When I was about six years old, there was a pair of cowgirl boots. They were pink, with metal toes.
I loved those boots.
I loved them so, so much. I wore them almost every day and I could be identified when I was walking down the hall by the “clackety clack, clackety clack” the boots made on the linoleum tiles.
It didn’t matter what I was wearing or how badly the boots clashed with it, I would have those boots on.
Fall rolled around, and Best Friend’s family was having a party at their house. I can’t remember what the party was for; it may have been Best Friend’s Sister’s birthday, but I’m not sure.
I, naturally, wore my cowgirl boots to the party. What ELSE would I wear?
We got there and I played with all my friends that were there. Then, we were called to eat. Along with the usual high- and empty-calorie food, Best Friend’s Mom had boiled up a huge batch of apple cider.
I loved apple cider. Not quite as much as hot chocolate, but it was a close second.
So, naturally, I procured myself a steaming cup of the nectar of life and took it, and my food, outside to the deck to eat, drink, and be merry. All was well as I ate, and I took cautionary sips of the boiling drink. Then, as someone brushed past me, my cup was knocked off balance!
I frantically tried to regain my hold on the paper cup of cider, but to no avail.
In slow motion, the cup fell from my hands…and all the boiling cider spilled into the left pink, metal tipped cowgirl boot.
I screamed. Loudly. Very loudly.
The boot was carefully removed and a cold compress placed over the burn (a very impressive burn it was, too) and we evacuated the premises.
When we got home, my ankle was wrapped up with a salve applied to the steadily growing blister. In the morning, we took me to the doctor because the inch-and-a-half-diameter blister had burst overnight. The dead skin was cut off and I had a pretty cool scar for a while, until it faded.
I didn’t touch apple cider for years after that. In fact, this year was the first year since then that I’ve had apple cider. And, to this day, I’ve never worn cowgirl boots ever again.
Far too hazardous.