I like to think I’m pretty comfortable with my body. There are parts that I’m fond of, parts that I’m not so keen on but it’s not a big deal. It is what it is and although I joke about trading my body in for a new one, I am mostly joking.
One problem area is my feet. I inherited my Grandad’s big feet and my father’s flat feet, which is a pretty horrible combination. Size eight shoes are much more common now but in the 70’s and 80’s, shoe shopping was a severe trial for all concerned. I have a particular memory from when I was about 9 or 10 and had hit adult shoe size. Finding a pair of shoes that I wanted to wear, that fit properly and that Mum would approve was torture, I think we walked all the way to Victoria. Not fun. Mostly, we usually ended up in Clarks and I got something sensible and brown (it was the 70’s). Which is why I was just besides myself when in my early 20’s I developed bunions and got the standard ‘well this is what high heels do to your feet’.It’s not high heels, I’m not Victoria Beckham, it’s genetics…
At 41, I have not very attractive feet that ’cause me pain. I can accommodate the pain and I own exactly 2 pairs of ‘party’ shoes, which I’ve possessed for over a decade. All other shoes are flat, and divide into three types, active shoes – trainers and walking boots, boots and fit flops and birkenstocks.About 10 years ago, GP sent me to the hospital and I was advised to put off the bunion correction operation for as long as I could manage, the bunions aren’t the only problem, I also have arthritis and short big toes.
So I learnt to cope, I did the physio exercises and used the inserts in my shoes and was generally sensible. Although my feet hurt almost all the time, I don’t really view it as pain anymore, it’s like my brain knows that it’s not proper needing to be attended to pain. However, now I’m developing a hammer toe on my left foot, so the bunion is starting to impact the rest of my foot. Which means it’s time to think about the operation, so I went to see the GP in April and got a referral and I have an appointment at the hospital for 23rd July. (I figure that the way the NHS is working currently, it’ll be at least a year before I get the operation done.)That’s not my problem. My problem is the state of my feet. You see as soon as the weather is warm enough and sometimes before it is actually warm enough, I ditch my closed in boots and trainers for fit flops and birkenstocks. Which is lovely, my feet love the freedom but end up looking like they should be attached to a hobbit. Which doesn’t really bother me, I don’t rub them up against anyone and I do clean them and occasionally take a file to the rough skin and slap some moisturiser on them.This week though, the realisation dawned this week that several other people were going to be looking, touching and generally handling my feet in about two weeks time and my usual routine is not going to be good enough. It’s time to spend some quality time with some foot products and if I can’t make them pretty at least make them acceptable to polite society!