"First of Many, Hopefully"
July 9, 2003
Though the idea had been bouncing around in my head for over a year, I have finally acted. I retired my first pair of shoes.
Boys generally don't just outgrow shoes, they completely wear them out. Usually when a pair of shoes has a hole in the sole or cuts the owner every time they're worn, a pair of shoes is thrown away or given to someone who can make a few more steps in them. It is at this point where I would like to make a call out to my StuffLife readers.
Instead of throwing away those shoes (whether forcibly or not), RETIRE THOSE SHOES. It's simple and can be a lot of fun. There are only a few steps you have to take in order to have a successful shoe retirement.
1. Pick a deserving pair. In general, you want a pair of shoes that have a bit of personality. You may have a great story that goes with them, they may hardly be recognizable as shoes, they may be drawn on. For whatever reason, you loved those shoes. But now it's time to retire them because they just cannot be worn any longer.
2. Buy a replacement pair. No matter how sad you are to have the old pair leave you, you must move on. Do not buy a new pair that matches the old pair. You must be willing to accept the end of an era. Think about it - when the 80's ended, you didn't see anyone wearing legwarmers, did you?
3. Find a suitable "burial" spot. This is the trickiest part of retiring shoes. I like to use public places where they may be discovered within minutes of their burial. You, however, may want to retire your shoes where you can find them again and visit. This is completely up to you, but you have to remember that, unlike Michael Jordan, shoes can NEVER come out of retirement for next season. It may be necessary to carry the shoes with you (in the trunk, bottom of your gym bag, etc.) for long enough to find a suitable spot.
4. Add your calling card. (optional) Though it may be a special trait of my retirings to use public places, my real calling card is the use of a strong adhesive. In the above case, I wanted to glue the shoes to the bottom of the railing, but it wouldn't hold. So instead, I chose to glue the shoes...to each other. Now when someone stumbles upon these shoes, they will have to untie the laces to dispose of them. Which, of course, should make you wonder why I didn't add a little glue to the laces to make this impossible. This thought is the reason that you are only a rookie at retiring shoes and I am a master.
However, with a little practice and some creativity, you, too, can become an expert shoe-retirist. When you finally pull off your first one, please send the pictures, along with a story, and I'll do my best to get it onto the mainpage of StuffLife.
Until then, remember that wearing out a pair of shoes is an art. Now you can make the shoes themselves into art, too!
Posted by dennis @ 12:00 AM