A little boy I’ve never met drove me into the eye of holiday mall madness this year —
And I’m thinkin’ maybe — just maybe — I’ve been missing somethin’ the last 20 years or so in my no-nonsense approach to holiday gift giving —
And I’m not sure I’m ready to go — all elfy — and start shopping for my 11 nieces and nephews between 1 and 21 who seem to have everything their hearts desire, but — oh, by gosh, by golly —
I am ever so grateful Gabriel asked for cowboy boots —
And I’m — uh — more than just a tad surprised at myself that — even with the option to throw some cash in an envelope or pick up a Cub grocery certificate — I could not resist this 13-year-old boy’s request to send me into the winter night in search of boys size 13 cowboy boots.
My first night — though hardly intended — was purely a fact finding mission. Seven stores and two hours later, not one piece of footwear remotely resembling a cowboy boot.
I met Kath — who I found to be very helpful and informative on many things including how Walmart screwed its employees out of bathroom breaks and now has to pay millions — on my last stop and she gave me my marching orders for the next night —
Brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this in the first place?
Well — er — quite possibly because the Mall of America is the last place on earth I want to drive myself or take myself any day or night of the year. And December —
God help me.
But this is my responsibility now. And at this point — well, what could be more important than finding Gabriel’s cowboy boots?
So it’s night two and I’m greeted by no less than three bona fide cowboys — at least by their hats, boots and snapped up shirts —
And you can imagine my amazement and — utter befuddlement to realize — upon locating the boys size 13 cowboy boots within the acres and acres of cowboy boots lined up in every size, shape and color under the western sun that —
Boys 13 is — tiny.
Fit for a toddler, I think, but of course I cannot be sure of this — but certainly —
I cannot buy these tiny little hardly authentic boots for Gabriel age 13 who wants —
Because, well — Tyler, hatted man who is helping me, says —
“I wore mens size 13 when I was 13.”
Ok. So these are BIG. But I gotta go with it. I’m tryin’ to picture Gabriel as a midget with baby size 13 and — nope.
This is the wild wild west and I’m outta my comfort zone in every way now so — we’re gettin’ the Justins —mens size 13.
Gabriel — whoever you are — this time, more than ever, I hope I did the right thing by erring on the side of —
Bigger is —