I’ve been told a number of times that it’s difficult to figure out how much of what I write about on this blog is true. To this I can only say, I too find it difficult to determine the truth in my writing. In light of these difficulties I have written this post to provide you all with an honest (mostly) and unembellished (maybe) story about me.
Actually, it’s less a story than it is a confession; a confession about something that very few people know about me: I hate shoelaces. I understand their purpose and appreciate them when they keep my shoes on my feet but it is the fact that my shoelaces continually come untied, and at the worst times, that has caused my general disdain for them.
They never come untied when it is convenient for me (like when I have nothing else to do – or never), they do it when I’m trying to get somewhere and this causes an enormous amount of conflict in my shoelace-hating mind. Do I stop in the middle of the sidewalk to tie my shoes and hope that nobody trips or stumbles over me, hurting themselves or, worse, me in the process? Do I just ignore the fact that they are untied until I get to someplace where I can stop and tie them, thereby putting myself at risk of tripping over them and hurting myself or, worse, being laughed at by the people witnessing my fall? Do I just take my shoes off, tie the two shoes together by their offending laces and fling them over a telephone line like so many other shoelace-hating people have done before me?
Like most of life’s complicated questions, there are no easy answers in regards to my shoelace dilemmas.
For a number of years I resorted to only buying shoes that didn’t have shoelaces but, eventually, I came to realize that this was akin to putting a band-aid over a gaping wound. I needed help. I needed to learn how to deal with this problem and come to terms with the fact that I would never be truly happy until I learned to embrace my shoelaces in spite of their faults.
With some hesitation, I began talking to people about my problem. I explained to them that I hated shoelaces and the reasons why. To my astonishment I discovered that others had issues with their shoelaces as well. Sometimes their issues mirrored mine sometimes they were different, either way it was comforting to know that I wasn’t alone; it is normal, it seems, to feel this way. While some had advice to give (double-knots, pull the strings tight and then tuck them into your shoe, etc) I came to realize that I was the only one that could come up with a solution that worked for me.
I both rejoiced and felt the urge to kick myself with my laceless shoes! “Why hadn’t I just talked to others about this problem sooner?” I thought to myself. “Just think of all of the cool shoes I passed on just because I hated the laces that came with them?”
Eventually I stopped beating myself up about this error in judgement. What continued to bother me though was that I thought that I was the only one who had this issue. What, really were the odds that, in a world of billions of people, I was the only one that felt this way about his shoelaces? It’s a rather self-absorbed thought when you think about it. And that, the self-absorbed thinking, is what caught me by surprise the most.
For a guy, who is typically lacking in self-worth and confidence, to discover that his way of thinking is not only self-absorbed (I’m the only one in the world who could possibly hate his shoelaces!) but also over-seasoned with pride was eye-opening. So much so that my eyes are still trying to open wide-enough to comprehend it.
While I’m still working on opening my eyes to these revelations, I have taken the first step in embracing shoelaces by purchasing not one, but two, pairs of shoes with laces. There are still times when I get upset or frustrated when my shoelaces come untied but I’m learning to embrace them for what they are; imperfect. And there is a certain beauty to that, even when I trip on them in front of others.
That is, in fact, the truth.