09 January 2007

The Snow Job

I tried my new ski boots today, at last!

When I left the store with the boots, a few weeks ago, I had felt taken care of. I felt I had bought the best boot for me. But up on the mountain today when I tried to slide my foot into my boot wearing my medium-weight wool sock, I remembered the original transaction differently.

"My feet are falling asleep," I'd say.

"Oh, that will stop as you break them in."

And I believed him! And then went on to believe him when he said, "What you're looking for is a firm handshake."

Now my foot was in less of a handshake than the boot's death grip, until I (brilliant one that I am) slipped on the cheap, thin, nylon knee-high socks from Target and slid my feet into those boots one at a time, like everyone with two legs does.


And when I had finally slid my feet into these cast-like vessels, the New Boots, did I feel good? Hmm, good if you agree that a formica-coated bench at a Woolworth's could feel good when all you want is a Blue Plate Special.

I wasn't feeling snug or coddled or cushioned the way some of the other boots had made me feel, no. These were a plain-Jane environment for my feet, designed to leave little interference between the feet and the outer surface of the boot.

I felt my feet fall asleep again, in their new "firm handshake," which by now felt more like a death grip, especially in that spot where that bone sticks up on top of my right foot (the bone on my left foot felt okay).

So I skied a few runs, and then sat for twenty minutes. By then the boots were warming up. I felt they might be my boots after all with a little more training on both sides, for the boot and the foot.

And yet I couldn't help feeling rueful, a little disillusioned about all that stuff that happened to make me feel good in the ski shop and how drastically different everything seemed up on the mountain. What happened to all of that goodness? Next time I'll keep my boots inside the house overnight before we go up. That might help, too.

And if I do keep suffering with that bone, I will have them grind the boot to fit me.

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