Shoestrings are those things that some people live on, some people trip over, and some people tie more or less successfully. My wife has observed that unsuccessful tying seems to be my habit. Using some of the more advanced techniques does not always seem to help. Eventually they come undone and trail awkwardly, close to and akin to an Achilles heel.
The fancier types of shoestrings are the worst. Finished leather, polished and decorated shoestrings slide out of knots like sleight of hand. Plain old cheap ones hold the longest. Bending down and retying regularly would seem the obvious solution, but there are so many other things to do. Why allow such a distraction to interrupt the more important things, that is until the shoes themselves threaten to slip off.
Shoestrings have a life of their own, which makes “living on them” slippery indeed. Pity those who must. Pity the poor. Pity the state and national governments who must, and who find the easiest place to tighten their belts (mixing metaphors) is to cut programs that assist those who already live on shoestrings. That is slippery! Those who make such decisions are far enough away that they do not have to worry about tripping over those shoestrings, more’s the pity.
Living on shoestrings among people who also live on shoestrings, in a society of people who willingly live on shoestrings so that everyone can have shoes, is much to be preferred to the alternative—loafers, whether they are expensive fancy loafers or not.