We went to the Columbia outlet store the other day. Columbia makes outdoor apparel and Louise wanted a pair of boots—mud-certified, tromp-around-the-back-forty, muck-up-to-your-knees boots. She is convinced that our upcoming three months in France will be essentially an immersion in ooze, punctuated by emancipating forays to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Parisian shoes she has plenty of. Mud boots, not so many.