My wife has owned the pair of leather boots pictured on the left for over 20 years, and the boots have always been one of her favorites. The boots fit well, the leather has molded itself to her feet, and she simply enjoys these boots. I also became her boot-polisher, and perhaps my regular application of shoe polish has contributed a bit to their longevity.
She paid about $100 for the boots several decades ago, and she would have gladly paid more for another pair of similar quality. Unfortunately, over the years my wife has not been able to find a pair that matches these boots in comfort and quality.
Alas, the soles of the boots did not stand up to the years as well as the leather uppers, and my wife grumbled a few weeks ago about her inability to find a pair of boots that could match her old friends. My ears perked up, and I recalled that near my house is an artisan of some contemporary rarity: a shoe repair store called Mancino and Sons Shoe Services.
The problem for me was certainly not the cost of repairing the boots, which amounted to only $48 and some change for new soles, reconditioning, and new laces. No, my difficulty was the fact that my wife wears these boots rather frequently in colder weather, and the week that Mancino and Sons quoted me was going to be an exercise in trickiness.
At least in terms of secret-keeping.
There were a few close calls along the way, like the day my wife was convinced that one of the dogs had stolen her boots. I also managed to avoid my wife seeing the debit card charge, which is probably miraculous, as she does the banking online, and somehow the stars aligned to keep hidden the repair bill.
I knew that the refurbished boots would bring my wife a measure of happiness, which is of course why I acted on the impulse (no, I have been a model of righteous behavior lately, so I didn't need the brownie points). Yet the sheer joy and glee that my wife expressed when I surprised her with the boots cannot be given justice in this post, and I was overwhelmed with hugs and kisses for my relatively simple errand.
So take a look around, fellas, and if your significant other has favored footwear that has seen better days, you might buy this person an impressive dose of unmitigated delight for what amounts to the price of a few expensive cigars.
Worked for me.