In this photo, I was eight and a half months pregnant and could no longer tie my own shoes. I could, however, slip my feet into my Elf Boots. Man. I love those boots.
The story of Rumpelstiltskin originated in the region of France where I currently live. I mention this because the shoe repair shop where I took my Elf Boots for cobbling is so old and on a street so quaint that it could have been the inspiration for the story.
The shoe repair guy, behind his assuredly 2021 face mask, had the puffy lamb chop sideburns and ear hair I would associate quite exactly with his profession. I felt weird taking my old boots out of a shopping bag and putting them on the counter. There was still some green Play-Doh ground into the boot. I was afraid they might smell (they didn’t.)
With studied gestures he bent them in every which way, and said if he resoled them and replaced the strap on both shoes (so they match) I could get another ten to fifteen years out of them.
I knew the sole was a problem. I noticed as I put them in my shopping bag this morning that there was a deep gash in the sole in addition to the heels being almost worn out. When I noticed the gash, I nearly decided it wasn’t even worth getting them looked at.
However, I reminded myself that there would be no pretty new pair of brown suede boots arriving from the Amazon man in 2021, even though before Christmas I had added several pairs to my wishlist. It was either take them to find out the cost of repair or have no boots.
So my newly minted four-year-old scalawag and I set out on our Rumpelstiltskin seeking adventure.
Ten to fifteen years is a long time. I have already had these shoes for eight years. I realize that my affection for them has not ever waned over these last eight years and I do really want them around for ten to fifteen more.
The boots have cost me about ten bucks per year up until now. Getting them fixed will indeed cost less than buying new ones, certainly less than the pretty ones on my wishlist. Certainly, it is an investment. But I don’t believe that anything the Amazon man, were he to try to darken my doorway, would bring me could make me as happy as these shoes do.
The Elf Boots, therefore, are in the care of Rumpelstiltskin and his wife.
As he was writing up the ticket, Rumpelstiltskin said, “Not a lot of people fix their shoes anymore. They’re always moving on to something new. These are beautiful boots. We’ll make them better than new.” I almost teared up.