First make a bow, then a second like so – Guest post from Sean Fleming

April 6, 2011 in Latest, Life

Day 1 :: Shoes on, double knotted

Image by Meredith_Farmer via Flickr


As children we are dependent on our parents/guardians to teach us everything we need to know to get through life.
Of all the things I remember, I can clearly recall my dad teaching me to tie my shoelaces.  It took me ages to get it.  I had been stuck with pull-on shoes for long enough though and one day announced I wanted to learn how to tie my laces.


And so we spent what felt like hours and hours, night after night, with him showing me step-by-step how to tie shoe laces.

Eventually I got it.

I think I have a slightly unconventional way of doing it, as I’ve never seen anyone else tie laces quite like me. And my dad has form where an unconventional approach to shoes is concerned. But what the hell…. they stay tied and I’ve never felt the need to enter a “nicely done” award for attaching one’s shoes to one’s feet.

He also taught me how to polish shoes properly – having been in the armed forces it was something he instilled in me.  Two brushes.  One to put the polish on.  One to buff the shoes with.  And if you really wanted a super-shiny finish…. well, if I told you that I’d have fewer superpowers wouldn’t I. So I’ll keep that to myself.

In later years I had to teach myself a lot of life’s little practicalities.  How to cook.  How to clean.  Ironing.  Shopping.  The list goes on.

And it doesn’t end with practical stuff.

One of the things our parents and guardians need to teach us is how to be well-rounded emotionally mature individuals.  With or without well-tied shoes.

Did my parents show me love?

Of course they did.

As a small child I felt very loved, very cared for, very wanted.

Things began to change as I got a little older – six or so maybe.

My parents became distracted by their deteriorating relationship and – mostly on my own – I became mostly ignored.  Or worse.

Watching them relate to each other, like two elite athletes in the Passive Aggressive Olympics, I soon picked up a few handy hints on getting attention from the people I loved and showing them how much I loved them.

If you want someone’s attention, if you have a problem, or are feeling down, don’t talk to them.   After all, if they really loved you they’d know there was something up.

If after they can’t figure out what they’ve done wrong, give them the silent treatment until they come to their senses. 

What better way to be reminded by someone that they love you and that you are worthy of being loved?

Without really appreciating the extent to which all of this had formed part of who I was, I have – over the years – felt myself turn in the blink of an eye from an easy-going, kind-hearted and loving person into a self-destructive narcissist.

I can’t lay all the blame at my parents feet.

After all, I can still tie my shoe laces.



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