Due to budgetary constraints, clothing is not high on my list of discretionary purchases. Shoes don’t even make the list. I know, it’s a gender anomaly but I have a lot of them. Most of my gardening shoes are $3 canvas flats from back in the days when you could still get canvas flats for $3 on clearance at the end of summer. Needless to say, I haven’t purchased any in recent years.
The above photo is representative of my collection. You will note that I have air-conditioning vents in the north, east and west walls. Both soles are also split just under my toes making it plum squishy when I encounter water.
The shoes are in great shape compared to the pair of shorts I was wearing when taking this photo. Formerly black, they are now gray with freckles sprinkled across the front from some unremembered incident involving spray bleach. A hole big enough for my thumb vents the left hip, elastic peeks out of the waistband and the southernmost back seam is about to bust out. I look at it this way – it covers my essential nakedness – and any discretionary income I manage to cobble together is going to be spent on seeds or a new plant from the Down-and-Out-but-Not-Quite-Dead Table at Lowes.
Now that you understand my priorities for discretionary spending, please don’t point at me in Wal-Mart. I am already under gawking scrutiny from the neighbors. For instance, I probably did not get this shoe photo without considerable cost to my reputation. Privacy fencing in rural neighborhoods is cost-prohibitive and outdoor activities fall victim to public consumption. I know this because I have, myself, wished to occasionally perform a little binocular surveillance on the neighbors. Alas, I do not own a pair of binoculars. Whether or not the neighbors own binoculars is irrelevant because most of them have installed barking dog alerts to make sure they don’t miss the latest installment on your particular perversions. In all likelihood, the barking dog alert caused Country Boy, my next door neighbor in an easterly sort of way, to look out the window and call his wife over to help him gape in astonishment.
“Come ‘ere Honey an’ lookee what that crazy girl’s doin’ now. She’s sittin’ in a lawn chair takin’ a pitcher of her feet! Now what in tarnation you rekkon she’s gonna do with that?”
At least he didn’t fly out the door and start hollering at me as the screen door banged shut behind him. On those occasions when I know I’m doing something stupid, I prefer to pretend that I haven’t been caught in the act.