I stripped off my socks, and there was blood.
It was entirely predictable. I'd brought the wrong pair of shoes to Washington, D.C., and I'd walked all over our nation's capital in them. It was just stubbornness, a refusal to believe that my blue Chuck Taylors, the ones I got married in, my something blue, were the wrong shoes for a day of sight-seeing. I'd learned this lesson already in Paris, where they rubbed my pinky toes raw. They are fine for the life of a software engineer, but not for any sort of non-sedentary lifestyle.
I'd had bloody socks before, in high school. All the girls on the basketball team were required to buy these particular Nikes. They were ugly and they were rough on my feet. There was a game early in the season where I'd played my fifteen-year-old heart out (we lost), and then grossed out the whole locker room with my bloody socks. From then on, every day in the locker room before practice or a game, I wrapped up my littlest piggies in two band-aids apiece. Maybe I should start doing that whenever I take a trip where there's going to be a lot of walking. I am still hopeful that I can figure out a way around this, that I'm simply not wearing the shoes properly. Tighter laces, or looser ones.
I went into the bathroom to wash off the crusted blood. In doing so, I discovered two blisters. As I gingerly bathed my wounded tootsies with a hotel washcloth, I composed a strongly-worded letter to the Converse shoe company. I imagined their reply: We're not responsible for your weird feet, lady.
The real problem was not the blisters or the blood, but the fact that I had a wedding to go to in about an hour, and the shoes I'd brought for that occasion made my Chucks look like bedroom slippers. I thought my toes were pinched before, but they were about to be squeezed into a pair of peep-toed pumps. I was just hoping that no blood would decide to peep, too.
I eased my way into the dress shoes, complaining all the way. Josh called me a poor baby. I complained some more, because that is how I deal with pain. My husband is a lucky, lucky man.
The wedding was lovely. My cousin got married in a Methodist church in the suburban woods, in front of a huge window, while the great state of Virginia showed off her autumn colors behind. My appreciation for weddings has skyrocketed since I threw one. It's nice to go to a party and not be responsible for any of it.
At the reception, there was Mexican food and an open bar. We sat with some Texas relatives of the groom and talked about voter IDs and the American Pie movies. We put together Lego minifigs from the bowl of parts on the table.
1. My feet.
2. The beers I'd had.
3. The smug blog entry I had just posted about how we were bad dancers, and we didn't care who knew it.
If there was anyone in the world who had read it, it was my mother, who was sitting just across the room. I took a big swig of my beer, and allowed my dance-partner-for-life to lead me to the dance floor, where other dancing nerds were already showing off their complete lack of moves.
We danced. We had so much fun. Does anyone ever regret dancing at a wedding?
Later that night, I found myself in the same hotel room, removing my shoes and afraid of the damage I might find within. No blood. And somehow, my blisters had gone away. It didn't appear that they'd popped, they just seemed to have fused back into my feet. Dude, dancing cures blisters. Does the American Podiatric Medical Association know about this? This could change everything.