“George, honey, what on earth are they wearing?” asked Bunny her eyebrows almost touching her hairline.
“Who, darlin’, are you talking about,” asked George looking up and down the street.
“Over there. Would you look at Richard and Fannie,” she said pointing across the street. “They can’t seriously be going out in public dressed like that?”
“Well, it is a bit unusual, but I’m sure they have a good explanation,” he said with his usual calm.
“Well I’m sorry, I can’t let them leave looking like that, it just isn’t right,” said Bunny working herself up into righteous indignation.
George put his arm around her waist and held her back. “You may not leave this driveway until you are rational. Don’t make me carry you into the house.”
Fire flared in Bunny’s eyes as she turned on her husband.
“George, you wouldn’t dare.”
“Bunny, I love you enough to keep you from making a spectacle of yourself in front of the neighbors. Now if you can calm down, we will both walk over and speak to them like the civilized human beings that we are.”
George let her go. Bunny stood tall and looked at him for a moment.
“Very well, George, follow me,” she said her back stiffening.
We saw George and Bunny march across the street.
Before Bunny could say anything, George called out, “Hey y’all, where are you headed?”
“We’re going to camp a couple days at Surprise Lake up on the Pacific Crest Trail. Thought we’d hike in and do some fishing,” said Richard putting the tent in the back of the truck.
Bunny could not take it anymore. “What on earth are you wearing?”
“Hiking clothes?” I said confused by the question.
“I can see that, I meant on your feet,” said Bunny.
We looked at our feet and at each other.
“You’ve never seen sandals?” I asked surprised. “They don’t have sandals in Texas?”
“Fannie, do not toy with me, you know very well what I’m talking about.”
Richard and I exchanged looks trying to figure out what was wrong with our sandals.
“Bunny, it’s 65 degrees out here, it’s too warm to wear our boots. Besides, we may have to cross a couple of streams and our feet might get wet, they will need to air out to dry.”
Her frustration hitting its peak, Bunny said, “Honey, I cannot in all honesty, let you all leave here wearing socks with your sandals. It’s just not done.”
The light bulb went on. Richard and I laughed.
“Oh that’s what’s eating you,” said Richard. “We couldn’t figure out what you were talking about.”
“Bunny, you haven’t lived here long enough yet. It’s custom here to wear hiking socks with sandals because the weather can be very iffy,” I said.
“Fannie, we have lived her for six months and I have never seen anyone in their right mind wearing wool socks with sandals,” said Bunny.
“Darlin’, remember when we were in Florida, we saw several people wearing socks with sandals,” said George.
“George, they were old and wearing trouser socks, clearly they were suffering from senility.”
“Bunny, if I can prove to you I am not making this up, will you calm down?” I asked.
Bunny stared at me for a few moments.
“All right, if you can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, I will. But it you can’t, the socks come off,” she said crossing her arms across her chest.
George leaned toward Richard and whispered, “she better know what she’s doing or all hell is going to break loose.”
Richard smiled back at George, “trust me, she does.”
“Bunny, would you please follow me into the house?” I asked leading the way.
Turning on our computer, I opened the browser and clicked on our favorite link.
The video started. Bunny’s jaw dropped to the floor.
“Bunny, darlin’, I don’t think I have ever seen you speechless before,” George said. Turning to Richard he said, “you know that wouldn’t fly in any other part of the country because no one would believe it.”
“Bunny, I’d be happy to get you the trading card if you want,” I said suppressing the laughter.
Her jaw worked its way up and down a few times before she took the mouse away from me, scooted me out of the chair and started searching PEMCO’s website.
“This is a real company?” she asked.
“Yes, they are as local as they come,” I said.
“You’re not trying to pull one over on me?”
“No, they are real, go to the Better Business Bureau’s website if you don’t believe me.”
Bunny typed it in faster than I could say it.
“Honey, I can’t believe this, you’re not making this up.”
“Sandals and socks?”
“I will never be caught dead in sandals and socks,” she said, “this will take some real getting used to.”
“Trust me,” said Richard, “You will see a lot of people wearing them during the fall.”
“Bunny,” I said, “welcome to the Pacific Northwest.”