After surviving the drama that is growing up, I have learned to be comfortable in my own skin. I am no longer exceedingly self-conscious about my appearance. My scintillating personality more than compensates for any physical quirks. Except for my feet.
Anyone who knows me well knows I loathe my feet. I hate looking at ’em, they hurt, they look ridiculous in cute shoes, and most of all, I can’t stand for other people to see ’em. It is only within the past few years that I will even wear open-toed shoes. I finally figured, so what, they’re my feet and you gotta love the whole package.
For starters, I have bunions on both feet. I have had them since I was a teen. Right after I graduated from college, I had surgery to correct them. The surgery got rid of the pain, but they look all the more hideous with the scars. And worse, the left one is coming back. The podiatrist told me in 1989, give it ten, 15 years, and sure enough, it’s baaaack, just like the Poltergeist.
Also? My second toes are way out-of-proportion longer than the rest of my toes. The bunion surgery only exaggerated this issue, as they took a small wedge of bone out of my big toes, which shortened them. I could probably get over this, except for two things: One, the third toe on my right foot is too short. In fact, it’s missing a bone. It looks extra hideous next to the extra-long big toe. And two, my left second toe has developed a hammertoe.
My second toes have always sort of curled downward. But within the past year, the first joint on the left one has shot up into what appears to be a right angle. It hurts inside shoes. I looked down at my feet one day and said, my goodness, Mary Losch’s foot is on the end of my ankle and GAAAH how did it get there?
Mary Losch was my grandmother – my mom’s mom. She was a wonderful woman – plump, with an ample bosom, and she gave the best hugs. She also had a variety of health ailments, among them, her feet were a wreck. I remember visiting with her and watching her toes, all bound up inside her support hose, as she rocked in her rocking chair, and thinking, ick. I hope I never have old grandma feet.
But, I do. And I’m only 40!
So yeah, I’m obsessed about my feet. I look at other people’s toes, especially in summer, and think, wow, I wish I had feet like those. Or, even more fun, I love to spy some hideous feet and be able to think, well, mine don’t look so bad next to those.
I spied just such a pair coming up the Metro escalator a few weeks ago. It was chilly – definitely not flip-flop weather – but the girl in front of me was sporting a skirt and some old flip-flops. I glanced at her toes and had to double-count: Upon first glance, it appeared she had only four toes on her left foot! But then I looked again. Her third toe was growing on top of her fourth toe, such that two toes occupied the same space. And she was wearing flip-flops! On purpose, in March! I so would have been wrapping those puppies up inside socks and boots until at least June.
If that chick can run around with her mutant toes hanging out in March, then perhaps so can I. I hear DSW’s having a big sale…