Let’s Get To The Foot Of The Issue:
I feel like I should explain all the foot shit with my regular, long-time followers. I know it’s not part of my usual programming, and it may have been a little disconcerting when it popped up out of nowhere, suddenly. Don’t worry; I don’t want to suck on your toes. Ewwwww. You can breathe out now.
Where I grew up, we were the kids that dropped our sneakers as soon as the snow melted and it was over 65 degrees. We walked barefoot over hard, crushed gravel driveways and dirt roads, and padded over wood and cement and tile at home, not rugs and wall-to-wall carpet. You didn’t NEED shoes to go walking through the woods; just had to watch out for old barbed-wire fences, that’s all.
So all these years later, when I get home the first thing off the instant I get through the door are my shoes. (Sometimes followed by shirt; sometimes pants; sometimes bra. I was also raised casually nudist. Fun stuff, Vermont!) I loathe socks. I never really thought any further about it than acknowledging it was just something that I did; I went barefoot. Inside and have to get some snow peas from the garden for dinner? Walk right out there; don’t pause for shoes. It’s just grass and some stones on a walkway. In approximately 1400 B.C, someone in Mesopotamia sewed some leather together and put it on their feet for the first time. For centuries before that, our ancestors walked soles-to-earth just fine. So a five-minute jaunt won’t kill you, and isn’t really worth pausing and rummaging around down by my feet for a minute. Simple, I thought. Logical. My friends and I thought nothing of going without shoes. Feet were just…feet. Kinda weird, just like that word, F-E-E-T. The things that carried you around. Normal. Functional. Boring.
And then, one fateful night a few weeks ago, I was sitting in a VW van (“Ah! A VW van,” you say! “How very much more Vermont of you; how hippie; how chic!” I’m not trying to make this any more hipster-shit cliche, I’m not, but it just fatefully happened that way,) when the man I was with leaned forward and pushed the little foam flip-flop that was dangling off the tip of my toes onto the floor. I didn’t move. He paused a moment, giving me time to react, and then took the foot that was resting over the knee of my other leg and drew it into his lap. He pressed his thumbs firmly into the ball of my foot and straight to my heart.
…You know how there are those funky Chinese acupuncture/pressure-point/energy charts of feet, Press Point A to have it be felt in Part B? Whelp. They are not such Old Age/New Age bullshit after all.
I’ve had casual foot massages before. I’ve run my soles over those funky little roller things with the nubs. I use a pumice stone on my heels. I’ve had people touch my feet before, pull on my toes, mess around with the absurdity that were my calluses and arches. This was NOTHING like any of those things. This was like sex and the high you get after a really good run and relief and melting into a blissed-out mental state, for your feet. When a woman orgasms, our Universe contracts to a few thousand nerve-endings South of the border for the few minutes before and during. And suddenly, I was having that same sort of single-focus, only-body-part existing phenomenon in my feet. My mind was BLOWN.
…He switched feet.
Goner. I was a total goner. Not even a chance. Here was this handsome, intelligent, articulate man talking to me about travel, offering me wine and chocolate, cocking a boldly darker eyebrow when I said something he found interesting (which is something that has always driven me inexplicably nuts when a man with lighter hair does), and he’s making my soles whisper urgent things to my vagina and my toes tell my brain spontaneously proposing to him wasn’t a really crazy idea. Really, it wasn’t even fair.
Reader, I obviously slept with him. If he could do that to my feet, imagine all the possibilities!
The next morning, he played with my toes while we talked. I looked down at my anklet, and really thought about the way it played up the bones in my ankle and complimented my arch. I looked down at his feet, something I think I have consciously avoided doing with every other man I have ever slept with. They were nice and neat, too. It was like the really yummy cake had not only frosting on it, but sprinkles and candles, too.
Two days later, I unearthed two old toe-rings and came across a photo here on Tumblr of a girl wearing barefoot sandals, and thought how totally impractical they were. Then I paused and thought of how cute they were and how infrequently I was actually wearing shoes. I started designing and making a pair. Two pairs. Five pairs. My feet, something I was actually thinking about for the first time in 21 years since I was 2 and probably still chewing on my toes because what the hell were these things attached for?, were suddenly interesting and well-accessorized and I liked them.
Feet. I mean, who really spends much time thinking about their feet? They were for more than just trimming and painting. I could look at them and their wacky polish and jewelry and they’d make me smile. It was like when I was in elementary school and discovered my clitoris. (Boys get over the surprise and novelty with their dicks for a few childhood years until again when they’re about 11; girls don’t even KNOW that there’s a secret, hidden thing in our body that does stuff until you accidentally find it one day!) I thought they were pretty damn cute; how did they really stack up? I started noticing other people’s feet and comparing notes. Check out her hair; where’d she get that shirt?; are her feet as cute as mine?; does he have those freaky monkey toes where the second is longer than the big toe? It just became another “something” of interest and pride. I have interesting blue eyes; a nice rack; and cute feet. These are my unique appearance traits. And if the man with the van wanted to touch them again, go ahead, sir; have at! But anyone else— my best friend, my mother, a doctor— no, thank you. Please feel free to look; don’t touch.
So, that’s pretty much the extent of it. Enthusiast? Yes. Fetish? I’m still unclear as where non-foot-people draw the line; I don’t think so. Feet to me still strongly belong in that “Things That Are Better To Just Look At Than Interact With” category along with modern art, chocolate souffles, and bat-wing shirts, unless you happen to be a certain man who I know can make them sing the Hallelujah Chorus. Now that I’ve gotten my initial Great Foot Awakening out of the way, I don’t expect you’ll be seeing so much “feet shit.” But until the leaves fall and we get our first dusting of snow, if there’s a full-length photo of me, you can be assured you’ll see me without shoes. Try it more. There’s nothing better than a pair of tough feet. I bet you’ll like it.