Power to the Patas!

Last evening I soaked my weary body in a hot bath. I have become diligent about walking three miles every day at lunchtime, and my aging and out of shape body feels it. Both for better and for worse.

While running through my usual bath stuff, I got out my little cheese grater looking dealie and went after some of the rougher spots on my feet. As I smoothed out the soles, I started looking closer at my feet. My poor feet. They are really taking the brunt of three miles a day, every day.

I’ve always been a little iffy about my feet. They are fairly large, rather wide and my arch is kind of high. My feet are a bit malformed (bunions!) due to genetics, a few years dancing in toe shoes, and a lot of time on my feet over the course of my life.

Mostly the paws serve me pretty well. They don’t hurt and they get me around the lake four times a day so that my heart and mind get healthy too.

So I should love my feet. I sat there in the tub with my right foot near my face, trying to find things to like about them. Aesthetically speaking I mean.

After the bath I started wondering how I could learn to love my feet. How could I give them respect they deserve? They’ve been awfully good to me over the years.

I thought about how in many cultures we adorn that which is valuable, so I got out my beautiful red nail polish and gave myself a pedicure.

Now then. That’s better. Pretty!

Then I decided I should photograph them. Doll them up, pose ’em and give them some love.

It feels weirdly very intimate to share this photo on the web. I’m rather sheepish about it, to be honest. It almost feels more nekkid than putting something rather more naughty out there.

I had second, tenth and eightieth thoughts about it.

But here we go. There’s my toes.

I was fantastically late to work this morning because of this. I’m glad my boss is out on business travel, because that would have been a tough conversation.

“Karen, you’re late. Why are you late?”

“Um.” (that’s me hedging because I really can’t lie. I have a moral blindspot, especially around an authority figure.) “I’m late because I was having a photoshoot. With my feet.”

My boss would then give me that look he gives me over the top of his extraordinarily stylish frames and then walk away. After a year together he knows better than to ask too many questions.

Meanwhile, I keep looking at the photo and after a first cringe, I think “you know, they are not that bad. Not bad a’tall.”

Learning to love my body, one toe at a time.

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  • Lynn

    They are perfectly attractive feet and I bet they are appreciative of the love you gave them last night. Good for the soul, right?

  • Peter

    You risked a Ralph Lauren-augmented glare of disapproval, and I cannot help but think it would be my fault for haunting your dreams with visions of luscious podiatristic callouses.

    I certainly hope this is a case of me being being too self-centered and too imaginative. The alternatives freeze the blood… ;)

    • Karen Fayeth

      Peter – This post is totally your fault and you know it. YOU STARTED IT! I was considering our conversation from Friday (I think the others with us, including she with the stunning Ralph Lauren frames, thought were nutso) as I worked over my feet, and voila, the kernel of a blog post emerged.

      However, it must be said, I don’t dream of feet. That’s just wrong. LOL! ;-)

  • Natalie

    I got my first pedicure at the age of 39. It was a birthday present-part of a package Day of Beauty. I’m freakishly ticklish so I didn’t think I could do it. I did. Oh, what I’d been missing!! Now it’s one of those little extra pleasures that I will sometimes allow myself. I have to tell them, every single time, “Hold on tight… I’m really ticklish and don’t want to break your nose.”

    BTW… after that Day of Beauty… I decided to change my life: I left the relationship I’d been (stalling) in, changed my hair (radically), moved, and found a new job.

    Ahhhhh… the power of taking care of oneself!!

    • Karen Fayeth

      Natalie – I love stories like that, a woman taking back ownership of her life, starting with her hair, nails, etc. The hair always seems to be the agent for change. I cut 17 inches off my hair after the demise of a long term relationship. It felt sooooo liberating.

      You are so right on, the power of taking care of yourself. Beautiful comment!!

  • Ephraim F. Moya


    This has been bothering me a couple of days now.

    Pata refers to an animal’s foot. Pie is for humans.

    There’s a million variations: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=5144

    So I think your headline should have been ‘Power to mis pies‘.

    El nitpicker

    • Karen Fayeth

      Ephraim – I know that patas refers to animals, literally means paws.

      Colloquially, it’s common to refer to one’s feet as patas. Just like in English people will call their feet (and sometimes hands) their paws.

      Growing up we all spoke Spanglish and commonly used patas (slangily).

      Long way around the barn, I knew it was technically incorrect but I wanted to use the term common to my people, thus, power to my paws. It had a better ring to it.

      Plus English speakers would wonder why a blog post seemingly about pies had a photo of my feet.

  • Ephraim F. Moya


    Never Mind!

    El Joyero

  • Ephraim F. Moya


    I keep forgetting how young you are. You’ve probably never even heard of Emily Litella.


    El Viejo.

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