It began with the boot cuffs.
I’d been watching a lot of Nashville, a soap opera about country music. One of the lead characters is a super sweet, naive twenty-something called Scarlett O’Connor, who is trying to make it as a poet-slash-song-writer-slash-musician. Scarlett is extremely petite, has long wavy platinum blonde hair that goes down past her bum and possesses an undeniable hippy-vibe.
She dresses like this:
Note the boot cuffs.
They’re the woollen sock-like things poking out the top of her knee-high boots. Boot cuffs are a sartorial – as opposed to practical – item of clothing. The wool does not extend down towards the ankle, enveloping the foot into a warm, cosy embrace. No, no. Boot cuffs are just that: cuffs. Their purpose is decoration not insulation. They provide an additional artsy-crafty vibe to your already whimsical white lace slip, patterned kimono and flower crown.
In the midst of my deep dive into Nashville, I somehow ended up with no less than seven pairs of boot cuffs in my online shopping cart. This is despite the fact that I (a) do not actually own the requisite knee-high boots to wear the cuffs with, (b) am not a country music singer, and (c) do not intend to become a country music singer any time soon.
Watch the trailer for Nashville here. Post continues below.
But in my fantasy-world of television binging – in which I am three sizes smaller, can play guitar and wear my hair out, flowing and free of baby spit – I needed those boot socks. And I needed them in a range of colours, styles and with tortoiseshell button embellishments, too.
An online shopping cart is where dreams are born.
The goods and services that cart contains combine to form a joyful mirage. They are the accessories to a life I might otherwise have led… had I won $3 million dollars on that scratchy my aunt gave me on my 18th birthday or if I were a different person entirely.
While absent-mindedly perusing the internet late at night (especially after more than one glass of red wine), I click ‘add to cart’ with abandon. There is no need to consider price or practicality when adding items to the cart. Those items will be culled by a more sensible, sober, future version of myself. But for the minutes, hours, or sometimes days those peculiar, unnecessary items exist in the cart, I am able to imagine a deliciously different version of me.