I always thought that if I lived somewhere long enough I'd end up with a barista or something who was my barista, and she would recognize me and I would go to her because she made a swell cup of coffee, but that would necessitate buying coffee out more often than I can afford to buy coffee out. What I have ended up with is a cobbler.
I have a pair of much-beloved slouchy black boots that I wear every day between September and April, and I wore through the soles to the point where the guy at the Shoe Clinic said they couldn't be fixed. I wish I'd taken a 'before' picture, because they were h'ruined.
Y'anyways, there's a cobbler downtown and his little shop looks like a smithy, because all of his cobbley machines are super-old and everything is covered in shoe-dust. He looks exactly what a cobbler would look like if Disney drew him. He is the Geppetto of cobblers.
He fixed my boots up right sharp and didn't demand my first-born, and threw in a couple of guards which, how did I not know about these? They are little caps that are nailed into your heels, and then when you march through them you just get them hinked off and new ones put on. It's a whopping $5 each time, and saves you having to get your boots re-heeled entire.
Today I was downtown running some errands, and I wandered into his shop to ask when I should be getting new guards. He caught my foot up like I was a horse and said that about now was a good time. I stood on one foot while he fixed up the other foot's boot and we debated the merits of boy-children vs girl-children and whether teenage girls are easier if they're the only one you have.
He told me last time he'd left his crappy banking job to become a cobbler, and it's so obviously the only thing he wants to do. I want all of my people to be like this. I want them to be like my optometrist in Abby who was so appalled by my contact lenses that he took them out of my eyes with his fingers and threw them in the trash (he gave me free new ones).
I have a professor who doesn't give enough damns to prepare for class. The last two times I've gone out for coffee, the girl has given me (and charged me for) a medium even though I asked for a small. But at least I am well-shod.