Monday, October 28, 2013

** The Blackfoot Tribe

Darn.  I’ll bet Martha Stewart has never had this problem.  I don’t think Jackie O had it, either.  Lucille Ball may have, though, during the grape stomping episode.   Unfortunately, I’m now cast into the role of having something embarrassing happen to me at no fault, really, of my own - just like poor Lucy.  What happened, you ask?  Allow me to explain….

I have a pair of wonderful, comfy, all-terrain and amphibious sandals that I can wear into or out of the water.  They have squishy rubber-like soles and nicely styled elastic-like uppers.  These sandals match everything in my closet that goes with black and can be dressed up/dressed down as the occasion warrants.   I.  Love.  Them!  However, during the summer months, I wear these sandals quite often during the summers and end up getting the same problem that many folks do….dry and cracking heels. 

Mine are not the summertime delicate dry feet of a dainty lady, unfortunately.  They are Hobbit feet.  My heels look like the bottom of a creek bed after a long drought and they sometimes require sanding, scraping, chain-sawing, bench grinding and pick-axing in order to look somewhat like a bona fide heel on a real human being.  Regular pedicures are no match for them.  So, I’ve been employing a foul smelling substance every night that is made specifically for heels that look like mine.  

This stuff smells like paint thinner mixed with eucalyptus mixed with earwax mixed with gasoline.  It makes your eyes water and your nose hairs curl.  Sometimes, I’ll wear socks over my feet before reading in bed at night, letting them soak in the smelly substance without getting the earwax solution on the bed.  (Jeff loves this.)  I remove the socks, gently buff off the smelly stuff, and it’s off to dreamland to wake in the morning with softer feet, something such as Sleeping Beauty might have.  Lovely!

Now, it’s great to have something on hand that will soften the calluses on your heels, no matter what it smells like.  The problem arises when you feel that it’s a good idea to slime your heels with this substance and wear the aforementioned wonderful, comfy, rubber-soled, all-terrain and amphibious sandals.  The directions say to apply twice a day and, hey, the stuff was working pretty well with my doing it once a day.  How great will my feet look with TWICE a day applications, right??

Wrong.  It’s a little known fact that rubber can be melted by a foot balm substance that claims to be hypo-
allergenic (really?) and gluten free, yet ends up melding the top layer of your sandals to the bottom layer of your feet.  This stuff literally ate into the smooth surface of the sandals and you can see the melty marks on them.  Maybe it’s the ‘proprietary blend of 11 essential oils’ that did it.  Maybe it’s the ‘azadirachta indica.’  (I don’t even want to know what that is.)  Regardless, I didn’t notice the damage until that evening when I went to slime my feet again with the aforementioned magic & supposedly hypo-allergenic foot balm. 

Crap.  I’d accidentally dyed the soles of my feet. Black.  Permanently.  Black.  Crap.

If you are pretty unhappy with dry, rough heels, you are breathtakingly MISERABLE and shockingly stupid looking with black heels.  I took out my ovoid cheese grating tool and grated the heck out of my inky black soles.  The rubber stuff had insinuated itself into all the little dry cracks in my heels.  I washed them with soap and water and applied body oil.  No go.  I tried rubbing alcohol.  Not terribly effective: Now, they were just mostly grey with the cracks highlighted in a dense velvet black, very much like a picture of lightning bolts in negative.   What do you do when you can do no more?  You apply more of the smelly stuff to your heels and try to rub it off, put your socks on when that doesn’t work, read as much as you can and then you pout until you finally fall asleep.

The next morning, after more scrubbing, I decided I needed some ‘professional’ help with this problem, so I surfed around on the internet.  To my dismay, there weren't ANY other people who’d melted their sandals to the soles of their feet out there in online land.  Feeling very alone with my blackfoot situation, I went to the REAL pros - my friends on Facebook. 

I Love Facebook.  Facebook is great for keeping in touch with your friends, wishing them a happy birthday, posting pictures of your cat, stating what you’re having for dinner (it’s ALWAYS something gourmet, never “Look, I made a SPAM sammich.”) and for whining and/or bragging about your life, whichever the occasion calls for.  This occasion called for whining.  My fearless Facebook friends did not let me down when I asked for help, immediately rushing to the rescue, becoming my Blackfoot Tribe and rivaling Heloise for best advice ever given.  They are on my side.  I am not alone....  <3

(Not an Actual Tribe Member.)
   Scott said to paint the tops black to mid calf to match, like socks, and      then go around wearing brown sandals, plaid shorts, a fanny pack and      a camera around my neck. Sue recommended Simple Green, while          Robert suggested nail polish remover and/or bleach.  Jim said, because    I’d so obviously gone tribal, I should open a casino somewhere in            Oklahoma.  Christine (1) went with the ‘try everything’ approach:  Nail    polish remover, that fake turpentine stuff or try a baking soda/shampoo    paste.  (Christine (1) can be scary.)  Kent said it sounded kinky, keep      it.  (Kent is unique.)  Kelsie, Joe and  Andi, obviously not                        understanding that it’s waaaaay too hot in Texas to wear anything BUT    sandals, advised to wait it out and said that people would understand.      (Yeah, and I’m going to have to make a custom T-shirt to explain it?  “My feet aren’t dirty!  I accidentally melted my shoes to them!”  Um, no, not a solution, but thaaaaanks.)  I went back to pouting.

Later on that evening, Christine (2) came to the rescue and recommended coconut milk.  Great idea, so I made myself a pina colada.  While my feet remained black, this DID improve my mood.  Sandy, alarmed, said DON’T put toxic things on your feet; it does weird things to your body.  (Sandy is an alarmist.)  Sandy also suggested that I try a baking soda and lemon combo because, she said, it’s good for your teeth, why not your feet?  Sounds reasonable - alrighty then!  So, off to the fridge I go in my black feet, slightly tipsy with pina colada in hand, in search of the magic cure - lemon juice and baking soda.  

There are many things I didn’t know (or had forgotten) about lemon juice and baking soda, turns out: 

1.  Lemon juice and baking soda, for those familiar with high school science projects, are two ingredients that can make that mini-volcano science project blow, baby, blow and win you first prize!  After cleaning the gunk off of my kitchen counters, cabinets and floor, I applied the mixture to my rubbed-raw feet. 

2.  Lemon juice and baking soda, for those familiar with lemon juice, baking soda and cuts, can really, really *sting* when applied to rubbed-raw feet cracks.  However, the stinging volcanic concoction worked…it really worked! 

3.  Lemon juice and baking soda remove melted shoes from the soles of one’s feet.   (See #2)  I gritted my teeth and rubbed it into the cracks with a washcloth that will never look the same. 

4.  Did you know that lemon juice and baking soda will remove the dye from a washcloth?  Me neither.

No, I can't imagine Martha Stewart ever going onto Facebook to ask her friends for help with her freshly blackened soles.  That’s okay; I’ve never really wanted to be like her anyway.  Meaning no disrespect to the ACTUAL Blackfoot tribe, I am proud to have my own Blackfoot Tribe, however silly it makes me look, and have vowed to chime in whenever anyone else needs help with the oddities of their everyday lives.  I will never judge them.  And, I will never use that heel balm product again.  I don’t know if azadirachta indica is good for you, though I’ll bet Martha does.  I DO know that I need a new product for my dry, yet newly cleaned and lemony fresh feets.
This is SO not my real foot dyed black.
I just found it on the internet.

Guess I’ll just have to go and ask my tribe.  My next post:  “Anyone know   of any products that can make your feet baby smooth without melting your shoes onto your feet?  Lucy wants to know....”

Copyright, 2011

1 comment:

  1. I am super, super happy to announce that, since having written this last post, I've found the cure for horrible heels. It's called "Callus Away" and it works like gangbusters. (Melts the calluses, yay!) Some folks might have to apply it twice to get it all off and do yourself a favor by purchasing a large file in advance.
    I know I sound like a commercial. But, if you're like me and you find a product that works, (no matter how grody the subject,) you want to shout it from the rooftops so that others can be helped. (What you're reading now is my version of shouting from the rooftops because I am afraid of heights. It'll have to do.) You're welcome.


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