I May Be Sticking My Foot In My Mouth, But Thank God It’s Not Your Foot In There

Al Gore does not have the monopoly on inconvenient truths.
I have one. And when it comes to *my* inconvenient truth, Al Gore is as guilty as anyone.
Prob’ly.

The fact of the matter is, other people’s feet are weird.

Throughout this holiday season, I’ve been privileged to attend a few dance recitals in my hometown. These have been in connection with a couple of different dance troupes, involving a couple dozen or so dancers, many of whom have been dancing barefoot. It has reminded me of something that I normally only need to process in summer, when sandals abound and the genetic dissimilarity is everywhere in evidence, and a thought of socks is but a pleasant emotion recalled in agitation–other people’s feet look different and weird.

It should go without saying, that while my feet are full of technical imperfections (after years of wearing heels on even the shortest run out for a newspaper, I’m far from foot model material) they are still–to me–the ur-feet.

There is no foot but mine, and yours are weird.

And I would hasten to add that I have no problem with other people having different faces, or chins, or elbows, or necks, or knees (sometimes those are a little weird), or asses or hips. That’s fine. You’re beautiful; celebrate it. Just….keep your shoes on.

Can you imagine being a podiatrist?? It would be other people’s feet all the time. A degree in Other’s People’s Feet. I think even if I were to go into general medicine I would spend uncommon amounts of time getting over the weird things other people’s feet do–they go in this way, they go out that way; some people have really wide toes; others have funny nails. I mean–in the spirit of full disclosure–my baby toes are barely developed. They’re like hunchbacks; just kind of folded over and dependant on the strength of the 4th toe. But that’s fine for me. It’s what I know.

Then there are the feet with wildly pronounced arches. These irritate me. I don’t understand it. They’re melodramatic; they labour the point.
What do you need all that arch for–do you shelter kittens under there??
They seem to me to be in bad taste.

I  have flat, practical feet. Nothing goes under them without my say-so.
I could not have danced in a ballet company (though really, my entire physique rebels against ballet–my body fairly flips the bird at Margot Fonteyn) and I suppose my feet say more of tree-climbing apes, than *Bolshoi Magic*. The point however is not at all that my feet are anything superior to those of another–I fully accept that in many ways they really are quite inferior, and I am generally careful to retain a professional handler to make them as tolerable as can be managed in the run-up to any kind of Mass Exposure.
Somehow it just always comes as a shock to see that other people have such other-looking feet. How did they get like that? What are the advantages? Could I love a man with feet like that?

That said: I do manage to make some sense of it–I don’t let it stop me from living my life.
But I suppose, in the way that some people are just like big, open wounds–shocked and dismayed every time they hear of violence and hatred springing up in the world–I’ll just never quite wrap my head around all the strange feet out there, lying dormant in their socks; their toes doing God-knows-what…


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One Comment on “I May Be Sticking My Foot In My Mouth, But Thank God It’s Not Your Foot In There”

  1. Contributing Factor Says:

    Other people’s feet are a kind of violence or hatred.


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