Is it the warm weather that makes me say this? The sudden presence of sunshine after a long winter of gray skies? The fact that the two weeks generally allotted to spring in this area of the country have now passed? The fact that I spend most of my time on the porch running away from bees? (I’m not allergic, exactly, but I do swell up around the site of the sting, often to comical effect). No, the reason I know it is summer involves something far less appealing than green grass (or, if it’s our previously leaf-covered lawn, a green substance that looks suspiciously like endive), budding trees, and tulips. My feet are my barometer.
Tootsies, dogs, call them what you will, I have a love-hate relationship with my feet. I love them because they get me to and from campus, they help me exercise, and they provide an excuse for me to get a foot massage from Apparent Dip while watching movies. However, I have not always been very nice to my feet, and I think I’m reaching a point in my life when they are exacting their revenge. You see, I was a ballet dancer from the time I was three until roughly sixteen. During that time, I went on pointe, lost toenails, gained blisters, and had to get excruciatingly painful treatments of liquid nitrogen (in which the entire base of both feet were swabbed with the stuff) due to some icky things I picked up from various dressing room floors. I occasionally treated my feet to a soak, but mainly as a means to getting me dancing again, as soon as possible.
So now, fifteen years later, my feet are getting even with me. They’re pretty sneaky about it too (it helps that it takes me forever to remember the lessons of the previous summer). Once the weather gets warmer, I don’t like wearing shoes if I can help it. I prefer being barefoot at home and I prefer sandals to anything requiring me to wear socks. So my feet fight back with blisters. A lot of them. And whereas bleeding in/through one’s shoes was considered lucky in ballet (seriously, there was a whole ritual involving pointe shoe ribbons: before performances we would deliberately poke ourselves lightly with our sewing needles as we were sewing the ribbons to our tights in order to bring luck), bleeding through one’s super cute new sandals is just icky and painful and ruins a perfectly good pair of shoes in the process. And whereas my feet would toughen up with every season while I was dancing, they absolutely refuse to do so now.
The result of all of this: I haven’t been able to work out on the treadmill for a week because of the pain. I’ve hobbled through the mile to and from campus, but today I think I might need Apparent Dip to go back and get the car for me. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. However, I also think this is my body’s devious plot to immobilize me and force me to get my papers written. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as I prepare to sit on the porch while soaking my feet (and writing gibberish that will hopefully coalesce into a concise, persuasive argument).
I just hope the bees aren’t out today.