January 01, 2008

Happy New Year! Now, Let's Talk About Toosies

"Everybody cut loose ... footloose"

As some readers may recall, I once posted a random Hagtoid* about feet and how much I don't like them. It's not that I don't admire the job they are stuck with. In fact, sometimes, I'm almost in awe of them. I sure wouldn't want to lug around all that poundage every day.

BUT ... despite the fact that they carry our sometimes fat asses all over town from the moment we rise in the morning till we sleep at night, feet are the only body parts that we willingly abuse just for the sake of amusement, fashion, or ironically - fitness.

Back when I wore the skin of a younger woman, I couldn't wait till payday each Friday so I could run up to Nassau Street or Maiden Lane (downtown NYC) to shop for new shoes. Yes. Each payday. This was my big treat back then ... I didn't spend a lot of money on myself for other things in those days, but I had to keep up with a sharp image while working on Wall Street.

Shoes were a way for me to be artsy in an otherwise fartsy world. Don't forget my little lieblings, I worked there in the days just following the era of the white-gloved receptionist in her three-piece suit. Let's just say there weren't any dress-down Fridays back then. There also weren't any women in slacks, trousers, pants or whatever you'd like to call them. Not at Thacher, Proffit, Prizer, Crawley and Wood^ there weren't.

Having this shoe-pendency, I enjoyed many a platform style, many a wedge, classic pump, and even the fabulous FMHs (stilettos). Walking up to my job from the South Ferry Terminal (about eight city blocks) and back down again at the end of the day, I often felt like I could go about thirty more blocks if only I could switch out for someone else's feet! Boy did those puppies crash and burn by the end of my workday.

It wasn't until I went to a chiropodist (sher-ah-podist)at some point during my thirties when I was informed I had really "done a number" on my poor feet. Of all the shoes that will ruin a perfectly fine set of hooves, it's the stiletto that will wreak the most havoc in years to come; particularly those with a pointed toe. These were my favorites --- but of course.

Oh, and I didn't stop at just wearing them to and from work. No no no no ... I had to add insult to injury and wear them out dancing three nights a week as well. Great. Way to teach those toes allllll the bad habits.

And so - now I pay a dear price. I get the weirdest aches and pains in my toes and feet - and without any provocation. My feet are ultra-sensitive to the touch, and I dare you to try to find a more crooked set of toenails! They (the nails) were taught well and cannot seem to unlearn their lesson; they migrate toward the center of gravity (center of a shoe) whether the style commands it or not.

Being the good little boomer-come-lately, I also owned the obligatory Birks*^ and earth shoes. I clearly recall putting them on during my leisure and feeling as though I was walking on air. I just couldn't cozy up to the look of them. You can tell where my head was back then.

I neh-eh-ever liked feet. I remember as a kid walking around the grocery store with my mom ... occasionally spotting a pair of ugly, sandled feet and thinking "Double ew." So as not to repeat an entire dedication I already made to this specific topic, let's just say that I don't think ANYONE should assume that people want to see their feet. At all. Ever.

It's kind of ironic then - that my own set have turned against me at my midlife+ age. Maybe they knew how I felt all along. I just didn't care for them. And now, I'm feelin' it.

*Hagtoid: a factoid about the Hag
^ TPPCW: a law firm I worked at in the earliest 70s
*^Birks: Birkenstock shoes with soles made of cork