I am involved in a feud. A long-running argument, where considerable amounts of blood has been shed. The parties cannot stand each other, and there is not much hope for reconciliation in the future.
I am talking, of course, of the eternal battle between shoes and my feet.
My feet don't like shoes. I do. I love shoes. I wish I could have a closet-full of delightful, sparkly, gorgeous shoes, Imelda Marcos-style (but without the dictatorship and starving population). But there isn't much point as my feet would rebel on me. Commit mutiny. Quite possibly amputate themselves. They really, really hate shoes, in any shape, size and colour.
Frankly, though, I can understand how my feet have a strained relationship with shoes. After all, shoes mistreat them on a regular basis.
You see, the hate my feet feel for shoes is nothing compared to the intense loathing, disrespect, cruelty and terror shoes see fit to treat my feet. All and any shoes I've tried to wear since I was little have mutilated my feet at the gravest. I've tried to come between them - wearing socks of various thickness, and using band-aids liberally - but nothing seems to ease the tension. There is a war, and my feet are losing battle after battle.
They've tried to call truce. To simply stay away. Many summers have been spent mostly barefoot. But then there are times when shoes are called for, and my feet cannot escape. The shoes taunt them long ahead: "Guess what we're gonna do to you tonight, lovelies? Guess who will not be able to walk in the morning..?" The feet wait in agony, but there is absolutely nothing they can do. Once squeezed into the torture chamber that is stilettos or sandals or sneakers alike, the feet can do nothing but suffer in silence.
Despite the relief of barefootness, summers are the worst. Summer shoes are meaner than winter shoes. Besides, being let out of prison every now and then makes the feet realize just how terrible their fate is. Thus this is when they are least able to handle it. Blister season is upon us, and I feel for my feet. I really do.
If socially acceptable I'd vote with my feet and skip shoes altogether. But it seems a far way off. A society without shoes is light years away, and I'd walk my feet off to get there. I think I'll just have to stand on my own feet and accept that I'll have to wear shoes until I'm six feet under.