Least Appreciated Body Part?

I don’t know about you, but all my life I thought that my feet were ugly. I was born with flat feet, which meant that I wore orthopedic shoes as a child. While the other kids ran and played in Keds or sandals, I clomped around in sturdy (and unfortunately, expensive) saddle shoes. If that wasn’t bad enough, my feet grew before any of my other body parts, and I was called “Big Foot” for years.

These days I feel differently about my feet. The years of painting my toenails are long past as many of them have turned into what can only be described as tiny little horns. The baby toenails are the worst (if this has already happened to yours, then you don’t need to hear more–you already know). These days cutting my toenails has become an adventure; many of them are so weirdly shaped and angled now that it takes quite a lot of finagling to get them all done. Oh, and I still get toe-knuckle hair, or as I like to call it, ‘gorilla toes.’ To add to all that loveliness, I have a huge bunion on one foot, and veins trace little blue trails on the tops of my feet.

However, all that said, my good old non-pretty feet have kept this body upright for years and haven’t failed me yet. They have walked miles in many states and many places. They suffered in my clumpy Earth shoes and clogs in the ’60s, my uber-high heels in the ’70s and ’80s (painful, but boy–did my legs look great!), then finally got a break in the ’90s when I mostly wore sneakers and high-tech slip-ons. These days my shoes and boots boast heels no higher than .5″, and they HAVE to be comfortable. My feet are grateful. They are also very happy that I invested in some really good orthotics.

When you think about it, feet are pretty important. They take us everywhere, either walking or running, driving a vehicle, pedaling a bike, and so on. They keep us balanced, and they keep us rooted firmly to the earth. We have had our foot in a door, put a foot in our mouth, danced until our feet gave out, and have been footloose and fancy free. I used to indulge in a pedicure now and then, but can’t anymore. Why? Because once anyone touches my feet these days, I become helpless with laughter–and I mean seriously helpless “happy piddles” laughter. It starts a laugh-roll that just won’t quit. So I feel I can no longer inflict my type of foot-crazy on everyone in the salon, so I just don’t go. I’m pretty sure that they don’t miss me, either.

Oh, I remember well when looks were EVERYTHING to me; from the current makeup craze, hair-dos, the latest fashions, the cute (but usually uncomfortable) shoes and the flirty feet (you know, pedicure, nail polish, toe ring and anklets). It seemed so dang important at the time. If my feet are not objects of beauty, at least they are functional, strong and capable. Oh, yes, and here is something that I can still do, foot-wise–I can pick up nearly anything with my feet. Yes, really. It makes my husband (the Crankee Yankee) laugh his head off (and freaks him out just a little).

I now find my feet rather beautiful. They are the reminders of all the paths I’ve taken, all the mountains I’ve climbed, all of the places I’ve walked, all the years I spent punishing them in Tae Kwon Do, all the slippery rocks I’ve teetered on by the shores of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, all the dances I’ve danced, and much more.

I guess you could say that I am finally comfortable in my own feet.


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