Y’all. I have the ugliest feet known to man.
I know, I know; everyone thinks their feet are ugly, but I promise you mine are worse.
For starters, my toes are deformed. Not kidding. My pediatrician called them hammer toes. So, instead of being straight, they are curled all the time. Maybe they do that because I’ve alwaysbeen self-conscious of my feet, so I unwittingly hid my toes by curling them under my feet.
When I was twelve, my doctor told me I could remedy it by straightening them out manually for a few minutes every day. Did I listen? Nooooo. I had zero foresight, and I was too lazy to mess with it. Plus, feet are disgusting.
So my toes curl, and my toenails are gross, too. On both feet, the toenail on the toe next to my big toe is weird as crap. They look like they belong on a hobbit. It doesn’t happen as much anymore, but when I was younger, I would occasionally be able to completely peel the toenail off, and there’d be another one waiting in line.
When I was in high school, I played volleyball, basketball, and softball. My senior year of softball, the coach thought it’d be a cool idea to get paint and have all the senior’s footprints in the dugout. I was slightly mortified, partly because people would see my nasty feet, and also because I had a feeling it wouldn’t turn out well.
I made sure I was the last person to go. I dipped my feet in the paint, and stood in a random place in the dugout. My coach pressed down on my feet to ensure the print was solid.
Mmhm. The print was solid, all right. It looked like a freaking oar with toes. I seem to remember being made fun of, but I could be wrong. Either way, I was embarrassed.
Everyone else’s footprints looked like quintessential feet; but mine, because I have no arch (thanks, Dad), looked like tiny ogre feet.
In addition to all this “natural” hideousness, my aforementioned toenails of the toe next to the big one sometimes turn black because I am a runner. I have no idea what causes it, but those toenails are perpetually slightly discolored.
Some might point out I could fix some of that with a pedicure. Ummm. No. I refuse to let other people see or touch my feet. I am very ticklish, for one thing. And for two, just no.
Also, somewhat ironically, my feet are practically luminescent—especially outside on sunny days—because I hardly ever go outside without my feet being covered because I am self-conscious about them because they are repugnant.
It’s a vicious cycle.
As if all of this weren’t enough, my feet also sweat more than the average person’s feet. There’s some stat about how much a person’s feet sweat in a day, and I know mine sweat at least double that.
Why does this matter? Because my sweaty feet cause all of my shoes to stink beyond tolerability, especially dress shoes and my TOMS. I’ve ruined many TOMS with my sweaty feet. My athletic shoes aren’t quite as bad because of socks.
Several weeks ago I went on a walk at work. I put on some socks and sneakers for the twenty-five-minute walk. When I got back to my desk to change my shoes, my socks were soaked. It was maybe 60 degrees outside, so not warm, yet my socks felt as if I’d been running for an hour.
I recently got a standing desk at work, and dress shoes aren’t usually compatible with long bouts of standing, so I brought a pair of more casual and comfortable shoes to change into if my feet start hurting. The exchange of shoes is gut-wrenching. It smells like something died until I get my feet in the other pair of shoes. Not even sure if being pain-free is worth it, since I have to experience that smell.
My dog Harper likes to eat my clothes. She eats underwear and socks. She’s destroyed several shoelaces on a few pairs of my sneakers, but she’s never chewed on my shoes. I just realized that might be because they are rancid even to her. Who’d want to eat something that smells like it’s been hanging out in a swamp?
So there. I guarantee you my feet are far more revolting than anyone else’s, but I am also self-aware, and I don’t expose people to them if I can help it.