Shoelaces and How They are Sincerely Out to Get Me

November 29, 2011
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I learned to tie my shoes before my brother, who is two years older than me, did. I was so proud of myself. Sitting on the bottom steps in the front hallway of our house, I made two lopsided bunny ears and knotted them together. Henry soon ditched the Velcro-strapped shoes to learn as well, because nothing is worse than being outshone by your little sister, again. Ever since then, it became a ritual for me, left shoe first, then right. Make the bunny ears and tie them together, twice, so they stay. I never learned the fancy way of only one bunny ear and wrapping the other around until seventh grade. One of my best friends and my gym teacher helped me. I announced to the class that I learned to tie my shoes. No wonder they were surprised when I ended up graduating with a 4.0. I was, too.

Now, people tie their shoes in all kinds of ways. There are the “cool kids” who tie them loosely, with the sk8r shoes with the puffed up tongues. And the “really cool kids” who are just too cool to be bothered to even tie their shoes. Tripping was somehow never an issue for them. If you’re that cool, you don’t trip. Ever. When I was in elementary school, it was fashionable for girls to have shoelaces that curled on themselves like pin curls. I never had those, but they looked really confusing to tie, so I was glad. Tying shoes was something I did every morning, and it had to be done perfectly. I had to pull the laces all up the shoe tight, so they were all uniform. Then I would make a knot, hold it in place with my finger so it wouldn’t loosen, and make bunny ears before tying them together. Then tie the ears together again so the knot would stay all day. Then continue on to the left foot. By middle school, everyone had their shoes generally tied, but everyone was able to slip their shoes on and off with ease. I wasn’t. It was always a struggle to get them off and putting them back on without untying and re-tying was a ridiculous thought. If one shoe got untied during the day, the other would have to be as well so they were both even. Just tying one caused imbalance and discomfort that distracted me all day. So I never got to be so cool with my laces untied, or even loose. I would’ve started crying from the unevenness of it all.

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