As I put on my cowboy boots today, I recalled my conversation with the sales associate. For a bit of background, you should probably know I have big calves, and I’m used to boots with zippers. Cowboy boots, however, do not sport zippers, and they all are not made with the well-calved in mind. I was honestly at a loss as how to get those boots on. So I asked. The sales associate replied, “Stick your foot in and pull.”
Sound advice. I did just that, and now I have a very nice pair of cowboy boots I can get on and off without much ado. I credit my lack of ado to the fact that each time I put the boots on I think, “Stick your foot in and pull.”
My mom was with me on the boot buying adventure, and as I recollect, we’ve shared a number of adventures, some of which came with equally sound advice.
Once we were hunting for a fabric store. We found the store, eventually, but sadly, we couldn’t figure out how to get into the parking lot to reach the store. So we called the store to ask. The woman who answered the phone told us to “Slow down and turn.”
Again, sound advice. And now, almost every time I’m at a loss for how to get somewhere I think, “Slow down and turn.”
Then there was my 21st birthday. I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea for my mom and her friend to take me out bar hopping during an ice storm, but we went. Surely someone should have stopped us. I didn’t receive any sound advice on that particular jaunt, but to this day I’ve never been drunk. I actually don’t drink at all. I don’t know if that was my mom’s plan all along, but I suppose – mission accomplished.
Ah yes, I nearly forgot about the time we went to a wedding reception and she somehow snookered me into being her proxy dancer. The couple, it turned out, were avid dancers, and they had specific dances and musical eras playing all night long. Instead of her hitting the dance floor, I had to go out there and twist and jive and salsa and macarena and mashed potato and electric slide and moonwalk – all while she sat at a table sipping her drink and laughing.
Speaking of her sitting and enjoying herself calls to mind almost every shopping trip we’ve been on. She likes to find a seat while I rummage through stacks and hanging rounders for the items we need. I remember one excursion in particular, when I was pregnant, sitting on the floor of a department store, looking through stacks and stacks of pants for a specific size.
Shopping with my mom is always an adventure. You may not know what the holy grail of the quest might be, but you can rest assured that you will leave the house insanely early and be well-fed. Snacks abound on shopping trips, and you can always stop for a box of popcorn, a package of candy, something to drink, or even to sit down for meal. You need your sustenance after all; shopping is hard work.
Growing up with her was always an adventure. When I woke up each morning, I never knew what the day might hold. It could be cake for breakfast. It could be a day full of chores. It could be wet races in the backyard with friends, culminating with fishing coins out of an old coffee can full of mud. It could be learning how to do whatever it was she was teaching her students that week, even though they were in high school and I was only in the second grade (My youth was apparently no excuse for ignorance). It could be learning so much more about sex than I ever wanted to know (I’m finally getting over the trauma). It could be watching, in horror, a documentary about the KKK and racial prejudice in the US. It could be dressing up and going to see a play.
I clearly come by my sense of adventure honestly. I hope my kids will one day fondly remember everyday adventures as well.