I'm so happy to be here!

I Was A Fifty-One Year Old Flip-Flop Virgin

Miracles do happen. On occasion, an old dog can be taught a new trick. I’m living proof. Or, better … my feet are living proof.

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Here’s something very few of you know about me. Startling writer confession, are you ready? Intimate and personal. Here you go–

I was a fifty-one-year old flip-flip virgin. 

It’s true. The first time my feet ever wore flip-flops happened in July 2018, three months after my fifty-first birthday. This summer during our month in the sun, I purposed myself to man-up … or … toe-up. And although it was difficult at first, I’m happy to tell you I’ve learned to love my flip-flops. I’m a convert.

You may think this confession of mine ridiculous. You most certainly think my reluctance is even more ridiculous. Doesn’t EVERYONE wear flip-flops?

Something else you didn’t know about me: I am very protective of my feet. I don’t know how or why this is the case. It just is. What does this look like? I’ll tell you.

  • My feet never go outside unshod. I wear shoes every time I step out of my house. Always have. Never have I gone outside barefoot. A simple task like running out to the driveway to get something out of the car, or stepping out to put something in the mailbox, or even stepping out in the yard to walk the dog … ‘Let me grab my shoes’ is always my first thought.
  • My feet are incredibly sensitive. As you might imagine, my heretofore virgin feet are soft and not calloused. Walking to the car in the driveway would be painful for me barefoot. I’d feel every little pebble or imperfection I stepped on as if I were walking on nails.
  • My feet are most often socked. See the photo above? That’s my feet … right now … as I’m typing this blog post. See? Socks! Why let my feet get dirty or dusty walking on floors? Slip on socks … perfect. Comfy. Cozy. Clean.

Recognizing that this really was an unknown to me–the convenience of wearing flip-flops–I purposed myself to experiment this summer in Florida. I wanted to become a flip-flopper.

Those of you who lost your flip-flop virginity young, be grateful.

I faced three challenges. (1) Getting used to having something between my toes. OUCH! Let me just tell you, those of you who lost your flip-flop virginity young, be grateful. Trying to convince fifty-one year old toes which have always snuggled together in bliss that a big rubber or leather strap needs to poke into their sacred space … daunting. And (2), trying to educate your toes to flex just enough to hold on to the flip-flop as it flips and flops–for fear that if you don’t grip it you’ll flip out of your flops and DANGER! DANGER! … it was stressful, I tell you. ‘Step … grip … step … grip.’ I quite literally had to think about what you thong-wearing veterans do without so much as a thought. Finally (3), learning to keep the flip-flops from falling off your feet when you sit down on a barstool … oh my! This is of particular importance to me, because I sit on a lot of barstools. I am a writer. I’ll confess: I’m still learning this. I need more practice. Hehe. Help me out? Invite this old boy out for a pint. I’ll just grab my flip-flops and be on my way.

Seriously, I’m pretty proud of this milestone in my life. I conquered a fear. O, HELL NO! I won’t be walking out to the mailbox barefoot! But I will slip on my flip-flops and make the trek. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Did'ya blow?

FMM

Five Minute Memoir quip #431

I’m wondering … How often do you suppose we unintentionally become the a$$- – – in someone else’s story?

I was on the beach yesterday as the tide was coming in. My wife and I had to move our chairs and all our gear back several yards to avoid being washed out to sea. Then we noticed, off to our right, someone’s towel. The rising tide was closing in. My wife and I discussed, “Should we go move that stranger’s towel back?” We wondered aloud about the risks–would someone see us touching their stuff and be angered? We did the obligatory look around–we saw no one who might have owned this towel. We considered that it may have been abandoned or accidentally left behind. Just then a wave reached the towel–not enough to carry it away, just enough to dampen the edges. It wouldn’t be long, though. What should we do?

Just then a man came running up from far away. He’d been swimming and the current had obviously taken him way down range of his towel. He bent down, scooped it up … and shot an incredulous look at us. You know what that look said to me? You got it.

So today he’s telling that story to others. “And there were these a$$- – -s sitting right there next to my towel and …”