82. Proactive shoelaces

On my way home, I decided to stop off at the mall to get some new shoelaces. Look at me being proactive!

I walked into a place called Tootsies and started looking around. A lovely young thing approached me. “Can I help you, sir?”

If these places really want my shopping experience to be comfortable, they can train their staff to stop calling me sir; that’s what my teachers used to call me when I was in trouble. “Um … yes, please. I need some laces for these shoes.”

She took me to the shoelace wall, and was about to leave when she spotted my hopelessness. “What kind of laces do you need, sir?”

“Brown and round, please. Just like the ones I’m currently using.”

“Okay. We have these … and these.”

I looked at the two packages she pulled from the wall. “And what is the difference?”

She held them up to show me what it said on the fronts of the packages. “These ones are 60 inches long, and these ones are 36 inches. Which do you need?”

Now there may be people out there who carry that kind of information around in their brain, but I don’t count myself among their ranks. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know. They’re for these shoes. They have four grommets up each side, if that helps.”



She finally looked at my beat-up old Doc Marten’s. “Oh! Well the 60-inch laces would be for boots. That’s not what you need.”

“I’ll take the 36-inch then. You’ve just saved the day.”

Brenda used to always help me with these things. She would come shopping with me, and would narrow down the choices. I just wouldn’t even see all those things that don’t fit, don’t work, or are ugly. Now that I’m shopping alone, I realize what a HUGE help that was. It’s not a sexist thing: I don’t think women should be falling all over each other to make my shopping experience enjoyable. I just need a little guidance, and am willing to admit it.

So I’ve found two things now that I desperately miss from my marriage:

1. The dishwasher
2. Shopping guidance

No doubt there are other things. Love? Tenderness? Nope. To quote Muddy Waters: You can’t lose what you ain’t never had.