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Tie Your Shoes

Posted by Mike on 6/19/2009 to Random Thoughts

In the old days, one of the first things a kid learned how to do to demonstrate some level of independence (after going to the toilet alone) was tying his / her shoes. Boy, how things have changed.

I remember repeatedly watching my mom perform the act, explaining what she was doing along the way until one day it was my turn to give it a try. The first few attempts were not without fumbles. And in the early stages, sometimes a secure knot was formed rather than an easily collapsible loop. But I quickly got the hang of it, and could soon tie knots in my sneakers with the best of them.

As I got older, I began to take shortcuts with both the coming and going. I figured out how to tie the knot so that it would pull together the two sides of the shoe just tight enough to stay on without much wiggle room, but loose enough that I could remove my shoes without untying them. Easy off. Easy on. I would sometimes go weeks without having to retie the laces of my shoes.

And then things changed. I think it was around the time that they started making velcro closure for shoes. On many shoes, laces no longer existed. Young kids therefore no longer had to learn how to tie their laces. And apparently either the big shoe lace manufacturers went out of business, or someone lost the secret family recipe because the design of the laces changed. For the worse.

For whatever reason, laces no longer stay tied. Trust me when I say that my shoelacing skill is expert as ever. It’s the laces themselves which no longer feel the passion to stay in the rabbit ear loops for long. Sometimes, when I am moving about at work, my laces will come untied every 5 minutes or so. It doesn’t matter that I tie them extra tightly these days. Whether round or flat laces, it doesn’t matter, they just don’t stay tied very well.

Part of the design change, I think is that laces are now loose tubes. And they have a predisposition NOT to be tied. And part of the problem is that most of the laces you can find in the stores are too long, meaning the loops are large and flop all over the place as you walk, causing gravity to work against your best interests to untie them. In any event, I hate the current marketcrop of sneaker laces.

The kids of today’s generation demonstrate their early independence by learning how to start up various video/computer games or log onto the internet without any help. Tie their shoes? Hah.   Not a chance.

Anyway, excuse my rant. It’s time for me to go shopping for some velcro closure sneakers.  Dicks Sporting Goods has some on sale this week.

Mike Lee