#720 The final few seconds of untangling a really tight knot

undo that knotI don’t know how to tie my shoes.

I know, I know, it’s terrible, it’s embarrassing, but I seriously can’t tie my shoes the way most people do. I just — my fingers don’t slide the right way. When I try the loop-around-and-pull-through move I end up with a limp and loose version of the finished product. As a result, I’m stuck with The Bunny-Ears Method also known as The Double Loop or Grandma Knot. Yes, I make a loop with my right hand, a loop with my left, and then I tie them together. It’s a tiny bit slower, but that’s not the worst of it.

The worst of it is that it often results in massive, tightly wound knots that take forever to untie.

The Bunny Ears MethodAs a result, I try to avoid tying my shoes altogether. Instead, I spend one or two minutes wedging and banging my foot into them each time I leave the house. Although this technique results in completely squashing the back of my shoe, I find it preferable than sorting out the grandaddy knot waiting for me down there.

But sometimes there is no choice.

See at some point my scraggly knot will lay lazily on the side of my shoe staring up at me with its sad, dusty face. And I can only smile wearily, shake my head, and sit down on the step, and get ready to slog away in the five-minute heavyweight title card of Me Vs The Knot.

order a pizza insteadI’m not going to lie: I often lose this battle, choosing instead to throw on a pair of sandals or stay home and order pizza. But there are also days where I come out on top. There are days where I stick my fingernail in there as hard as I can and pick and pick and pick until the lace finally starts to give. And then I start pulling it this way and that way until I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the moment of truth, the dream becoming a reality.

Those final few seconds of untangling a really big knot happen in a hazy slow-motion. A twisted lace becomes loose, and then another, and then there is some frantic untying as it all comes undone.

Yes, whether it’s headphone wires, Nintendo controllers, phone cables, or skipping rope, it sure feels great during the last few seconds of untangling that tightly tied mess.


37_knotPhotos from: here, here, and here

Illustration from: here

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