1. Write a summary of Are You Ready, Boots? in about 150 words. 2. Characterize the main character.
3. Comment on the role of the men in the short story.
4. In a short essay (150-200 words) discuss to what extent it is fair to judge other people's choice of clothes.
From Are You Ready, Boots?, a short story by Maggie Alderson. Ladies 'Night, HarperCollins Publishers, 2005.
Are You Ready, Boots?
"Dang diddy dang diddy dang diddy dang ... " I sang to myself as I zipped the boot up to my knee, the soft black leather stretching to hug my calf. I got up and looked at myself in the full-length mirror.
"Nancy Sinatra' eat your heart out," I said to my reflection. "These boots were made 5 for me."
I couldn't believe my luck. Not only were these killer boots 50% off in the Barneys shoe department sale, they were even my size. And they weren't just boots — they were actual Manolos2. Here I was in New York City, shopping just like Carrie'. Sex was the word for it — and for these very high-heeled, very black, very pointy boots. 10 Boots so high and black and pointy indeed, that all I could do after admiring myself in the mirror was to turn round to my pal Spencer and growl. "Grrrrrrrr," I said, copping4 a vamp pose with my booted leg forward, my teeth bared. "Good Lord in the foothills, Miss Lulu," said Spencer, in his hilarious southern accent — real: he had come to New York from Charleston when he was seventeen. "You 15 are such a true minx in those boots, I swear I am quite afraid of you" Now totally overexcited — Spencer always had that effect on me, not unassisted by the second bottle of Cristal he had insisted on ordering for us at lunch — I asked the nearest sales assistant for the other boot.
I zipped it on and set off stalking up and down the shoe department, working those 20 heels like RuPau15.
"These boots were made for strutting," I sang to Spencer.
"Yes, ma'am," he agreed. "So why don't you just strut right off and pay for them? It is nearly the cocktail hour and Spencer is one thirsty boy." I was still admiring the boots — while the sensible side of my brain tried to reason 25 with the champagne-fuddled one, which was insisting they were a bargain — when my other great New York pal, Betty, came shuffling over in a pair of red patent mules which were clearly three sizes too big for her. She looked like a little girl dressing up in mummy's clothes.
"What do you think of these?" she asked us. "They're only $95, down from $400." 30 "They'd be real nice on The Hulk'," said Spencer.
"If only the size had gone down along with the price they'd be great on you," I added. "But look — check out these boots. Aren't they totally perfect?" "Wow," said Betty, momentarily distracted from the tantalising bargains on her own feet. She was famous in our crowd for never paying the full price for anything; it was 35 like a religion with her. "Those are so hot. They look great on you. How much are they?"
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"Who cares?" I answered, strutting around a bit more. "They make me feel like a Bond girl, I totally have to have them."
I finally came to a halt in front of a full-length mirror, where I was quite mesmerised' 40 by how good I thought the boots made me look. They seemed to lengthen and slenderise my legs. They made me look richer. Kinder. More intelligent. I felt like I had won the shoe lottery.
"These are the boots I'm going to be wearing when I meet my husband," I proclaimed. 45 And they were. Kind of. I didn't wear my kinky8 boots as Spencer had dubbed them — for six months after I bought them. Even though they were real Manolos and truly beautiful and half price in the sale, I felt so sick and ashamed about how much I had spent on them — money I could ill afford after blowing two...