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I Love My Feet

Podophilia. noun, (also known as partialism or paraphilia)
the love of feet, a condition when feet, legs, shoes, stockings, or socks are loved and can even produce sexual arousal. not to be confused with pedophilia, which is something completely different.

Hmmm. I just learned a new word.

But, regardless of whether it refers to tootsies or tots, I definitely don’t have it. I hate my feet. They are ginormous and are often mistaken for banana boats. I seldom can find pretty girl shoes in my size, and living in Mexico, even on Amazon, I have to buy boy shoes.

Remember the old schoolyard rhyme,

You’re a poet
And you don’t know it.
Your big feet show it.
Them’s Long-fellows.

Well, that’s me.

But that’s not all. After a run or workout, my feet stink with an aroma that would wilt toxic waste. I always air out my tennis shoes between exercise sessions outside.

I’ve only broken bones in my body twice. Both times were, you guessed it, in my feet. Once was from being on my feet too long while wearing high heels. I know. Dumb. The second time was when I was really, really absorbed in writing a story on my computer. One of my feet went to sleep. I lost track of time (it was great-American-novel stuff coming out of my brain), and I had to pee like there was no tomorrow. I stood up quickly to make it to the bathroom not realizing that my foot was so numb that a doctor could have performed surgery on it. I fell and my foot broke.

There’s more. When I get cold, my feet are always the first to go. Capt’n Clean’s temperature is constantly high, so, in bed, on those cold nights when I try to snuggle up next to him to warm up my feet, after yelling a few expletives about being attacked by the ice queen, he swears that steam arises from under the sheets.

There is no love lost on my feet.

Well, August 17th is I Love My Feet Day. It’s certainly not a holiday that I’ve ever celebrated. Who does? I envision big parties of unshod podiatrists and sexual deviants dancing conga lines while drinking Barefoot Wine and Sourtoe cocktails. Thanks, but no thanks.

But it got me thinking about why on earth would they make celebrating feet a national holiday. Come to find out, our feet, though often ignored, are extremely important and deserve our attention. The I Love My Feet holiday even has its own website. Here are a few fun facts that I never realized about my feet.

» Our feet have over 250,000 sweat glands and produce one pint of sweat each day. No wonder mine stink so much.

» Our feet absorb 200 tons of force each day. The average elephant weighs about 4 tons (8000 pounds), so that’s a lot of elephants we carry around each day. I know you scientists will find flaws in my analogy, but still, our feet absorb a lot of weight.

» There are 26 bones in each one of your feet. 25 percent of the bones in our bodies are in our feet. Wow! I guess if we’re going to break a bone, it’s more likely to be a foot bone. No kidding.

» Women are four times more likely to have foot problems than men. That’s because we like pretty shoes.

» You should toss your running shoes after 500 miles.

» Toeprints are unique to each person, just like fingerprints. Go figure.

Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve taken my feet for granted. Maybe I don’t hate them at all. Gosh, I feel bad now for all those years of foot-loathing. I’ve decided, in honor of I Love My Feet Day, I’m going to prop up my twin kayaks and give them a break. I’m also going to buy two new pairs of tennis shoes, maybe three, and get a pedicure. And last, but not least, I’ve written this apology letter to my feet. Let me know what you think.

Dear Feet,

I’m so sorry for never really appreciating you.

Thank you for all your support and everything you do for me. Thank you for letting me run, walk, skip and shuffle for so many miles. And I can’t forget the dances. Thank you for being there with me at every dance and performance I’ve ever done. Thanks for not failing me even though I’m clumsy and trip a lot. Thanks for being there with me every step of the way. You are amazing.

So, take the day off while I take the load off of you. You’ve carried me through a lot and I’m lucky to have you.



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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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