These boots are made for…

Been going through some stuff in storage, pulling out the keepers, tossing the others.

But then, there are some items where it’s hard to choose, stay or go.

I just unearthed a box full of my old boots. This is tough.

I don’t wear most of these anymore. But I just can’t bear to part with these dear friends either.

I just look at the worn leather…and I remember.

Like, my first pair of ropers.

I’d worn pointy style boots, but when I got to NMSU, all the folks there were wearing ropers. So of course, I needed some too.

I was about a sophomore in college, I think, when I went down to the Tony Lama outlet in El Paso to procure these babies. They are gray goat skin, soft and forgiving. I wore these a lot, as evidenced by the worn down heel.

These were my main everyday boots. I wore them dancing on the boards at Corbett Center. I wore them for my horseback riding classes. Covered in manure, I’d wear them up the hill to attend the business college.

The toes are scuffed all to hell. The pretty gray color job didn’t hold up much under the dainty hooves of the insane mare I was assigned for a while in my riding class. She liked to step on feet. A lot.

Thankfully my gray boots were made for working.

When my grays were starting to show some wear, I saved up and decided to get a new pair of boots. I wanted to try Justins this time and I wanted lace ups. I also wanted pretty. My gray boots were utility. I wanted flirty.

So I bought these very impractical pearl white beauties.

Man, I loved these boots. I started wearing these to dances and leaving the beat up gray boots at home. I almost never wore the pearls riding, except once, for the horse show I participated in (and won).

I got these pretties on the cheap, as you can see, they are marked “imperfect.”

I’ll admit the heel wasn’t balanced quite right on the right boot, but I didn’t care. They were roper perfection to me. These boots were made for flirting with cute cowboys.

Ya wanna know the best part about the fact that I still have these boots?

Look at the circle engraved into the leather sole. You know how you get a groove like that on your boot? By dancing, that’s how.

The leather is cracked and the boots are worn out, but they are still utterly gorgeous to me.

And then, after college, and on to work. That’s when I went back to Justin and bought these guys:

I wore these to work a lot. The soft rubber and not-leather sole was easier on my feet, especially the time spent on the shipping and receiving docks. That concrete is hard on the legs, but these babies are comfy and they look good.

And the leather…oh, the leather just ages so beautifully.

These boots were made for my first real job out of college. They helped me make the transition.

I might actually pull these back out and find another chance to wear them. They are delicious.

And finally…we have these.

This is what I’m wearing now, my beautiful Ariat Fat Babies. These boots went to see the Merle Haggard show recently. These boots get a lot of compliments every time I wear them.

Right now, these boots are packed tightly in my suitcase that, by the time you read this, will be tucked in the cargo hold of an eastbound airplane.

If I’m lucky, I might get these boots out on a dance floor in Southern New Mexico on Saturday night.

Cuz these pretty pink rhinestone boots? These are made for dancing.

When you point a finger…

How does that old saying go? When you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you?

Something like that.

Was pulling the virtual slot machine lever on a blog idea generator, and the topic came up, “Write a letter to someone you need to forgive.”

Well geez. Make it easy, why don’tcha?

So I thought to myself, “Who do I have to forgive?” and an image came immediately to mind.

You see, there seems to be something I can’t get over. It’s childish and stupid, but for some reason I’m hanging on to this.

In considering how I’d write a letter to forgive, I realized…it’s not the other person I need to forgive. It’s me. I have to forgive myself for being such an assh*le sometimes.

Here’s the background:

It’s Saturday night, at the Gipsy Kings concert, sitting in the second row with my husband, excited for the show to start.

As showtime is close, in walks a gorgeous woman with dark hair, red lips, long toned legs clad in tiny white shorts, her top half in a tiny halter-top. She’s also wearing a radiant smile.

She’s beautiful. And she sits right in front of us.

Fine. Oh just…fine.

I look at her and I want to hate her. No. I look at her and I want to be her. On the outside, anyway.

The show starts and she and the guy she is with are drinking, they are laughing, they are having fun. She gets up to dance and catches the eye of the entire audience, the band, the roadies, the ushers, everyone.

She’s beautiful and she has rhythm and she lacks self-consciousness and she dances well. We can’t help but watch her.

I want to stop envying her, but I can’t. And all those ugly things that women think about each other I’m thinking in my mind.

As the show goes on, I stop looking at the woman and I get into the show. As I described yesterday, it was an amazing musical experience.

Toward the end of the show, I start to notice the lady in front of me again.

Everything she’s been drinking all night has started to catch up to her. She’s got her eyes laser set on one member of the band and she’s doing all she can to get and keep his attention.

She’s trying to dance just for him, but she’s so drunk, she’s wobbling on her high heels.

She shakes her medically enhanced boobs for the singer, and one pops out of her halter-top. Her boyfriend stuffs it back in and speaks sharply into her ear. He’s not happy.

She’s so drunk, she doesn’t care.

She keeps trying to dance in a sexy way for the guy in the band, but now it’s become sad. She’s stumbling around and sloppy drunk.

And I feel a little haughty. A little Dana Carvey as Church Lady high and mighty.

When the show ends and the band members are taking bows, she rushes up to the stage and summons the man she’s been vigorously trying to get the attention of all night, much to the dismay of her boyfriend.

He comes over to shake her hand and she tugs at him hard, almost pulling him off the stage. When he’s in range, she plants a sloppy kiss on his lips. The band man isn’t happy. The boyfriend isn’t happy. The lady throws her hands up in the air like a referee signaling a touchdown.

Now I’m embarrassed for her. In that haughty way I have.

The lady’s boyfriend says some words to her, trying to keep his cool. She’s so drunk, nothing is sinking in, so he grabs her hand and drags her away. He has to help her up the stairs out of the venue.

As we leave, we see them sitting on a low wall talking. Well, he’s talking. She’s trying not to pass out.

The Good Man and I go out to our car and we sit there waiting for the parking lot to empty out a bit. When we find a gap in the flow of cars, The Good Man turns on the car and hits the headlights. In the spotlight, we see the couple again. She’s now slipped-over-the-line drunk, unable to walk. Her high heels are off and she can hardly stand.

The suffering boyfriend now picks her up like a sack of flour, under his arm, and carries her drunk dead weight to their car.

I feel sorry for the man. And the lady.

And I feel smug.

As we drive home, for some reason all I can talk about is the lady and her boyfriend, and I don’t know why.

Why does this bother me? Why can’t I stop obsessing??

And so here’s the forgiveness part:

Dear Karen,

On the night of July 10, you, as they say in the vernacular, showed your ass.

Just because someone is physically attractive does not mean they are a better person than you…and just because they show they are human does not mean you are better than them.

It just means we’re all human.

How about you forgive yourself for all the things you think you should be and aren’t, and all the things you think you are but shouldn’t be?

How about just being ok being you?

Betcha it might make your days go a whole lot easier.

I forgive you. Now you forgive you too.

Go get ’em, tiger.



¡Baila Me!

When the Gipsy Kings command you to dance, you dance.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you can dance. You dance anyway. You shake the maracas the Good Lord gave ya, and you have a good time doing it.

After many years of yearning to see the Gipsy Kings live, last weekend, I finally got my chance.

I got tickets back in April. I jumped on line the very second they went on sale and my diligence paid off. I scored two tickets second row center.

I knew it was going to be a good show. I had no idea it was going to be one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen.

The music of the Gipsy Kings is beautiful, traditional gitano music, played by brothers. The men, from two different families, were born in France, children of gitanos who fled during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930’s.

What I mean to say is…they are the real deal.

Their music moves me in ways I can’t understand.

Best not to even try to understand.

Three songs into the night, Patchai Reyes commanded us to dance.

And the people in the venue rose to their feet, and we danced.

Even The Good Man who doesn’t dance got up and danced. It was useless to resist.

At the beginning of the show, six men walked out with matching nylon strung acoustic guitars (four of them played upside down by left handers), hit a couple tune up notes and they were off to the races. I was struck by the blinding fast guitar work.

As the venue allowed photography, I tried to capture even a tiny bit of what we experienced that night. I found I was too enchanted by the music and didn’t actually take a lot of photos.

But here is a photo of Andre Reyes that gives you a small idea. I used as long an exposure as I dared to capture the movement of his hands. (Click to see a larger size)

My mother tells me that somewhere in the murky waters of my genetic past, we are what she calls “French gipsy”.

I understand that to be a true Gitano, you must be Gitano on all four sides…meaning, all four of your grandparents must be full-blooded Gitano. I’m not fully Gitano on any sides, but the rhythm resides somewhere in my strands of DNA.

On warm summer Saturday night in an outdoor mountain venue, the Gipsy Kings plucked the strings to my soul.

And I danced.

Oh, did I dance…