I hate shoes.
If we’re being honest I hate clothes, and were I not so self conscious I would join a nudist colony. Okay, maybe if I weren’t so self conscious AND if I hadn’t read David Sedaris’ account of his time as a nudist colony in Naked. Just not my cup of tea. But I digress.
Shoes are awful. Real clothes are awful. Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, I work in a shoes and pants optional sort of environment, also known as my apartment.
Now, I have a certain routine. Every day, at the same time, I use my hour lunch break to work out. I pound a protein shake on the walk to the mailbox as my cool down before a quick shower and more interviews.
If you were me and you spent your whole day barefoot including your Piyo workout and then you were just nipping out for 90 seconds to get the mail before a shower, how likely would you be to go find shoes before crossing the threshold?
“Not very” is the correct answer here.
I live in a warm climate, so it’s not like I’m risking frostbite. Our apartment complex is well paved, artfully landscaped, and maintained twice a week by an excellent team of gardeners. Nothing is going to hurt my feet. My feet aren’t going to hurt anything. And I do this every. single. day.
So tell me why every single person I have ever passed on the way to the mail box looks from me, to my feet, and back like in the space of their gaze shifting I suddenly grew an extra head?
There are people who run MARATHONS barefoot. There are philanthropy events that have people walk everywhere without shoes. So why is it so shocking that I traipsed out of my apartment to literally circle the building on a clean, paved, walkway and grab the mail.
Especially when you saw me do the same thing yesterday!
“Where are your shoes?!” our leasing manager asked one day.
They’re in my apartment. Where they will stay.
My feet aren’t offensive in and of themselves either. They’re usually clean, toe nails neat and polished. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I have very pretty feet (weird compliment, though, right?).
I have a pretty significantly sized tattoo of a monarch butterfly unfurling its wings across the top of my right foot, I figured by now people would assume I’m just the resident hippy and move on. But every day it’s the same.
Now on a few occasions I get it.
The day I went out in shorts and no shoes in the rain, deliberately splashing my feet through puddles and wiggling stray leaves from between my toes, THAT was weird (and delightful, highly recommend) and I deserved the look the old guy from 240B gave me. I could read just how badly he wanted to tell me I’d catch my death of cold across his face and the struggle to bite his tongue since he doesn’t know me and I’m old enough to sass him with impunity.
He couldn’t know I’d just finished a round of InsanityMax30 and my skin was practically making the rain sizzle against me on impact.
Most days, though, I feel it’s perfectly acceptable to step out of my apartment barefoot. The few steps to the mailbox, the laundry room, the pool especially are all acceptable to cover without shoes.
There is an awful lot of “free the nipple” hooplah going on these days. I honestly don’t think it’s going anywhere if we’re still afraid of people without shoes.
My nipples can stay tucked away as they are, just let my feet be free!
And you should free yours. It feels great and it’s good for you to walk outside barefoot. No really, I learned it in college. Earthing! It’s science!