"Finicky" means very hard to please. "Finick" means someone like me, who is very hard to please.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A great solution for vanity, laziness, age, infirmity and Michael's baby/old-man sneaks

I'm not really lazy. It's just that I think some things are not worth the effort they require -- even if many other people think it's not much effort and the end results are worth it. I'm selective about the things I will work at and work for. I have limited time, and have to establish priorities.

I guess that means I'm selectively lazy.

I'm also selectively vain.

I long ago decided that I'd risk "blepharoplasty" surgery if I developed old-people hanging bags under my eyes. I could not stand seeing them in the mirror and I check for them periodically.

My neck suddenly developed some loose skin. It's usually hidden by my beard, but I hate my mirror during the first few days after a beard trim. I'm not sure if I'll go for plastic surgery or a long ZZ Top beard or a big supply of turtleneck shirts, or keep my chin tilted down.
On the other hand, I'm too lazy to get involved with a hairpiece, so the whole world knows I've lost most of my top-of-head hair.

I'm too lazy to get involved with contact lenses, so the whole world knows I need glasses for reading and computing.

Except for a few brief interludes, I gave up on shoes with laces many decades ago.

I got along fine with loafers, boots, sandals, sneakers with Velcro straps, and even rubber beach booties.

About ten years ago I discovered Crocs. They were comfortable, durable, grotesquely fashionable, inexpensive, suitable for work, weddings, beach, backyard and bedroom. I accumulated about eight pairs, including two with fake fur linings.

About seven years ago my podiatrist proclaimed I had a heel spur and Achilles tendonitis. He prescribed cold packs, twice-weekly physical therapy and new shoes. Real shoes, not Crocs. And with laces. Something with support.
I told him I don't wear real shoes. When I was in college, I often went to class barefoot, like my ape ancestors. Merely enclosing my foot is a major compromise, and maybe going against nature. Except in the winter.

I have a few real shoes for funerals, but I plan to be barefoot or Croc-ed at my own funeral

The doc offered a compromise, New Balance sneakers, with almost as much support as shoes.

I went to a local shoe store. The NBs cost over a hundred bucks. I remember when regular sneakers cost $5.98 and expensive ones went for just three bucks more.

But the NBs were comfortable, and they were even available with Velcro instead of laces. I thought I could live with that.
When I was trying them on, there was a little kid a few seats away from me, getting new lace-up dress shoes for Easter. His old and tattered Velcro sneakers were on the floor nearby. He was about four years old. He saw my new Velcro-equipped NBs. He laughed. He pointed to me and said, "look Mommy, that old man is wearing baby shoes like I used to wear." His mother told him to be quiet and that it's not nice to point.

When I got to the office, Cynical Cousin Dave laughed and pointed, too.

He said, "Nice old-man shoes, Gramps. When are you moving to Florida?"

Dave is about 36 years younger than I am. He has a huge sneaker collection, including weird pink ones. He sometimes served as an artistic adviser for my websites and book covers, and kept me aware of Gen-X fashion trends. I think his hats are stupid, but he has a good graphic sense and I like his T-shirts and we usually agree on wristwatches. I knew he wouldn't sanction Velcro, but I thought he'd agree that the NB bottoms were cool. He said the bottoms were not cool enough to counteract the Velcro.

I know he's right. There is a fundamental visual flaw in Velcro-ized footwear. The vertical gap in a shoe just doesn't easily coexist with the two horizontal straps. Laces really do look better. Snapjacks, which I wore in sixth grade, were a visually coherent solution and a good compromise among vanity, utility and lazyness. Alas, they disappeared around 1960. In junior high I owned a pair of the very first ski boots that had clips instead of laces.

In 2009 I was getting abuse for being a baby and for being ancient. All because of Velcro.

I'm just not sure if laziness will continue to beat vanity. My podiatrist will be pleased if I vote for vanity.

BUT WAIT. I found salvation:

LOCK LACES (Elastic, No-Tie laces)

  • TIME SAVER UTILITY: Never worry or stress about ever tying your shoes again during any activity. Our LOCK LACES are the original PATENTED (US Patent # 6026548) no tie laces that were developed 02/22/2000 and have the ability to turn your shoes into a slip-on.
  • SIMPLE INSTALLATION: Quick installation and easy to use. One size fits all; LOCK LACES are 48" inches in length and can stretch up to 72" inches. Recommend installing our no tie shoe laces while the foot is inserted in the shoe to allow for a more custom and secure feel. Each package of LOCK LACES come with 2 Lock pieces, 2 Cord Clips and 2 Laces suitable for lacing up 1 pair of shoes.
  • EXTRA COMFORT/SUPPORT: LOCK LACES conform to your feet for better comfort and support as opposed to regular flat/nylon laces. LOCK LACES also reduce pressure points at the top of your foot and give your feet a better feel throughout the day which allow you to increase your performance during any activity.
  • PERFECT FOR EVERYONE: Whether you're a runner training for the Boston Marathon, Mom wanting to put an end to united shoelaces in your kids shoes or if you're rehabbing an injury/surgery (knee replacement) during physical therapy, LOCK LACES make an ideal utility product for everyone. LOCK LACES are also great if you are trying to reduce your transition time for your upcoming triathlon, suffer from arthritis, tired of laces in your golf shoes breaking, an active senior citizen or suffer from neuropathy because of diabetes, LOCK LACES can make a positive life changing impact.
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: LOCK LACES are guaranteed for the life one use on a single pair of lace up shoes. LOCK LACES have a quality design built in to their elasticity which makes for a premier product which will outlast your pair of shoes with their durability features such as being water resistant.
I've bought Lock Laces for four pairs of Nikes and could not be happier. Installation takes about ten minutes for two sneaks, and putting the sneaks on takes just seconds. At the end of the day, or for mid-day couch-potato-ing, I can just yank off the sneaks without releasing the laces. I can easily loosen or tighten the laces if I want to.

There's never a need to knot, double-knot or un-knot. The laces seem to be indestructible. They look cool, too.

Lots of colors are available so you can choose subtle or flashy, blend-in or contrasty.

Price is $7.99 per pair, and the value of saved time is infinite. Runners and cyclists can get reflective safety laces for two bucks more. If your life is saved for $9.99 you've made an excellent deal.

VOCABULARY LESSON: An "aglet" is the rigid tip on the end of a lace. After years of near-daily use, one of my laces lost an aglet. I sent an email to the company, and a few days later I had a freebie replacement.

Manufacturer's website for info and ordering

Order at Amazon

Barefoot photo from http://notesfromaragamuffin.blogspot.com. Thanks.


  1. I wear New Balance almost exclusively now. You can get the walking shoes on sale through Amazon sometimes with free shipping for as low as $40.There are some that go for more, but I'm not doing workouts so the basic walking shoes are fine. And I still tie them although I have to put my foot on a chair or step to do it.

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