Thanks to all of you who have either commented or e-mailed me directly wondering if this post was eerily prophetic. Your concern was very sweet. Where would I be without you?
Fortunately, my silence has not been the result of major calamity. I had been meaning to write a follow up entry to my last one. Somehow, though, time always ran out on me. Days slip by quickly when you're faced with a ridiculously full schedule.
On top of that, my body seems to be responding to the cold-winter conditions of Midwestern Funky Town by going into semi-hibernation. While I have always enjoyed my daily sleep, I find myself going to bed early so that I can have solid ten-hour blocks of snoozing. It feels like I submit to a little mini-coma each night.
Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that the six week period between December 31 and February 14 (more or less) is always the worst time of year for me. Usually these are the weeks when I am the most busy and the least happy. This year was certainly not any different.
I wish that I could say that my temporary absence resulted in my finding ultimate Truth and/or my inner light. Alas, I had only two mild conclusions recently. First, I really need more Walter Benjamin for the Never Ending Research Project of Doom. This either means more reading or breaking out the Ouija board and attempting to contact his un-dead spirit. Either way, it’s best that we don’t talk about that part.
My other conclusion is that I am easily manipulated by techno-babble and aggressive sales people. This comes as a bit of surprise given how critical that I am of the media, advertising, academics, and all other forms of discussion. Put me in a mall with somebody working for commission, however, and I am easily moved.
Over the past few years that I have spent at the gym, I have come to recognize the importance of a quality running shoe. Shoes, like tires, are not a purchase where one cuts corners. If you go for the "bargain" in either, expect a blowout.
Given that I refuse to use any other cardio equipment beyond the treadmill, I need to keep replacing my shoes regularly to ensure that I have ample cushioning. Over the past couple of weeks, the telltale signs started showing up that I needed to get myself to the mall. When my knee joints begin to sound like snapping mousetraps as I walk, we know that I need some new shoes.
Before going to the mall, I had already decided to simply replicate the purchase of my last pair of shoes. After all, they had served me well and I put tons of miles on them before they finally gave out. Such noble plans often fail.
The sales associate at the athletic store wasn’t prepared to let me walk out with last year’s model. “Ack, you are still using the ASICS 2110 model? How have you managed?” she asked in feigned horror, “I mean, I could sell that to you again, but there have been some significant changes in runner’s technology since last year.” I liked how she made “technology” to be a possessive of “runner.” Not only is it technology for jogging, but it belongs to runners uniquely.
At first, I held strong and asked her to see if they still had the 2110 model. With a little bit of time, though, I fell to her message. Clearly, what I really needed was the ASICS 2130. See? It’s a whole 20 higher than the 2110!
“The 2130,” she explained, “has a Space Trusstic System™ that creates a pocket between the Trusstic device and the midsole.” Without that system, I could face midsole deformation and loose my foot function. That’s not what I want, is it? To have deformed, functionless midsoles? If I bought the 2110 again, I might as well nail my foot to a piece of plywood and call that a shoe.
The only thing that seems to have really changed between the 2110 and the 2130 is the color, but I was convinced. Such capitulation, however, did not mean that my erstwhile sales associate felt that she had completed her task. No, no.
Had I thought seriously about the quality of my insoles? The 2130 was a good shoe, but those ASICS people cut corners on their insoles. Before my eyes, she disemboweled the 2130 to reveal the “flimsy and inadequate foam insole that they dared to put in such a great shoe.”
In the end, I walked out with shoes $30 more expensive than I planned on spending. Don’t say that GayProf isn’t doing his part for the nation’s economy.
P.S. This is entry 300 at CoG -- Please fawn appropriately.