Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Has anyone ever told you that you didn't know your left foot from your right or that you didn't know your fanny from a hole in the ground?

Growing up I often heard those words from my dad in his feeble effort to squash my independence or maybe to kill off the bad case of OCR I've possessed since a young lad that drove him absolutely nuts.

Grace has a tendency of not knowing the difference between left and right when it comes to putting her shoes on. She's only four and this is understandable. It's a laugh when I see her stumble around the house, not knowing quite what's wrong and wondering why her left foot keeps going in the right direction and vice versa.

When I was her age it was never a problem with right or left. The real problem was in tying my shoes. Even at age 6 it was an art I just could not master. There was no way I could even come close to tying my shoes on my own. Mom tried and tried to help me to master the art of this string over that string but to no avail. I just couldn't get it. All the other kids could tie their own shoes, or so mom said that they could. Boy, did I ever feel stupid.

It wasn't unusual for mom to go over the top over some little thing. In this case it was about her alwaying tying my shoes. Mom had had it. One day she said "No more!" and never again would mom help me with what I thought a very complicated chore.

Maybe mom thought that if she didn't draw the line for me at age six that she would be forced into living with me for the rest of her life for the sole purpose of tying my shoes before I rambled off to work everyday. That would have been interesting.

I remember the day well when mom would no long tie my shoes, heading out the door to attend first grade, crying about the shoelaces that were dragging behind me in the dirt. Gads, I thought, what am I going to do? Was I destined to lead a life of untied shoes? Would I have to ask strangers on the street to tie my shoes for me?

Across the street lived a nice little girl named Jeanne. We were the same age. Apparently Jeanne heard my squalling as she was soon on our doorstep where I was sitting, elephant tears running down my face. At age 6 Jeanne and I had already decided that one day we were going to marry and have 12 kids, all gifted and very talented, blond headed, one of which would be President of the United States in the year 1998. We had it all figured out.

Jeanne soon found out what the matter was and quickly said, "Here, I can show you how to tie your shoes". One lace here, the other there, Jeanne made it look like a snap. "Let me try", I said and in an instant I had tied both shoes. What mother had failed to accomplish in many lessons Jeanne did in less than 60 seconds: I could tie my own shoes!

Into adulthood Jeanne prides herself, as she introduces me to her family or friends as being the person who taught me to tie my shoes. I still turn red when she reveals my little secret.

Had we stayed in Fresno Jeanne and I might have married, had those 12 kids and lived happily ever after. As destiny would have it, this was not in the cards.

They say that as we age routine tasks become a little more difficult. For example my dad who was well groomed in younger years but in his 60's and 70's let nose and ear hairs grow to lengths I had never seen. Those babies got really long! "Dad?", I say, "It's time for a harvest." And with my reminder he would reluctantly trim those pesty hairs.

As I age I wonder if I'll have a problem with tying my shoes again. Will there be a day and like Grace will I not be able to distinguish left from right? Maybe I should have left and right tattoed on the tops of my feet. That would be the ticket. Where ever I would go there they would be - left and right feet labeled so there would never be any mix them up. There would be no right foot headed in the left direction.

I've always wanted a tattoo. This is the perfect excuse to do just that.

All things to consider as time marches on.

Oh yes, my shoes are tied this morning and on the correct feet. Do I ever feel good about myself. Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States