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These boots are made for talking about

From time to time I feel some unexplained call to dedicate this column space to the greater good of our community. Today my hope is to bring understanding between the sexes by examining the issue of black boots. If we were a few months down the road, we might slightly modify the search to black sandals, but the other night, boots were on the table.

Well, not literally on the table!

A house full of relatives had gathered at my cousin’s home for pizza and conversation. As the kids played in the basement, Heidi excitedly shared she had recently purchased four pairs of sandals for $35. As most savvy shoppers know, the real payoff is the amount saved, so she went on to proudly announce she saved $250 during her little sandal shopping trip.

A resounding "ooohhh!" of accomplishment and admiration could be heard from the women at the table. Her husband Harry was quick to finish her story for her though as the purpose of her trip was not sandal shopping. "She was looking for black boots," he sighed.

A groan from the men as the phrase "black boots" entered the conversation.


Ahhhh, the elusive perfect pair of black boots.

Most men can’t understand why women need more than one brown and one black pair of shoes to begin with, let alone the challenge of finding the perfect black boots. There are many types of black boots. You need a dressy pair, a casual pair, a pair with high heels to wear with skirts and a pair with low heels for pants. When one pair covers two of the categories, the excitement is hard to contain.

Unless you happen upon the mother lode of black boots, we are always searching for at least one of the different categories because even if a woman has three of the four, she still has that fourth pair to find. Keep in mind that the perfect pair of black boots will wear out, so even if we find them, the search is never over for good.

My brother-in-law brought clarity to the situation with his spot-on theory about my sister Pam’s quest for black boots. He contends the hunt for the perfect black boot is much like Captain Ahab’s insane quest to hunt down Moby-Dick. If he succeeds in his quest, what else is there left for him to do? Ahab’s life is defined by the chase and not the result. He contends if Pam ever does buy black boots, the thrill of the hunt is lost, thus her reason to shop is gone. This means she isn’t going to find the perfect black boot, but, like Heidi, will find four pairs of sandals.

Which leads me to the reason I must constantly search for black boots; it’s not because I need an excuse to shop. I actually dislike shopping, but when I do venture out, even if I find an excellent candidate for the perfect black boots, they have to be on sale or else I won’t buy them. Many a pair of boots has been left on the shelf because the store wouldn’t accept my coupon on that particular day.

But that’s a different issue for another day. I’m too frugal for my own sanity.

So in conclusion: Men, when the woman in your life says she’s shopping for the perfect black boots, understand she is either saying that as an excuse to go shopping OR she’s looking for the perfect black boots on sale!

Does that clear things up?

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