I am known for wearing boots every day in the office where I work. Usually no one notices or says anything.
Lately, however, there has been much more “boot talk” in the office.
I arrive at work long before anyone else. By the time my boss arrives, I’ve been at it for over two hours. And by the time he arrives, my bladder is screaming to dump all the water I have been drinking.
I take a stroll to the loo, then find my boss in the pantry getting his first cup of coffee. Usually by that time, other guys are there.
Every day now, one of them looks at my boots and makes a comment like:
- You have the most interesting boot collection
- How many boots do you own?
- Did you ride your bike today?
- What kind of snake is that?
I answer matter-of-factly and the conversation moves on to the usual things like the weather, upcoming meetings, and so forth.
This past week, I was supporting a major conference held on the campus of my office complex. Hundreds of colleagues who work for my agency were there. I have known many of these people for years, and they also know me to wear boots.
It was amusing to add these colleagues to those who joined the “what’s [BHD] wearing today?” glances. I notice lots of glances, and a few have questions or comments like above, along with “cool boots” or “I have a pair like that!” or “don’t your feet get tired standing all day in those ‘things’?”
I do admit, as I have gotten older, my feet get tired more easily and if I choose the wrong boots, my feet will get tired and feel hot.
Knowing that I would be on my feet at least 12 hours/day each day during this past week, I carefully selected boots that I knew were comfortable. I found myself selecting boots with a low(er) heel and had gel insoles in them. Those insoles saved me a lot of pain and grief.
I have absolutely no idea how women can tolerate high heels. Those things look awfully uncomfortable. In fact, I could see pain register on most of the women’s faces when they stood and walked. So glad I am not a woman… dress-up… makeup… high heels… blechhh!
I also noticed that many men had slipped off their dress shoes during parts of the meeting where there were seated for an hour or two listening to TBCs* give speeches. Turns out their dress shoes were as uncomfortable to them as some of my tighter-fitting boots in which I could not insert an insole have been to me. Really, it’s all about the foot, not the leather on a shaft above the ankle.
The last day of the conference was a departure day for most of the group. They dressed down as all TBCs had speeched-out. Most of them were wearing jeans or chinos, golf shirts (logowear), and sneakers.
However… there is hope! Five, count ’em five, of the attendees were wearing boots. In fact one of them announced publicly, “I’m sportin’ my cowboy boots, just like [BHD]!” The audience laughed with good nature.
I don’t know if I caused a stampede to the boot stores, but it is amusing and heartening to me to see boots more accepted in such a setting.
Now, back to the office… in boots of course!
Life is short: wear boots to work!
*TBC: The Big Cheese