| The shocking story of my ugly old feet, including toenails.
My wife and I took our two grandchildren to the beach this past weekend. One is Julianna who is two months before her fourth birthday, and the other one is Jeremy who is almost three.
When I go to the beach or pool with them, I usually wear a pair of old sneakers, or rubberswimming shoes. This particular occasion, I was not wearing anything on my feet. When we all came out of the water, Julianna caught a glimpse of my feet. Her look was one of astonishment and horror. She asked my wife why I had feet so ugly. My wife’s reply was: “that is how the feet get when people get old” to which Julianna exclaimed almost in a panic and almost in tears: “I don’t want to get old, please don’t let me get old, I don’t want my feet to look like Babu’s (me)”
I had neglected my feet all my life. Ever since I can remember, I enjoyed walking immensely. Most of the activities I was involved with I was on my feet; playing soccer and tennis, dancing. As a child I had to take public bus to go to school, but I walked instead, so I could spend the money my parents gave me for the bus fare, to buy candy or, what I thought was the most delicious fried cassava ( “yucca frita” ).
My brothers and sisters would remark that I had feet that looked like “arepas” (white corn pancakes), my brother Fausto (RIP) used to tease me about my toenails saying that I did not have nails, but claws.
When I was in Boarding school, a few times I did not have a pair of good dressy shoes to go out dancing with, which was one of my favorite activities, so I would borrow a classmate’s shoes which he hated because the next day if he wanted to wear them, they would not fit him anymore; shoes had become crooked and a lot wider after being used – and abused by me. I became notorious for destroying shoes. Every Saturday night, my classmates would hide their good shoes from me.
When I lived in Brooklyn, New York, I worked in Manhattan for about twenty years. I had to take the subway, where I would never get to sit down, trains were always filled to capacity therefore, I had to be on my feet for one hour each way, every day. Thanks to Manhattan being such a great city for walking, I would walk from Downtown to Rockefeller Center, which is about sixty city blocks, a few times a month.
All that neglect of my feet throughout my entire life, has taken its toll, that is the reason I think why I have ugly feet. It also prompted me to go see a doctor recently, for a pain and inflammation of the joint of my big toe on my right foot.
I think the mistreatment of my feet throughout my life contributed to their deformation. I don’t want to blame genetics, mother?
So, regrettably, I do have ugly feet – sorry Julianna.
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