Miss Boots – Part IV
I love my parents, but they were way too strict.
The final straw came on New Years Eve 1999, when I had full intentions to party like it was, ahem, 1999.
Concerned about terrorism attacks and drunken debauchery in general, they informed me that I was spending New Years Eve with the family. I politely declined. This was meant to be MY year, and I was meant to herald in the New Year with the friends who would become my new “grown up” family.
I waved my parents goodbye and jumped into my car to drive off into the sunset, preferably with the sound system blaring.
But my car wouldn’t start.
My Dad had taken the plug leads out, and he had hidden them in his monstrous shed. He refused to tell me where they were. I was goddamned furious.
My Doc’s and I trudged to the home of every wannabe mechanic in town, hopeful that someone would have a spare set of plug leads. But Murray Bridge was deserted. Everyone had already left for their New Years Eve parties in Adelaide.
So I called the police to report my Dad for theft. But the police wouldn’t get involved, saying that it was a domestic dispute and unfortunately I was still under aged anyway.
I spent New Years Eve 1999 with my little brother. In a show of solidarity against my parents we didn’t eat family dinner, ordering burgers instead. With my Doc Martens up on the lounge room coffee table, I sat in sullen silence for 6 hours.
I never forgave my parents for their betrayal.
Early January 2000 my Doc’s and I left home to find a job in Adelaide.
I had been working on a master escape plan for many years:
Coming from such a strict religious family, it was the only choice I had.
I was 4yo when I met my childhood sweetheart and 14yo when we fell in love. We knew we’d get married on my 18th birthday – and everyone knew that I’d wear my Doc Martens.
My 18th crept closer and although I definitely didn’t want a “big stupid white wedding” I still wanted to look nice. One day I discovered “my” beautiful blue wedding dress. I knew it was the perfect dress, but as I looked at myself in the shop mirror, my beloved Doc’s just didn’t look right. They were hardly even black anymore. The soles were worn completely through.
It was rather symbolic. I needed new Doc Martens for the start of my new life.
It was so hard to choose new ones though. No matter which ones I tried on, no matter what size (7 or 8, Aussie or UK) none of them felt right. I finally chose size 7’s but they were never as comfortable as my old Doc Martens.
My husband and I both wore brand new Doc’s Martens on our wedding day. It was bittersweet to be wearing new shoes for the first time in 5 years. We made an excellent decision to have our wedding photos taken at the beach before the wedding (while my first ever “hair and makeup” was still fresh). Then we got hit by a wave and squelched around in wet Doc’s for the rest of the day. My husband was sock-less for our wedding ceremony, as they were too soaked to wear.
So began my new life. School was over, I now lived in the “Big Smoke” of Adelaide and my shiny new pair of Doc’s became my corporate work shoes. They looked quite dressy with a pant suit.
My new Doc’s took me to Big Day Out, trekking in Milford Sound, climbing waterfalls, walking through snow. We visited hot springs and checked out all of the Lord Of The Rings sites in New Zealand. A team as always, my new Doc’s and I climbed Ayers Rock (the walk back down the rock resulting in bruised blue toe nails), we drove ambulances and campervans, crashed schoolies week as a toolie, and went camping at Jervis Bay.
We lived in South Australia, Northern Territory, travelled to Queensland and New Zealand, and finally, shifted to New South Wales.
My escape plan had worked.
One fateful day late in 2005 my Doc Martens and I went to an outdoor music festival. I decided to “dress up”. I suddenly had an urge to feel (*gasp*) like a woman.
I wore a short tartan mini skirt and my Doc’s, with flesh coloured stockings AND fishnets to cover the skin on my legs.
I felt wonderful dancing rhythmically to that pounding music, with so many other people. Suddenly, on a natural high of adrenaline (and at the encouragement of my friends, since it was a 38 degree day) – I did the unthinkable.
I took a big swig of dutch courage and I removed both layers of my stockings.
There I was bare legged in public for the first time in a decade.
My friends still say this is one of their most favourite memories of me… with a short skirt, bare legs and my much loved Doc Martens… dancing… looking happy, beautiful and comfortable in my own skin for the very first time.
I danced for 12 hours straight that day. At the time I had no idea the other revellers were on drugs – I thought they all just loved dancing and were lucky enough to own very comfortable boots like me.
Impressed by my own stamina I decided to “stick it” to my High School PE teachers and finally right the wrongs of my uncoordinated unsporting youth.
The very next day Miss Boots signed up for a 5.6km corporate fun run (having never run more than a 100 metres in her life) and she bought herself a brand spanking new pair of boots.
But that’s another story.