brother: Gloves and boots.
Me: If you want boots, you have to come shopping with me.
Brother: I can’t.
Me: Why not?
Brother: I can’t clear my schedule.
Me: What do you mean you can’t clear your schedule?
Brother: I’m a busy, busy boy.
He’s 11. I don’t know what this busy schedule he speaks of is all about. But at least he’s asked for reasonable things for Christmas.
Well, walking in the rain, to be more specific. But yes. They have served me so well so far. I was lucky enough to purchase these at the annual Army & Navy Shoe Sale last year. Some people laugh when they hear how much I love the Army & Navy Shoe Sale. But whatever. They just don’t understand.
Funny enough, I’ve actually always hated rain boots. I think they’re ugly for the most part. Gum boots, I mean. I just picture little kids in yellow gum boots jumping in puddles. And they just seemed childish to me. It never appealed to me as a footwear option for grown women. There are more stylish boots that you can get out there without resorting to gum boots. They try to jazz them up with pretty patterns and such, but it just never worked for me. They’ve also never seemed to fit properly either.
But at the Army and Navy Shoe Sale last year, I had a change of heart. After going through piles of shoes and deciding between them which ones I “needed” to have, those bright red rain boots caught my eye. I was drawn to them. They were different from any other rain boots I had ever seen. They were special. So bright. So red. So waterproof. And so comfortable. What were the chances they would be all those things? I knew I had to have them.
Many people splurge on Hunters. I was never willing to do so. Mainly because they just didn’t seem appealing enough. If they were really that great, then maybe I would spring for a pair, but I didn’t see the need for it. Nothing against them, it’s just that everyone has them and the colours weren’t exciting enough for my liking. I have heard good things about them though, and I’m pretty sure they are long lasting.
But I remain perfectly content with my Cougar rain boots. I think it’s the fact that they’e just so vibrantly red. They get noticed. Pretty much every time I’ve worn them, I’ve received a compliment or at least some sort of comment on them, more so than any other footwear or clothing article I’ve ever worn. Even in the state they’re in now, slightly beat up due to constant wearing, they still look good enough to get noticed. I think if I died tomorrow, my red rain boots would be one of the things that people would remember me for.
They’ve become my go to choice of footwear when it rains. Which in Vancouver is all the time. But as those who live here can attest to, Vancouver weather tends to be very bipolar. So the day will start out sunny, then it’ll rain, then it’ll stop, then it’ll rain harder. Or it will be raining in the morning, then sunny in the afternoon, and then who knows what next. It’s extremely frustrating. As a consequence, I often make poor footwear decisions. For example, wearing suede shoes on what I think is going to be a sunny day, only to find out that it will be filled with rain instead.
The opposite happens as well, where I’ll be all prepped with my rain boots, and it will indeed be a sunny day. This is preferable though, because who says that rain boots are only for rain? If they look good, then I am permitted to wear them whenever the hell I want, regardless of what the weather should dictate. And I have. I try to colour coordinate when I can, but sometimes the red rain boots don’t exactly match the outfit I’m wearing. But I don’t care. I make it work.
I know I already wrote a blog post about another pair of boots not too long ago. But it’s never too early for another one. And besides, that one was expressing my sorrow at having lost a good pair. It made me realize I should cherish these things while I still have them. Also I’m slightly worried about my boots. Zippers often fail me, and I fear that in the future the zippers on these ones may do the same. The little top parts of them have broken off slightly. But you can’t really tell. I’m hoping they will pull through and give me another year at least. Is that too much to ask for? I think maybe some day in the future I will end up being like my boots. You know, good looking and a cougar.
So the Army & Navy Shoe Sale starts next Wednesday. I didn’t realize it was so soon. For some reason I thought it was in May, and then was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was early than I expected. And then my mind started racing and trying to mentally prepare myself for what is to come.
I read a blog post where the writer said he at first thought that the term “legendary” was an exaggeration, and then realized how big a deal it actually was. Legendary, that makes me thing of Barney on How I Met Your Mother. I’ll admit that years ago, I would have thought the same thing. And I would have laughed at those women who were obsessing over a shoe sale. If you think about it, it does sound ridiculous. Should I be ashamed right now? Now that I’m one of them?
I first discovered this legendary event two years ago. I went to the location downtown on 36 West Cordova Street. But I didn’t go on the first day. It goes on for several days, and they receive new stock every day. There are plenty of shoes to go around. So I never understood why people went crazy and HAD to be there first thing in the morning on the first day of the event. I heard there was a woman who would have her personal assistant line up for her at 4:30 am, just so she could be the first one through the doors when they opened at 8:00 am. That’s insane! 4:30?? I may love shoes, but that’s not something I’m willing to do. And even if I had a personal assistant, I wouldn’t make her do it either. Although I’m guessing she pays her personal assistant good money with demands like that. Now I kind of wish I was her personal assistant…
So yes, I went two years ago, and then again last year. So the 63rd annual Army & Navy shoe sale will be my third. Third time’s a charm, right? I will admit that I can’t even remember how many shoes I bought each time. And I may not have gone on the first day, but I did go multiple times. Three times the first year, I think? And twice the second? Not 100% sure. But I remember going with my friend the first time, and she was done and ready to go after finding one pair of shoes. Yeah. One. Pair. Of shoes. Yeah, I don’t get it either. And then I felt guilty for making her wait while I scrambled to find pairs and then spent forever deciding which ones to buy. Cause no one wants to be that person who makes someone else wait. So I learned my lesson. My next trip there, I went alone. And I had all the time I needed. Some things you just have to do alone. Can’t have anyone holding you back when you’re shoe shopping.
Last year, one thing I recall, as I was looking through the size 8 section, was a woman who came up to me with a pair of shoes and said “Can you try these on for me?”. Because she wanted them for her daughter, who was also a size 8, and wanted to make sure they would be a good fit. So I did, because I’m a nice person. And they were a good fit. They were comfortable and I told her so and she thanked me and took the shoes. And then I thought, they were nice, and they fit well, now I want them… I should have just told her they were terrible so that she would leave them behind. Damn.
Some people get VIP access to the shoe sale. I’m not exactly sure what that entails, but I think you get to skip the line and then you have a personal shopper holding your shopping baskets for you? Or something? I don’t know. But whatever it is, I want it. They have contests on the radio, but I haven’t heard how to win those or when to call in. I think I’m always listening at the wrong time. But then I discovered that there’s a Facebook contest. Which is so more my style. And so naturally, I entered. I used a picture of my red rain boots that was taken the first time I wore them at SlutWalk Vancouver last year.
I wish the contest was based on how many pictures of shoes you bought you posted. Cause I could definitely win that. But it’s based on amount of votes, as these things usually are. This is the link, if you want to see the picture and maybe cast a vote to get me one step closer to the sale. Not only do you get VIP access, but you get a gift card to spend towards your purchases. What’s better than shoes that are on sale? Shoes that are free! How great would that be?
So now I wait, and see if I can possibly win anything. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to go on the first day or not, seeing as it will likely be complete chaos, and I don’t exactly do well with crowds, especially crazed, shoe obsessed crowds. But I happen to have next Wednesday off. And so I can go down there pretty much whenever I want. 4:30 am is out of the question. Do I want to be there at 8:00 am? Maybe. Does VIP access include body guards? That would helpful, I’m sure. I need to decide what shoes to wear to the sale. They’ll have to be comfortable, as I make my way through the crowds. And not too fancy. Don’t want someone to pick them up and try to buy them by mistake.
Say that ten times fast. Actually I guess it’s not that difficult as a tongue twister. But it’s an awful thing when it happens in reality. The zipper on my left boot had been causing a bit of trouble for quite some time. But we were able to make it work. Part of me knew it was only a matter of time before it would all fall apart. But I wanted to make it last as long as I possibly could and to cherish the time we had left, however fleeting.
I’ve had these boots for about four years, so they have had a very good run. Or a good walk, I suppose would be more appropriate. I didn’t do a whole lot of running while wearing them, unless you count running for the bus, which I suppose does add up over time. They’ve lasted longer than expected, longer than any boot before them. I can’t remember if it’s been four years or five. I bought them in either 2007 or 2008. All I know is that they were purchased during my time working at Shoe Warehouse.
Ever since working at Shoe Warehouse, I’ve come to appreciate footwear. These boots were one of my greatest finds. I bought them on sale in the clearance section. But being in clearance does not mean they were low quality. They are Santanas, which is a Canadian brand that I’d never heard of. But they are leather and waterproof. And comfortable. It’s so hard to find a good boot that is all of those things and looks good as well.
This was back when I was against rain boots. And by rain boots I mean gum boots. I wanted something more grown up and stylish. And these were them. I could always count on them for protection when it rained or when it snowed. And even if it didn’t rain, they still worked with many outfits. I had a pair of black boots, but they weren’t waterproof. And they didn’t last as long. The zipper broke on those about a year or two ago. I still miss them.
And now it’s time for me to say goodbye to these brown ones as well. Why? The zipper finally broke. They always do. I really have a love hate relationship with zippers. I love them and they hate me. And that’s just how it is. I’ve lost count of the number of items I’ve had to part with due to broken zippers.
I wasn’t even going to wear these boots today. I considered normal shoes, but then I heard it would rain. So then I considered my red rain boots, but then I didn’t think it would rain that much. Obviously I was wrong. But I swear the sun was shining a little when I left the house. And I didn’t want to look stupid wearing rain boots on a sunny day, as I’ve done in the past. These brown boots have served me well whatever the weather. Plus, if I happened to walk through mud, you couldn’t tell since they’re brown.
The zipper was bound to break eventually. But of course it would happen early in the day, on a day like today when I so badly needed them. And of course it would break while I was at work. At least the zipper on my black boots had the decency to break before I left the house, allowing me time to change my footwear before venturing outside. Maybe the brown boots felt that I had taken them for granted, and they wanted to teach me a lesson before they finally kicked the bucket.
When the zipper came apart, I didn’t have many options. It’s not as if I had a spare pair of boots with me at the time. I needed something to fasten it together, or it would just flop down and not stay on properly. So I used tape. A lot of tape. Which worked surprisingly well for a while. And no one noticed unless I pointed it out to them. Why would I point it out? I don’t know, as a conversation starter? Because I wanted someone to acknowledge the misfortune I was going through? Because I just felt like it?
I used scotch tape while at work and then packing tape when I left. Somehow I feel like the scotch tape worked better. I’m pretty sure on my way home people noticed the tape that was hanging on for dear life in desperate attempt to do what a zipper once did. It was clear tape, but still. At least I made it home. But it saddens me to know that I will never wear them again. I’ll never find that kind of quality at that good a price again. I curse that zipper for ending our time together before I was ready.