Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where are my slippers?

When I was a kid, the moment I ran through the front door, I threw my book bag across the kitchen table, peeled off my gold, Catholic school knee high socks, and ditched my stretched-out penny loafers. Awww...FREEDOM!  To endure more than ten minutes in any sort of shoes in Southern California - at any time of the year - was absolute torture for me.  It was an act of treachery, particularly for this tomboy, to keep my toes from feeling the warm Los Angeles sunshine.

Ironically, now that I'm older, there's been a shift in the time space continuum.  I abhor walking in bare feet.  When did this happen?  When did I come to prefer cozy socks and my cushy slippers over naked toes?  Honestly, this is seriously warped.  I must take a few moments to consider this mind boggling question...

There's always been the summer factor, in other words, the 110 degree days in August when bare feet and street pavement are not an easy "walk across".  I'm sure many of you, my dear friends and blog readers, know exactly what I'm referring to; the afternoons which are so incendiary that when one looks across the street, the blacktop appears as if it's on fire.  Then there's the hesitation, the planning out, the final consideration; "Do I really want to do this?  It's gonna burn sooo bad!  Where's the closest emergency patch of grass?  I can do it if I run really, reeeaaallly fast.  Screw it, Breezy...RUN!"

Also, along with the heat of summer in Southern California, one must consider the hot sand of the beaches.   Yes, locals purchase flip flops but seriously, no one wears them at the shore except for the grown-ups.  It's a total hassle.  Personally, my feet were always wet.  Why?  Because I was in the water with my Boogie Board from the moment I arrived at the water's edge until it was time to go.  What was the point of flip flops if my feet were covered with thick, wet sand walking back to the car anyway?   By 2:00pm, around the time we usually went home, the long walk back through the sand towards the parking lot was blisteringly painful.  I always looked like a complete dork walking back anyway; dripping wet, dragging  my board and jumping up and down screaming, "OUCH! OOWIE!  HOT!"  Nice.  Apparently I wasn't concerned about attracting surfers at that age.

I grew up in the 1970's when bottle caps and pull tabs from aluminum cans were the curse of unsuspecting toes.  Also, at that time, there weren't too many restrictions about bringing glass bottles into public parks either. Playing without shoes and socks was tantamount to receiving sliced toes or splinters of glass in our feet.  We knew what would happen if we weren't careful - at least my siblings and I did.  Our dad would get his awful tweezers out, heat it up with a match (to kill the germs), and pull the damn offender out which hurt more than when it went in.  Oh yeah!  We'd be careful alright!

Eventually my Nike High Top sneakers were replaced with Cherokee high heels.  Suddenly, I realized that my feet started looking like the Grand Canyon.  What was that all about?  I didn't care for the way my rough callouses snagged my bedsheets.  I wanted soft, smooth, girlie feet.  I started taking better care of them. I liked pedicures and the way my toes looked with bright cherry red nail polish on them.  I loved, loved, LOVED getting my feet rubbed.  Oooohhh...NICE!

Then - one day it happened - I took my shoes off, stepped across the kitchen floor, and I walked over an unknown substance.  Whatever it was made my clean feet feel sticky and uncomfortable.  Eeeww GROSS!  Three more steps and into what appeared to be some one's cracker crumbs which hadn't been swept up from earlier.  I was beyond disgusted.  This was the moment I realized that I didn't like my bare feet touching the "unknown".  My mind ran wild as to what that initial sticky stuff could have been.  I headed to the bathroom to wash it off...OH NO!  Bathroom floors...GRUESOME!  I believe I've just answered today's not so mind boggling question.