Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Price of Boots

Good Sunday evening. 

A good many people read last week's mediocre thoughts re:our shape-shifting dining table. If you're new, & I assume some of you must be, I have in times past addressed topics more interesting than removing a leaf from our dining table. If that enthralled you, well, stick around because I'm currently searching for a new pair of boots.

There are, of course, photos of the newly transformed table.

If you're humming Will the Circle Be Unbroken, sung by Johnny Cash & a variety of other people over the years, well, me too. 

Now that the once-oval-turned-perfect-circle table is smaller, I am questioning the number of decorative pumpkins resting between the candlesticks. I haven't removed any yet, but I might. Trey has no opinion on the matter. 

Are you still awake? I'll move along to a brief recap of last week. Reagan's normal after school activities were interrupted last week for Cheer Camp, which culminated on Friday when the girls cheered alongside the varsity cheerleaders at the afternoon pep rally & the Friday evening game. I don't have much photographic evidence of the week's events, aside from these I took at Friday's pep rally:

. . . and this one my mom took of me & Henry as we watched the sea of pink perform Friday afternoon. 

Other highlights of last week include the roses Trey sent on our anniversary . . . 

. . . and the hours I spent alone Saturday night. Trey took Reagan to eat dinner & then hear the Monroe Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his date with Reagan, Trey dropped Henry at his parents' house, which meant I sat at the house by myself for several hours during which I drank hot chocolate for supper, searched for boots online, & watched LSU defeat Ole Miss. It seems unnecessary to say this, but it was idyllic.

Reagan also enjoyed her evening:

The week ahead promises a return to our usual after school activities, which include piano & ballet for Reagan, & following Reagan around town for me & Henry. We do have plans to attend a Fall Festival on Thursday that begins immediately after Reagan's ballet ends, & so Thursday promises to be one of those days on which I rise at five & might possibly sit down again circa eleven that night.

Before I sign off to try & get some sleep & physically, mentally, & emotionally prepare for the week ahead, I have a few things to say to my kids. The rest of you are welcome to read & use what's applicable in your own life; you're welcome to raise your brows & huffily curse me & never again read this blog.

I mentioned I am in the market for a pair of boots. This is not an unfamiliar situation in which I find myself, however this time I don't simply want another pair of boots; I actually had a pair flop out on me.

If my memory serves me, I bought these two years ago. Let me tell you something about the shoes I buy (particularly the boots I buy): they are usually expensive, & they usually last me a long, long time. These pictured above are obviously an exception.

I saw the above pair of boots &, against my better judgment, I bought them even though they do not boast either the Born or the Clarks label. If you know much about the price of various shoe brands, you know Borns & Clarks are not inexpensive shoes, but they are worth every last penny. When I graduated with my masters over a decade ago, I bought myself a pair of Clarks that were not cheap; I still wear them today. Every pair of Clarks or Borns I've bought fit me perfectly (meaning I can confidently order them online & know they will fit my size ten foot), are comfortable, do not cause blisters even after extensive walking, & can be worn for years & years, literally a decade or longer in most cases. 

If you take nothing else away from this, remember this: buy expensive shoes. But, you may say, they are expensive. Yes, this is true, & this brings me to my second point: make decisions that enable you to buy expensive shoes. If you are a mom or a teacher (& especially if you are both), what you desperately need & deserve are quality shoes. Trust me on this.  

With what follows I may be fully revealing the extent to which I am kind of a snob, but you know, I am three years away from turning forty, & I guess I don't care. Y'all stick around a few years; blogging after forty might get incredibly interesting. 

I recently read a tweet posted by Ben Shapiro. In the tweet, he listed three things a person ought to do to avoid poverty in America: 

(1) Graduate from high school. 

(2) Get & keep a steady job.

(3) Do not have kids until after you are married. 

These are not bad suggestions, but if I am honest, I want more for my kids. I don't want you to avoid poverty; I want you to thrive in every way an individual can thrive. Here's my list:

(1) Marry someone who understands that church attendance is nonnegotiable for the two of you & any kids you may have.

(2) Have a serious discussion about education & finances with anyone whom you think you might marry. Money cannot buy you happiness, but the lack of it is not a matter to be lightly dismissed. Money will not get you to Heaven, but it is needed to feed, clothe, & provide medicine (which might possibly include life-saving insulin) for your children. 

(3) Earn every degree you think you might possibly ever want before you have kids.  

(4) Don't buy things you cannot afford; pay off your credit cards every month.

(5) Buy expensive shoes, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet. When you walk around in them, let them serve as a reminder to you of the importance of making sound investments. 

While I am always happy to search for new boots, I am bummed that I spent a handful of cash on a pair of boots that now have a split seam after only two years. A hundred dollars or more might seem like a lot of money to pay for a pair of shoes at the time, but when you're still wearing them five or even ten years later, & they're still comfortable, you literally want to pat yourself on the back every time you slip your feet in them. 

I am now thirty-seven. I've been doing some thinking about the decisions I've made, as well as decisions I need to make in the future as I look ahead to a decade of growing, busy kids with full schedules. I have options before me now because of choices I made in the past; in truth, I have always had options before me not always available to others because of choices my parents made years ago. Gordon & Susan are the best, y'all. I don't say that every time I see them, which luckily for me is often, but my children & I daily reap the benefits of the sound decisions they made year after year. I hope one day my kids will look back on the decisions I made with the same full heart.  

The price of shoes is not an eternal matter, obviously, nor is earning a college degree or three or four degrees. I want my kids to go to Heaven, but between here & there is a whole world of practical, tangible matters about which I do think often; I think every mother does. I am by nature a practical person, & having kids has only amplified this (exponentially). I don't want them spending their lives repairing seams (or replacing shoes) when that task could've been avoided by making a sound investment initially. 

This concludes what has to be the most elaborate argument I have ever made for buying myself a new pair of boots. Naturally I will keep you apprised of all boot-related news.

Have a wonderful week. 


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