‘On the couch’ with Jasminda


DEAR Jasminda,

While helping my husband clean his shed, I stumbled across the RM Williams boots that he wore for 17 years, hasn’t worn for the last 5, but he is for some reason hanging on to them.

They were completely clapped out and a home for Redback spiders.

Not game to toss them completely, I put them in the clothing bin.

Now, my husband has noticed they’re missing and is asking where they are.

Mrs Wendy R.

Wendy, ‘what sparks joy’ is a very personal thing.

I’ve been hanging on to a pair of Billabong shorts from two decades ago.

They are very short shorts and I’d be lucky to get them past my thighs, but it isn’t about wearing them, it is about the memories associated with those shorts – long walks along Cable Beach, sunset cocktails, a job flogging Kimberley tours and a body that could pull off those shorts without a second thought.

Ridiculously, part of me thinks that one day I am going to get back in them and so they stay in the drawer taking up hardly any space.

Your husband’s clapped out RM Williams may just be old spider-infested boots to you, but to him they hold close to two decades of memories (not counting their days languishing in retirement).

There was that time he thought he could ride a horse just because he looked the part and soon discovered why cowboys walk with a swagger.

Then, those countless hours standing around a bonfire searching for the meaning of life and finding it in a rum can.

He wore them out to dinner in glaringly mismatched combinations, and he lovingly polished them because those boots cost a pretty packet, Wendy.

And it wasn’t just for the comfort of them either. When you wear RM Williams boots, you become RM Williams.

It is a bit like the end of the movie The Breakfast Club, where John Bender pierces the sky with his fist to the stirring lyrics of ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’, but in this case your husband isn’t a princess, a brain, an athlete, a basket case and a criminal, but a camel boy, a drover, a well digger, a leatherworker and a miner.

He IS the boot, Wendy.

I think what you need to do is rush down to that second-hand store and beg for those boots, unless a savvy vintage buyer has already snavelled them and is restoring them back to the dignity they deserve.

Carpe diem,

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