Alright. 10 days in cowboy boots. Done. In all honesty I’m not sure how I feel about the whole experience. Sure, they were comfortable (with the exception of the two blisters I got from an ill-fitting pair of socks on the last day), but they also drove me running and screaming towards my country roots, and the trip down memory lane sure wasn’t something I had banked on being a bonus feature.
Item #1 – I will never commit to wearing any article of clothing (particularly a pair of shoes or a handbag) for an extended period on a consecutive daily basis again. While my clothes tend to be repetitive in style, based on my rather large collection of shoes (although dwarfed by many a fashion blogger as I have discovered) makes me feel guilty for side-lining them all for over a week. That, and when you’re forcing an outfit to revolve around and complement a single article it makes the whole process of getting ready more thought-process inducing than exciting!
Item #2 – Memory lane should be closed. Stampede always makes me nostalgic, but when coupled with wearing western-oriented gear it started to become a place where I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable. It forces you to realize how much you’ve changed as a person since the acquisition of the related memories – and it doesn’t always sit right in one’s immediate conscious.
Item #3 – I don’t like country music. Sure I dove in and listened to it for the entirety of the 10 days (I felt compelled given the boots and the general Stampede vibe), but wow, what an acquired taste. Sure there are some songs that I enjoy, but it certainly did make me realize what music I prefer. Now I’m on a steady diet of quasi-indie, easy listening, summery jazzy tunes. It got to a point over Stampede where I was either going to start loving country or it making my ears bleed…and we definitely leaned towards the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it for what it is, but it’s interesting to re-define and re-affirm what you actually love based on something that doesn’t quite sit right.
Item #4 – I love Calgary. Sometimes you try and ignore something that isn’t in your life in order to appreciate what is (ie. going to school in a different province and having to leave your hometown), but man almighty do I love this city. Sure, it’s not a booming cultural metropolis (in some books), but there’s something down-home feel-good community about it that makes it feel like the easiest place in the world to be. Granted I could probably do with just doing Stampede about every 3 years or so…no more country-western overdose again in my near future.
Item #5 – I truly do appreciate my cowboy boots. Comfortable, relaxed, easy to wear – all appropriate catchphrases for these fantastically crafted pieces of leather. They will forever remain a mainstay in my wardrobe, no matter the style or current fashion obsession. Some things you just can’t get rid of, and these I swear never will be. That, and after having to style them creatively for 10 days, I certainly know how to work them in without being too cowgirl-inspired.
For those of you who were curious, they’re from Alberta Boot Company – handcrafted in Calgary. There are no substitutes for these, just ask anyone who owns a pair.
So now as I return to my regular programming of flats and the odd pair of heels, I bid a temporary adieu to my boots. They probably need as much of a rest as I do.