“I’ve only had these boots for four months and already they’re letting in water.”
I’m writing a complaint through an online portal, the enforced alternative to ranting at an actual person down the telephone.
I go for a walk with the dogs in said boots and by the time I’ve got home and hung my sodden socks over the radiator, there is already a reply.
“The best way to keep the boots in good order is to clean them regularly and treat them to maintain their waterproofing. Do let me know if you still have problems.”
I scarcely have my coat off before I’m hammering a reply into my keyboard.
“The suggestion that I might be at fault for failing to waterproof my walking boots after less than four months, three of which have constituted the hottest and driest summer on record is frankly insulting.”
It isn’t long before I get another reply.
“Please send your boots to the following address and we will arrange for a refund.”
“Have you ever wondered if it’s a problem with your feet, dad?” my son asks, pointing out quite unnecessarily that this is the fourth pair of walking boots I’ve had cause to complain about in the past two years.
The first pair split, as did the second pair, and the third. These latest pair haven’t had time to split instead deciding to surrender before I’d pushed them that far.
I wouldn’t mind but I’m only walking the dogs, not scrambling up Scafell Pike every day before breakfast.
It started me thinking about the discomfort that comes from feeling unable to rely on something with any certainty.
I thought my boots were the problem but perhaps my son is right and it’s really me that’s the issue.
I’ve had a bad back recently that turned out to be a sprain in my pelvis.
I was talking to my supervisor recently about how I ought to get it checked out, seeing as how I work amongst a group of experienced chiropractors for part of the week, but never seem to get around to dealing with it.
The longer the pain has persisted and moved gradually around my body the more I have come to question my own physical fortitude.
“I’m getting older, this sort of thing is bound to become more common, I wonder what’s going to happen next.”
All of these limiting and dysfunctional thoughts have piled in on top of the discomfort so that instead of wondering what’s wrong with my back I’ve started to imagine myself imminently in a mobility scooter.
Then later, while waiting for my boots to dry out so I can leave the house in them again, I start trying to migrate my newsletter to a different programme and get frustrated because it is unsurprisingly much more difficult than I’d anticipated.
I procrastinate over my technical ineptitude and try to think of names for my new project and in so doing discover the word “Multipotentialite” which describes someone who engages in a lot of creative pursuits and consequently often does none of them particularly well.
I search to see if anyone is using the title “The Multipotentialite” for their newsletter and to my delight find only one young lady who is using something similar. I notice she has not managed to write a single article since its creation presumably because she got distracted by an alternative interest.
I conclude that people who make walking boots are multipotentialites and probably spread themselves too thin to do it properly.
It doesn’t solve my boot problem but it does help me to feel more empathy when I imagine someone like me winging their way through life in order to keep themselves happy.
I buy new walking boots and make an appointment to see the chiropractor.