Every time there has been a moderate to large snowfall over the past ten years, my mother has called me and said, “You don’t own snow boots!” and every time I have responded, “Yes, mother, that its true. I do not own snow boots, because snow boots are for girls and little kids.”
I don’t know why I’ve always believed this to be true, but I have. Real men can walk in the snow and ice in their regular rubber sole shoes. Any special footwear is a sign of weakness.
And so it was yesterday at around 6:45, when my phone rang as I was about to leave work. It was my mother.
“You don’t own snowboots! How are you going to walk to the subway with all this snow on the ground?”
“I will wear my regular shoes, mother, like a man!”
The sidewalks were incredibly slippery yesterday evening. And as I made my way through SoHo, my mother’s words reverberated through my head. Finally, I hit a slick spot on Spring Street, just after crossing Broadway. And I fell. Hard. I was laid out on my side. A guy walking by asked if I was ok. (to be clear, he didn’t stop to help, he just asked.) Then, as I started to get up, I saw a sign shining like a beacon through the snowy night.
“Eastern Mountain Sports”
It’s Kismet! I fell down because I wasn’t wearing boots in front of a store that sells winter boots.
And so I stood up, brushed myself off and walked right inside.
“I need boots!”
“They’re on the second floor, sir”
And then up the stairs I went. I walked over to the boot wall, grabbed a pair I liked and handed them to a salesman.
“I would like these in a size 12 please”
“Well, these are women’s boots.”
I TOLD YOU SNOW BOOTS ARE FOR LADIES is what I thought to myself before responding to him.
“Oh. Well, how about just bring me a pair of men’s boots in a size 12. I don’t care which ones. Just grab a pair that will help me get home without falling.”
And he did. And now I own a pair of giant black snow boots.
I wore them on the way into work this morning, all the while, looking at other men on the street, imagining them all laughing at me on the inside, because I am weak and have to wear boots.