A Tale Of Yellow Shoelaces

Tennis Shoes Watercolor Illustration

When it comes to travel, sensible and comfortable shoes are a must. For me, this means traveling anywhere, even if it’s just across the room. So, you’ll only find me in shoes that feel like they’re not even there. A couple of years ago now, Philippe and I were shopping at one of those big shoe outlets. These are the stores that feel like you’re walking into a massive library of shoes, with more boxes on display than shoes themselves. The prices can be rather amazing, but the selection can leave a bit to be desired. If you like a particular style, you had also better like the color that it comes in. Once, while out shopping, I found a pair of tennis shoes that I’ve doodlewashed here, and I was immediately hooked. Noticing my euphoria, Philippe came over to see what I had discovered. He then decided to try on a pair in his size, and was hooked as well. The conundrum, of course, was that they were the exact same shoe. Looking inside the shoebox, we noticed a second pair of laces in gray and agreed that one of us would have to use those laces in order to make the shoes look different. So, we excitedly bought our new sneakers without first agreeing on who had to wear the dull gray laces.

Since Philippe usually wears any old shoe and most are rather drab in color, I assumed he would prefer the gray laces. After trying them on, however, it was clear, that wasn’t going to be an option. The color was odd and made the already grayish blue shoe look alarmingly sad. It was a bit like wearing the restless spirit of shoes that had recently died. We were now faced with the unfortunate circumstance of owning matching shoes. Next, we agreed, that was just fine, we would simply never wear them at the same time. Since it’s enough to just dress and make ourselves presentable in the morning, we don’t really discuss much then. So, more than once when we were about to leave for work, when we would notice that we were wearing matching shoes. The look that we shared was not one born out of unconditional love in those moments, but simply a blank stare full of challenge. One of us had to switch, but the question remained as to which one would it be? And, it was most often me, since Philippe argued that I owned more shoes and therefore had more options. So, after wearing them around the house a few times, they eventually sat on the floor instead. I figured I would get my chance once Philippe grew tired of his pair and switched to something else.

When the chance finally came, I’d already fallen in love with other sneakers and so this pair now sits forlornly in the corner. I noticed them today and realized they had never been allowed a trip to Paris or indeed been on a visit to the zoo. I felt a bit sorry for these shoes suddenly whose only crime had been becoming too popular. And in the process, they’d become much less extraordinary. I’ve seen Philippe wear them hundreds of times now so they’re just not quite as unique. This was indeed the first and last time we ever made the mistake of purchasing matching footwear. In many ways, though, it’s a comfort to know the person you love, loves the same things. It’s indeed this very connection that brought us together in the first place. Yet, shoes, like glasses, are a defining feature. One meant to illustrate our own unique differences not spotlight the similarities. But seeing these shoes always makes me smile. They played in a central role in reminding me I was definitely with the right person. Tastes are a terribly fickle thing, but when you find the one who can agree with yours, it’s a brilliant moment indeed. So, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart when I remember this tale of yellow shoelaces.

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Tennis Shoes Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Illustration
Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. naca A 4 months ago

    Charlie, I love you, but you can be awfully silly sometimes. Put some purple or neon green shoelaces in those sneakers and wear the darn things already!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Haha! Love you back! 😃💕So true! It would be that easy wouldn’t it? But they didn’t COME with the shoes… hehe… purchasing a new set requires an extra step! lol

  2. Sandra Strait 4 months ago

    Lol! With me, it’s my mother who has the same taste (and pretty much the same size) in shoes. invariably, if I buy new ones, her eyes will light up and she’ll ask in a trembly voice if she can try them on. That means I end up giving them to her – there is so little she truly enjoys any more. And if I really love the shoes, I just buy another pair. And you know what – when we go places togethe, both wearing the same blue paisley shoes with fluorescent green laces, people smile and laugh. It’s always an ice breaker. And if they think we’re odd? We are – but we made people smile. Doesn’t get much better than that!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww I love that, Sandra! 😃💕 What a beautiful story! Yay to ice breakers and having so many wonderful things in common!

  3. memadtwo 4 months ago

    I had a roommate who liked my taste, and instead of buying a duplicate, just borrowed my clothes. Whenever I was looking for something, it was almost always in her closet. Needless to say, we got along much better once we had each moved on to other apartments! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Haha!! Love that, Kerfe! 😃💕Yeah, I bet your relationship got quite a bit better when you moved on indeed! lol

  4. Karen Fortier 4 months ago

    These are neat sneakers Charlie. I agree that couples should not dress alike. I’m a white sneaker person but the thought of getting a wild color of new shoelaces might be fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, couples really shouldn’t dress alike on average… hehe… and you totally need to get some wild new color shoelaces to rock those white sneakers!!

  5. Lisa 4 months ago

    I think I’d buy some snazzy red laces and wear them. Picking colors for personal items is interesting. My current wheelchair is purple. My last manual chair was sparkly black, and the one before that was purple. My last high end bike was blue, but the first expensive one I bought was gray. I bought that gray bike right after I was diagnosed with MS. I accessorized it with pink. Pink seat, odometer, helmet, gloves, bike shorts, water bottles, and under-seat tool bag. I looked fab!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      haha!! I bet you look perfectly fab, Lisa!! 😃💕 Yeah, I just see you in pink and purple… even if the black was sparkly, it’s just a bit too drab! hehe

  6. mlaiuppa 4 months ago

    Why must you both have yellow shoelaces? Sure, the gray is dull so forget that. But shoelaces are cheap. You couldn’t buy some bright shoelaces in green or orange. Maybe find a bright blue to match your frames? https://www.amazon.com/MiracleCat-Color-Shoelaces-Sneakers-Length/dp/B07H6N1HDG/ref=sr_1_76?keywords=blue+shoelaces&qid=1564807579&s=gateway&sr=8-76
    Or an ombre, stripe, checkerboard. There are a plethora of colors, patterns, shapes and even laces you don’t tie. More selection then when I was a kid. Sure, the shoes might be the same but if the laces make the shoe then there would be nothing wrong with wearing the same shoes but with different laces. Give your shoes another chance. Let them travel a bit before they are consigned to the back of the closet or donated to charity.

    Personally? I buy athletic shoes with velcro, but I kinda miss the fun of all of the color and design choices that there are now.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      hehe! Wise advice indeed! 😃💕Yeah, the shoelaces do make the shoe… hehe… and there are a plethora of options, but it’s one added step that I just haven’t bothered with yet. I do sort of miss the convenience of velcro shoes though. 😉

  7. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    Cool shoes. I think you and Philippe should wear them on the same day for fun!

  8. Mary Roff 4 months ago

    Nothing quite like a comfy and cute pair of sneakers. Nice Doodlewash!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, a comfortable and cozy pairs of sneakers is the best thing indeed!

  9. Joan Canning 4 months ago

    Wonderful story an awesome shoes. What might have been hilarious, is if you both had gone out an shopped separetly an came home to show what a wonderful bargin you purchased, then realized you both have great taste in sneakers.
    By the way Charlie how many do you presently own, curious! I might have the count wrong or close with my list.
    Blue-My Favorite Shoes, Turquoise?-Always Wearing Comfortable Shoes., Green – Life in Sneakers..Leather looking Orange 2 tone! Getting New Shoes…Grey/Blue tone-Ordinary Days…Yellow Spending the Day in Socks ( at least 6 + new ones, maybe 7) just an observation. Loved all the stories with each wonderfully painted shoe.
    I must agree, colourful laces, an sneakers are fantastic, they bring a smile to everyone, one meets.😊💖💚💜💛💙👌

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      haha!! Oh wow Joan, you’ve totally caught me in my shoe habit! 😊💕Love it! Yeah, I DO own way more than Philippe, who tends to be more sensible in general about things. hehe… so that’s why I defer to his choice. I have plenty of others to choose from. In my defense, it’s been at least 4 months and I’ve not bought a single pair! lol

      • Joan Canning 4 months ago

        I to must confess, I’m a collector of excellent quality sandals that will last the test of time. Congrats on your will power. When a shoe calls to you, a purchase must be made, only if my friend isn’t along. Friends tend to question your need, { Do you really need another pair!} But the one thing I certainly do, is if I purchase one or two new clothing items, I always donate the same amount of new items I bought. I never realized how fast one’s closet can become over run, including the dresser draws.
        Both you an Philippe enjoy a lovely Sunday stroll in the sunshine.

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

          Thanks, Joan! 😃💕 And hope you’ve enjoyed a lovely Sunday! hehe… I love your story. I have the same intention, but recently, I have yet to take shoes to be donated, so I’ve been cut off by Philippe until I get that step completed. 😊

  10. LoriCtoo 4 months ago

    Take those cool shoes for a walk or a vacation! They are looking a bit sad sitting there waiting for an adventure!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, I’m totally going to take these out for spin. Philippe has already moved on so they’re fair game now! lol

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