I Hate Feet (but I can’t stop looking at them).
My disdain for feet is well known. As far back as I can remember, I could not stand feet. I don’t care to see them, especially up close. I can’t tolerate a “foot” smell, and under no circumstances could I stomach anybody’s foot touching me. I’m going to assume I’m not alone in this. Most people don’t list “feet” as the favorite body part of their significant others.
But what if I told you that my hatred of feet led me directly to the passion of others?
I am not a selective hater. It’s not just an old person’s feet, men’s feet, dirty or strange looking feet that offend me. I would rather not see mine either. I don’t own a pair of sandals, shower shoes, or flip-flops. My summer wardrobe has to fit tennis shoes. I could have a wart the size of a watermelon and wouldn’t know it. I have found a peace with swimming pools by going to a calm place in my mind. A short-lived stint with diver’s shoes was more than my wife could handle.
I learned early on as an adolescent not to share this problem with others.
A teenager’s role is to find which grosses out, freaks out, or terrifies his peers and exploit it to its maximum value. I wish I could pinpoint the event that led me to this lonely place, but as far as I can deduce it’s as much a part of me as my love for bacon. It’s just who I am.
I take it back.
There is one type of foot that has defied my ability to shut out feet. I never did have a problem with my baby’s feet. My infant son’s feet were small, clean, and pink. Something happened when he turned seven, however, and a line was crossed. His cute, well-made feet became the cartoon feet you only see in foot fungus commercials. He plays outside, inside, with or without shoes and the result is an odor and level of hygiene that defies logic. Truth be told, I am probably overreacting.
My wife has confirmed that several times.
Here’s the [Not Foot]rub.
You would think that someone with this type of problem would avoid feet at all costs. Wrong. I can’t stop looking at them.
When I meet you, one of the first things I do is assess your footwear. If you should be so lucky as to have a missing toenail, a really long toenail, or the granddaddy of all foot problems, a disfigured toe, I’ll have your literal footprint on my mind forever. It’s a curse to be sure. Perhaps I am looking for the perfect foot. One that other’s could be compared to. While I can’t describe its shape now, I know in my heart that when I finally see the perfect foot, I’ll know it.
Imagine if I (or you) could take my automatic assessment skill and reapply it. What if, instead of obsessive evaluation of your feet, I just as obsessively looked at something outside the physical?
What if it was your passion that I sought out first?
What if I listened intently for your “why” as well? A “why” is a person’s passion. It’s their motivating force, their reason, and their purpose. When you listen for it, remain open to it, a person’s why is revealed.
Once you know that about a person, you bond.
Keeping feet out of the picture (your welcome)
I used to spend a lot of my energy trying to be ‘interesting’. Now I spend my time trying to be ‘interested’. The change in focus has made all the difference in my relationships. They are deeper, more fulfilling. I selfishly get more from them. Knowing a person’s why has benefited me when our ‘why’s’ are aligned. I live to help others and knowing their why helps me achieve that goal.
I’m obsessive about assessing who someone really is. More than their footwear.
Some people live their “why” outwardly. It’s easy to tell and they might as well get T-shirts printed. Other’s require selective questioning. It’s not hard to fish out. Most of us are proud of our why and love to share it. Sometimes we need help in discovering it and that’s fun as well.
I can’t remember the last time I didn’t see a person through his/her feet. I gave up trying. If I’ve met you, and you were wearing shoes that revealed your feet, I remember you. If you were wearing shoes, I banked that memory as well.
With practice, I am now looking for your why as well (just don’t wear sandals, please).