Monday, June 7, 2010

Tying Shoes~ An Unexpected Lesson

I took my 100 mile trip into town Saturday to set up at the farmers market. I had one and a half hours of grey skies and rain while driving to decide if I really wanted to set up or not. My helping husband was off on a fish wheel launching expedition in Chitina that will yield us fresh Alaskan soon. (hopefully)

As I neared town however it started to clear up a bit to my disappointment as I had been thinking about all the things I could accomplish if I wasn't going to be set up. Then I noticed a steady breeze and that made up my mind. Breezes are the enemy of an outdoor booth set-up.

After much running about doing errands and a bit of craft shopping and lunch with my son I found myself at Barnes & Noble bookstore with my feet propped up at the big circular fireplace reading Somerset publications and getting an inspiration fix. Yes, it was that kind of day outside! Never did get above 50 F all day with clouds and a drizzly breeze.

A couple of older men nearby were involved in a bit of old fart windbag politics discussion and as they were winding up their conversation one of them looked at my shoes (one of them was untied) and started in telling me that I must have never learned the right way to tie my shoes because one was untied. I blamed the goofy shoelaces that they are making these days that never fail to come untied numerous times a day for me. "Oh no", he argued. "You just never learned to tie them right. I've been doing a study on shoe tying these last three years and have concluded that about half of people learned to tie their shoes wrong and you're one of them. Your parents probably told you to double knot it to keep them from coming undone but that's unnecessary if you just tie them right to begin with!
I must teach at least 2 or 3 adults how to tie their shoes the right way every week. Do you want me to teach you?"

Well I was a little hesitant but then quickly said "Sure, why not?"

(At this point he wanted me to place my foot near his lap and I had a fleeting thought that he may be a foot fetishist and this was his ploy.)

"Show me how you tie your shoe." and I quickly employed my method that I'm sure I had learned from one of my parents.

"See!, you learned the wrong way, what you're doing is a granny knot and your bow will always end up pointing from toe to ankle and will come undone. If you do it the right way the bow will lay side to side neatly and will not come undone easily. What you're doing after making the loop is going over with the tie and you have to do it the opposite of how you learned, go under and then you'll have it."

It was a little awkward to tie it the new way by going under rather than over after over 50 years of shoe-tying but I've got it now and am testing the validity of his claims.

When I was still fresh with my new knowledge and amusing story I headed to the restroom and who do you think I run into? - The only person in my life that I have ever taught how to tie a shoe, my almost 27 year old son! There he was standing at a book rack with his double knotted shoe laces. I had a chance right then and there to right the wrong I had inflicted on him and teach him the right way to tie his shoe laces. I saved him another 27 years of shoelaces coming undone that I had endured.

Wrong Way

Right Way!

( These pictures have been artfully enhanced so you can't see how funky these sneakers actually look)


  1. Cool you learn something every day.......excuse me while I go tie my laces to see if I do it right or wrong.....we were never taught that in the Brownies .....x

  2. I'm wondering about my shoes now, too...

  3. Go under, huh? I'm going to have to try that. Great pics.

    I think my bows lay side to side but of my 83 gazillion shoes, only one or two have laces. I think I'll go dig in the shoe closet and test this out. I do need to get some new workout shoes and I sure don't want them to come undone at the gym. how embarassing!
    BTW, I taught my kids how to use velcro.

  5. GREAT post and wonderful chance encounter!! loved it!! way to go with the flow! i meet the best peeps like this!! xx's

  6. Oh, No! You mean to tell me I've been doing it wrong all these years?!

    This is such a hilarious story. You'll have to let us know later if his claims are true.

    Love the funky shoe shots.

  7. Kim, I like the pieces you post that take us along through some of your everyday life. You tell a very good story and give rich details. I LIKE that you had the presence of mind to pause a moment before surrendering your foot to anywhere near his lap. And I shall soon do the test to see whether I've been wrong for life and also steered my daughter wrong regarding shoelaces. Nice, nice post! BTW, the next day, we reached a record high of 110 degrees for June 6th in Las Vegas. I think I'd opt for something in between what we each endure.

  8. Well now I'm going to practice lace tying!

  9. This is how the physical therapist taught me to tie my shoes! My husband tells me it's wrong, but it makes the bow lie like you say, straight across.And it's not how I learned as a kid.

  10. They definitely don't make shoes like they used to. Mine don't become untied so much as become loose, like they're about to fall off my feet. I'm constantly tying them to make them tight enough. Ironically, when I first bought the shoes, they were painfully tight. I started putting little balls of cotten in them so they wouldn't hurt my feet so much. Maybe all that cotten warped the shoes out of shape. Be careful what you wish for.


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