22 March, 2013

My Wayward Shoelaces

A good friend posted to Facebook the video I've attached below. It's a trailer for the film The Importance of Tying Your Own Shoes.

This is a description of the film:
"When his girlfriend Lisa eventually gets fed up and chucks him out onto the street, Alex is forced to look for a job in order to survive. All of a sudden, he finds himself working as an assistant to a troop of ... [people with intelectual disabilities] at a group living facility with inflexible routines, endless courses in how to tie your shoelaces, and, above all, lots of very bored individuals.

Following a disastrous start with muddled schedules, angry reprimands from his boss, and an emergency visit from the fire department, Alex gradually starts to tune in to the warm and charming individuals around him. Beneath their handicaps and medication, they are bounding with energy, full of dreams, fun-loving spirit, and unexpected talent.

Alex and his new friends face an uphill battle as they struggle to overcome preconceived notions, angry and anxious families, and a prejudiced environment in order to achieve their goal – to take part in the national hit TV show 'The Talent Hunt.' This feisty bunch has tied their last shoelace!"

It looks to be a wonderful film, a "deeply moving and uplifting comedy with plenty of heart and soul," but that's not really want I'm thinking about. Sort of, though.

What is it about shoelaces? Why are they so symbolic? As an individual with some physical challenges, dressing is the one activity where I can get the most frustrated. Normally I do fine and manage the buttons and zippers and snaps with one hand. Although I rarely wear them, I can even tie a necktie with one hand. Sometimes, though, I need help getting a sweater positioned properly or fastening an recalcitrant button. Those occasions don't bother me much, but shoes ...

Most days my sneakers are already tied, and I just slip them on or off. Occasionally, one or the other needs re-tying, and it is the one thing for which I most dislike requesting help. If I am at work, my shoe will probably go untied, but I don't even like asking for help with laces at home. I do, of course, because it is the one thing I can simply camnnot do by myself.

As you might imagine, I have given this quite a bit of thought, but I remain uncertain about why this one act is the most emotionally problematic for me. Any ideas?