Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ask A Cobbler!

I've just cleaned out my closets. During the purge I came across the thigh-high, pink-suede boots I mentioned in Worst Things I Ever Wore. But somehow I just couldn't let them go. They'd be okay, I reasoned, if the toe wasn't so long and pointy. Can that be changed? I began to google around for an answer and soon came across the informative blog, Ask A Cobbler. Someone had asked my very question and the advising cobbler said yes, it can be done! While there I also learned answers to several other interesting shoe-repair questions (she typed without sarcasm).

So today I took my questionable boots to two of my local cobblers. Candidate one just said no. The look on his face said of course not. So I went up the street and asked a second cobbler.
"Well," he said. "I don't think that will work."
"But there's a lot of room in the toe," I offered. The point is very long and thin-- see? It goes way past my actual toe."
"Yes," he nodded. But if I cut it, there will be a hole." I waited for him to continue. But he did not.
"I was wondering if you could re-sew the hole. Changing the shape of the boot. I don't like long, pointy toes anyway."
"Well, they are pointy," he explained, "because that is how they are shaped."
"And we can't change the shape?" At this point he looked at me with pity.
"If we cut the point off, then there is a hole, and we will see your toes."

On the walk home, under a flawless autumn-blue sky, I came up with Plan B. I will wear the boots with something else I couldn't quite bear to get rid of: my flamingo costume. I made it five years ago. Along with a giant pink-feathered tail supported by wire armature, it includes a pink foam-rubber beak, pink wig, pink-feathered eyelashes, and a pair of sandals I sacrificed to hot glue and more feathers. But with the boots? A Complete Finished Look. Halloween is close.

This all reminds me of a conversation I had with my local wine store owner, Gary, last week. He updated me on the job searches of various neighbors, indicating that the redhead on her way out, with a bottle of something bubbly and celebratory, had just booked her first modeling job in months. "She is, in Japan, a big deal," said Gary. "But times are not so good. People aren't buying new boots; no, they fix their old boots. They don't buy new computer, they fix old computer." His eyes sparkled then, "But people can't fix their old wine, right?"