Last week, for the first time in my fifty-seven years, I bought a pair of Birkenstocks. I can see why I waited so long. They are plenty expensive. I bought them because I was in Claremont village when the sandals I was wearing began falling apart as I walked. I looked across the street and saw the Birkenstock store. It was a sign, I thought. I found the exact pair I wanted and tried them on. They felt fine, except that the strap on the left one rubbed against my ankle. "I'll fix that", the saleswoman said, and got a piece of sandpaper, and sanded the leather. "You know what my mother used to do with shoes like that", I said, "she would take a candle and coat the place on the shoe where it rubbed with wax ." The saleswoman looked at me as if I was crazy.
I wore the new sandals out of the store, and went about my day. When I got home the sandals were entirely comfortable except for that spot on the left ankle. I sandpapered it. No help. When I realized that I wasn't wearing my expensive new shoes because I expected them to hurt, I got out the candles. I rubbed wax on the left ankle strap. No more problems. I'm not your mom, but I'm giving you this advice anyway. It really works.