When I was about 13 or so, my best friend at the time sat me down, a somber look in her eyes.
“Poppy,” she began solemnly. “You need to promise you will do what I’m about to ask of you.”
My mind reeled. What was she about to request? To be BFF’s until the end of time? To let her wear my new Ralph Lauren polo to the social on Friday? (Pined after for so long and finally in my possession). To tell her if her blonde highlights suited her?
“You need to swear to me that when we go to the school ball, you’ll wear enclosed shoes.”
I was flummoxed. Aside from that fact the event was a good three years off, I didn’t know what dress I was going to wear. Why, it could call for a peep toe, or a strappy number; I couldn’t promise to go covered over if it didn’t suit the frock!
“Why?” I queried.
“You have the ugliest feet I’ve ever seen,” she divulged. “Truly hideous. If you want to look beautiful, you can’t have those babies on display.”
From then on feet became a real point of interest for me. Should I encounter someone barefoot I would take sneaky (ok, let’s be honest; blatant) looks at their feet. I mean, just what was the criteria to have a good looking version of such a feature? Long and lean? Short and squat? Somewhere in between?
I was mightily offended my bestie called my feet ugly. So much so, I purposely wore my RL polo to the social just so she couldn’t (and dropped into casual convo that caramel streaks can’t be pulled off by everyone). Stealthy revenge, I sniggered. But I just couldn’t bring myself to wear my open-toed sandals to complete the outfit; the so-called ugliness of my feet forbade me. So enclosed Air Force 1’s it ’twas (this was early 2005 I’ll have you know, very very the go).
I happened to actually quite like my feet. Long and narrow, rather flat, with a pale pink scar adorning the top of the right one (alas, I wish I could whip out some fab tale as to why the scar is there; unfortunately it is nothing more exciting a reason as the picking of an itchy bite scab leaving a spot). Yes, my second toes may be slightly longer than the “big” ones (ok, slightly more than slightly, especially when stretched out with the aid of the forefinger) but I liked this quirky characteristic. I inherited my feet from Henio, and everytime I looked at them I had fond thoughts of my father.
I’ve always thought of the foot as a bodily component akin to that of the elbow. You know, an aspect you wouldn’t usually compliment or take much notice of. But how wrong was I? I have to say in becoming engaged with the lowerest area of the bod, I have found my fab foot crush; Deb. Sensational tootsies, it must be said, though they are the result of plastic surgery (bunion removal. So not blessed with a genetic lottery win there).
Apparently foot jealousy is a real thing. Being green-eyed for fantastic feet is a feeling a fair few feel. And not just for aesthetic reasoning; feet are said to greatly reveal quirks and characteristics of the personality.
A person hustling around on high arched feet is apparently immensely independent and self sufficient. However, Chinese philosophy warns to beware of such a someone being rigid and brittle. Should you have fairly low or average arches, you’re meant to be extroverted and a good time. Wide feet point to a person with their feet firmly on the ground (in both a literal and metaphoric sense), happiest when they’re busy and always on the go, but need to find time to reflect and just be plain idle. Methodical precise and perhaps slightly anal persons have toes which graduate neatly in size (i.e. Big toe is biggest, second is second biggest, etc right down to the pinky – is it a pinky on the foot too? – toe).
So in light of such revealing of personality, what do my trotters say about me? Reputedly, I have “princess feet” (bet the old BFF would disagree) that barely touch the ground. I was born to be waited on, but I need to spare a thought for everyone else. I find it incredibly easy to delegate, because why bother with hard work when there’s other people to do it? I have strong leadership qualities, am resourceful and dynamic, but at times my desire to get things done can override into bossiness. Indian folklore tells that eagle-eyed mothers refused to let their sons marry girls with second toes longer than the “big” ones, as such females are draconian and overbearing. (Better wear enclosed shoes if Rajeesh and I do work out and I need to get the A-ok from his mumma). Oh, and apparently I’m of Greek ancestry.
Sound about right? I have to say not overly (but may be the case in some respects; bossiness is definitely a trait I am partial to). But regardless I just want to put my best (if ugly) foot forward.