When I was a teenager, I hated feet. I hated mine. I hated yours. I thought that all feet were ugly and weird, and I hoped that someone would remove them in the night and replace them with shoes. Perma-shoes.
I remember my first pair of open-toed shoes. As I sophomore in high school, I bought a pair of Birkenstock. (I was a dirty, Republican, atheist hippy who wore hiking boots every day JUST IN CASE a hiking trail appeared. Hippies are always prepared. Mostly for snacking.)
I put them on and stared. I could not imagine wearing them to school. Because everyone would see MY TOES.
Now my feet aren’t particularly hairy or vein-y or ugly. Their only oddity is my second toe is larger than my big toe, which weirded me out until I read that it’s a sign of royalty. QUEEN OF THE BIG TOE. Awesome. It’s like the worst kingdom I could ever imagine. I just hated feet.
I entered the halls of my high school hoping that my long floral dress will hide the gang of ten. But no one ran away screaming except me. And so began my open-toed shoe obsession. Although I merely see it as an extension of my general shoe obsession. I have flip-flops and cute satin strappy heels, and I wear whatever I want to as long as they are adorable.
But I still find feet vaguely offensive.
When someone’s Facebook profile or Twitter avatar is feet, I spend an inordinate amount of my day looking for reasons to unfriend him.
I display a mixture of awe and contempt for people who become podiatrists or pedicurist. If there is a hell, I will be scraping foot calluses and painting toenails for the rest of eternity. So how they can endure it now is a great mystery of life.
When I sit on the couch with my husband and he moves his feet towards me, I flinch. I’ve tried to love his tingers (toe + finger). They can write and pick things up off the floor with the agility of hands and a lot less effort. They are amazing and really appeal to my lazy, freakshow side.
Scott wanted to do a picture of his feet near my face and I said: But I’ll look like this.
And he said: Exactly. And started prepping for the photo.
Until I cried out: BUT I’LL BE DYING ON THE INSIDE.
The only exceptions to my feet phobia are my children.
Their little toes can climb up my body and poke me in the ear, and I will giggle and pretend to eat them. PUT FEET NEAR MY MOUTH! EAT FEET!
If I got into a time machine and took my thirty-two-year-old, baby-toe-nibbling self and told my teenage self this foot fact, Teenage Alex would’ve broke out THE LOOK from above (with less forehead wrinkle) and responded: DUUUUDE, that’s disgusting. You’re crazy. STOP FREAKING ME OUT! Also, did that tree just move?
And hiked away.