My beloved clogs pictured here, here, and here, had reached a point in which my dad voiced his opinions on them nearing the end of their lifespan. I had worn them so ragged, that I was literally walking on wood, and grossing out friends and relatives. He suggested I toss them, and after a quick mouth-watering search of the Swedish Hasbeen shop for a similar pair, I couldn't justify tossing perfectly good, broken-in shoes AND spending a pretty penny ($186) for nearly identical clogs.
Contingent upon being hired at the museum, I was given a short list of places where I could use a special Art Institute employee discount, and on my newly formulated bucketlist, I'd like to try my darndest to hit every place on that list. In addition to free entry to most Chicago Museums (as well as MoMA, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and anywhere I ask and wave my ID), there are small businesses near the museum campus where I can use a discount; one of them being Ace Shoe Clinic in the basement of 55 East Monroe.
I packed up my sorry looking clogs, took them across the street, and did my best not to be too ashamed or disgusted by how worn and gross they appeared. The shoe man, took a look at them, clicked his tongue, wrote me a ticket, and told me to come back the following Wednesday. I waited with abated breath, and was shocked and pleased with the result. For $34, I was given my babies back, looking fresh as ever, and ready to be taken for another year of walking and exploring.
I feel pretty awesome about this experience overall, and happy to have found that given a little bit elbow grease and the right resources, I didn't have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a new pair of shoes, when I had a perfectly good pair that were able to be resoled - all while supporting local business! Everyone, before you toss something you love, take a minute to decide if it really needs to be thrown away, or if it is something worth rescuing!! We live in a time when new things come with a very short shelf life, which allows us to dispose of them readily without any thought. Not only are we creating massive amounts of waste, but we are also throwing money out the door!