I needed shoelaces. The laces that came with my L.L. Bean blucher mocs had started to deteriorate; small splits had opened, causing the white inner filling of the laces to poke through. I'd never seen laces do that, and it looked terrible.
You'd think it wouldn't be a big deal to find shoelaces. You used to be able to find them in any drugstore, but the shoe care section of the typical CVS has been shrinking steadily, to the point where it's a few packages of athletic laces on pegs and a few cans of shoe polish.
Also, I didn't want to buy the same kind of laces again, because I figured the same thing would happen. And since the laces that came with the shoes didn't stay tied well, I thought it would be a good idea to try rawhide laces. They are durable and more likely to stay tied, but they look similar to the ones that came with the shoes.
Finding them wasn't easy. Even shoe stores like the DSW downtown didn't have them. On a whim I ventured into the Army-Navy store on Tremont Street across from Macy's. Stores like this also used to be more plentiful; the one in Kenmore Square was a good source for simple, cheap clothing for my friends and me when we were in college.
The Army-Navy store did have rawhide laces, in both the typical orange-brown and a darker brown. They're meant for boots, so they were long, but cutting one lace in half gave me two laces just the right length for my blucher mocs, and I have the other one as backup. But this search made me think it might be a good idea to start stockpiling shoelaces.