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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Tinkle Tinkle Little Sneaker

One of the horror shows of getting older/being postmenopausal is the whole tinkle issue. Yeah, I’m not talking about some magic anime character either.

It’s embarrassing as all fucking hell.
Stress incontinence. You might lose a few drops of urine when you’re coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Or you might notice leaking when you’re lifting something heavy or doing something that puts pressure on your bladder.

Urge incontinence. The need to pee comes on fast and unexpectedly. You might not make it to a bathroom in time. This is sometimes called an “irritable” or “overactive” bladder. (source)
I now make every effort to hit the head whether I feel the urge or not. Despite this, coming home the other day from a long raft of errands and gym time, I…um…had a wee accident (yes, pun intended). I made it to the door of my house but no farther. *SIGH* Just another embarrassing reminder of the dreary vicissitudes of late middle age.

BUT WAIT! There's a majorly lovely upside to this – yes, in fact, there IS an upside. I leaked all over my New Balance sneakers. They were icky soggy and, to my mind, not worth running through the wash. Into the trash they went.

Why was I happy about this?

Evil Empire Sneaks
1) I’ve bought New Balance in the past because I thought they were manufactured here in the U.S. – specifically in Massachusetts factories. Made in the U.S.A. is the company’s big brag. I thought I was supporting the local economy by buying goods made by American worker bees.


According to a 2006 Fortune Magazine article, 75% of New Balance shoes are made in China and Vietnam. Yeah, my snazzy kicks? Made in Viet Nam NOT Massachusetts.

Those sporting the Made in the USA label? Not so much. In the December 20, 2016 post at Top Class Actions, (New Balance Shoes Under Scrutiny for Made in USA Label), I read that:
...only 70 percent of New Balance shoes are actually Made in the USA.  The remaining 30 percent including the outer soles of New Balance shoes are imported from China, directly conflicting with Made in USA labeling guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission.
Beloved but insufficiently supportive Cons
2) The other reason for the Happy-Joy-Joy over ruining my sneaks is Matt LeBretton, the New Balance vice prez for communications. He popped to the Wall Street Journal that “we feel things are going to move in the right direction” under Donald J. Trump.

New, less evil kicks!
Rilly dude, you’re the VP of communications for a company based in VERY blue Massachusetts and you didn’t think it might be spectacularly dimwitted to come out as pro-Evil Empire?
Milquetoast attempts to quell the outrage by New Balance did little to mitigate the issue, peaking when a Neo-Nazi publication proudly named New Balance the official sneakers of white people. (source)
A shudder of revulsion radiated through me every time I pulled on those damn shoes. I even tried just wearing my beloved Cons and Vans with FAT-ass gel insoles inserted. Nope, not enough support for long walks and gym work outs. *sigh* I couldn’t toss a perfectly useful pair of shoes though. That’d be nasty ass wasteful. I couldn’t just run out for a new pair while odious yet functional ones collected dust in my closet.

BUT with the Evil Empire running shoes all toastified, (liquified?) I could go out in search of new kicks. Found ‘em and on sale too! While no more than 70% of the materials comprising my blue babes were made in the US, that’s 70% more than my old, now piss drenched, trashed New Balance.

Also too, had I been paying better attention in Tweet World, I could’ve gotten a free pair!

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