Monday, February 18, 2013

Zen and the art of footwear choices

Please excuse the cliche title and the following drivel I wasted the name on... Many things happen in my day to day life. A lot of it is either overwhelming or underwhelming and the whole experience usually ends with me stupefied by the end of the night desperate for a few moments alone but when my time finally arrives, I'm unable to do anything useful at all! I often end up sitting, numb, in front of the computer late at night, not creating anything, not writing just numb wanting to zone out. Unable to concentrate I'll fall into a mind numbing video game, or watch a movie or Youtube videos. Desperate to disengage and acting out like a teenage brat who's parents have finally left him alone!

Oddly when I finally have the energy to write on this blog, for some reason I never seem to want to write about the important stuff. It's all too confusing and fraught with complicated emotions that I can't really express anyway. I'd much rather write about my thongs!

Thongs: My apologies to the cobblers (for want of a better description) of quality rubber (Not actually rubber.. more a cocktail of chemicals) footwear. Over Christmas I visited my parents in Melbourne. As the gifts were passed around on Boxing Day I received a small flexible parcel of familiar weight and size. Ripped the paper off to discover a new pair of thongs… I had a $2 pair on at the time but kicked them off and tried on my new ones. They fit nicely.     

I don't know which shop they came from but it obviously wasn't the 'Throw away imports from China Store...' I’ve been wearing this pair of thongs for nearly two months, cycling every day and sometimes on bikes with those horrible bear trap peddles. I am pleased to say that the thongs have withstood all kinds of punishment and are still holding together nicely. Looking back on a previous post I realize, as I did when I wrote it that I was overgeneralizing about the poor quality of modern thong making material. OK it's not a subject that you'll hear discussed or debated seriously anywhere other than a pub or a sundowners session at a seasonal seaside caravan park, but since thongs are pretty much all I wear I figured it was a subject worthy of comment and consideration.
My comments about poor quality were obviously based on my personal spending habits which were guided entirely by my Scroogliness, which had temporarily overridden my usual sense of judgement when it came to quality of materials, workmanship etc... Ignoring the range of fine quality footwear available to those who bother to find them I chose to condemn the all aspects of modern thong production and focus my post on a bragging session about my skills of ‘walking in thongs’.
Oh… what a prideful of a braggart am I!  (I also failed to mention all the times I've stupidly stood on sharp objects which have penetrated my thongs and lodged themselves in the heel or ball of my feet! Which I'll never admit to!)
Well I just thought I ought to confess and admit that my comments about the generally poor quality of all thongs was incorrect, some thongs are better than others. Over the past year I'd allowed my miserliness to override my sense of value for money and sense of quality. I broke one of my golden rules of judging a bargain! Is this cheep thing I'm buying actually any good?
I'd contented myself to purchase the cheapest of crappy thongs from the supermarket, rather than venture out to one of the larger department stores or shoe shops to purchase my thongs. I elected to pay $4 rather than $10 or $15 which would have set me up with a quality set of 'flip flops'. In fact if I'd bothered I could actually have found a decent pair of thongs for under $10. The fact that I was too cheep to pay a couple of extra bucks for a much better quality of foot rubber is only testament to my stinginess.

So as an addendum to my previous post, the premise of which, when it comes to learning to walk, I'll stick to however I must concede that a decent quality thong will take the traveler much further than the cheep crap I'd worn through 3 sets of last year!
Lesson learned? In future… always buy the better quality thong… And walk in them like they are the soles of your feet. ;)

If you'd like to learn more about thongs from people who take them much more seriously than I, check out the Powerhouse Museum tribute to the 'Rubber thong' HERE, it's a pearler! 


Joe (Shiggy) said...

If it goes on your feet, then it's worth paying good money for. I've got a $25 pair of thongs (outrageous, I know) that I've been wearing for over 2 years now, and they're as comfortable and mildly protective as ever, albeit a little thinner than they used to be.

Obviously we pay too much money for too much crap in our lives, but I think if there's one purchase we can allow an abandonment of guilt for, it's comfortable footwear. We use our feet everyday - they are incredibly valuable assets, worth protecting.

Plus, a better quality pair will outlast a cheap China-shop pair 9 times out of 10, so you're saving on landfill too.

In closing, don't chide yourself for taking the time to thoughtfully consider a seemingly frivolous subject – it's often when we example something as simple and everyday as a pair of thongs that we can gain true insight into our habits and values.

Walk on!

David J said...

Hey Joe,
very true.
There's plenty to be learned of life through the soul of a foot!

If my feet are my only carriage I should treat them kindly...

Not to mention the Karma problem of generating more waste!

Joe said...

Have you left Facebook, Dave? Wanted to send you links to some audio you may be interested in listening to, but couldn't find you on there...

David J said...

Hi Joe. Yes I have unplugged from that particular matrix...
First I wrote a brief explanation to all my friends that I would soon evacuate the space. Then I 'unfriended' everybody which generated all kinds of ambivalent emotions for me. Then I sent the account into hibernation.

I realized at the time that as soon as they were unfriended my explanation would disappear but that's the fickleness of the interweb for you!

LOL. Maybe I'll write something here about it.... Who ever heard of unfriending anyone anyway?