Toe Up

As those of you who have been reading this blog already know, I have a broken toe earned from a fun-filled date night at REI (see titillating details here).  A broken toe isn’t too bad, as far as injuries go. I broke one of the little toes and word has it that those are practically expendable. It’s more of an annoyance injury.

That being the case, I thought I’d make a list of the annoying inconveniences of having a broken toe, you know, just in case I’ve glamorized it and you are feeling compelled to run right out and get one for yourself. I even put my thoughts into bullet points in the event that I’m called upon to give a Power Point presentation on the subject in order to receive government grant money for my research.

It could happen.

The government has been known to spend money on things such as a study proving that strippers make more tips during ovulation and a study on the outcomes of concurrent and separate uses of malt liquor and marijuana. (They spent $389,357 on the latter. It didn’t cost me nearly that much to complete the same study in high school and not a drop of it came from the government. You’re welcome, tax payers!) I think our government is primed to look into the effects of broken toes on 40-something mothers.

So here is my carefully researched and thought-provoking presentation (lights, please!):

Effects of Fractured Metatarsals On Female Homo sapiens or A Girl’s Eye View Into Things That Suck About A Broken Toe

  • Taping is hard. It looks so easy in the Rocky movies, but it’s a skill set that I apparently don’t possess. This probably won’t surprise those who’ve read this post. My toes look better than my Christmas presents but I have to wrap my toes after the kids go to sleep as there is some cussing involved.
  • My toes are tired of being strapped together. They’re becoming claustrophobic and co-dependent. They need time apart to remember who they are as individuals.

Their desperation is palpable.

  • Tape attracts dirt and dirty tape does not look pretty in sandals. ‘Nuff said.
  • Walking through the living room barefoot after turning off the lights is SCARY and not because I’m afraid of clowns hiding under the couch. The kids like to rearrange the furniture and my toe feels so vulnerable in the dark, like a baby bunny.

"You wouldn't let that mean old chair leg hurt me, would you?" (image via dreamstime)

  • Tennis shoes don’t go with everything, despite what my mother told me. I suspect she was merely trying to get out of purchasing a second pair of super market shoes with that claim.
  • My impractical high-heeled shoes miss me. I think I heard my boots crying softly in the corner last night. And my platforms are clearly depressed.

They're starting a support group. Do you sense their loneliness?

  • You can’t walk sexily with a gimpy foot. I mean, if I had cause to walk sexily and could remember how, I’m pretty sure that it would hurt.
  • My Barre workout is extra challenging. It’s hard to pretend that I’m a prima ballerina when one foot won’t point. It’s ugly. Then I overcompensate with the other foot and end up with cramping toes. Also ugly. However, I think my taped toes led the teacher to assume that I was a dancer, which is cool.

Or maybe it was the fact that I came dressed like this (image via flickr and tibchris)

  • Bedtime comfort is compromised. Covers are deceptively heavy. Especially at the bottom of the bed where they are tucked in. If I don’t tuck the covers in, I wake halfway through the night with icicle toes and a bedspread turban. And I like to sleep on my back to prevent puffy eyes and face creases so that I don’t look like a disheveled alcoholic when I drop my daughter off for school. So I’m left sleeping with a ballerina turnout, which would be more comfortable if I were an actual ballerina.
  • Children aren’t gentle with their love. Mine think of Hubs and I as parental jungle gyms. This isn’t normally a problem because I’m pretty durable as far as mommies go. But lately I find that when they run toward me to give me a hug, I flinch and assume an awkward protective posture like I have a nervous disorder.

Ahem. So in closing, I believe the evidence I’ve amassed can only point to one conclusion: it is better for females, especially those of child-bearing years, to have unbroken toes rather than broken ones. Please send government checks to Fathead University, Department of Research c/o Kelly. Thank you.

This Little Piggy

My in-laws are in town, which means that my waist line is thicker, my kids are happier and Hubs and I got a date night. Woohoo! Date nights in this household happen about as often as a lunar eclipse. It’s hard to find a babysitter that fits my husband’s standards. Even the people who do well in the interview and polygraph usually balk at the body cavity search. Nana and Grandpa are exempt from invasive investigation–you don’t want to suggest a body cavity search to an Italian mother from New England unless you have really fast running shoes and access to a witness relocation program.

So Hubs and I got an ENTIRE afternoon and evening to ourselves. HELLO! You’d have thought we skipped our Ritalin we were so giddy. We had enough time to break our ten-mile we-don’t-want-to-go-any-further-in-case-there-is-an-emergency-and-the-kids-need-us-plus-this-babysitter-is-costing-us-an-arm-and-a-leg radius. I even put on a dress and impractical high-heeled boots. Plus jewelry. And Hubs smelled suspiciously like cologne. That’s how excited we were.

Unfortunately we sprinted out the door too fast to have a picture taken on this particular date night, but look how excited we were on a date in 2010!

We got off to a shaky start. We chose to go to an area that we both really loved when we first started dating: the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Lo and behold, we aren’t in our twenties anymore and don’t find crowds, panhandlers and street performers every 5 feet, singing conflicting music genres all that charming anymore. Plus, I was hungry and I need to be fed on a regular basis or I get a little agro and, though Hubs finds me especially attractive in that state, it’s not a good idea to start a fight in impractical high-heeled boots unless you’re Cat Woman.

Watch out for this chick. She'll roll you for your wallet and a ball of yarn. (image via dreamstime)

Luckily we discovered a cute little cafe off the promenade and I found Jesus at the bottom of my salad bowl. Well honestly I’m not sure whether Jesus was at the bottom of my salad bowl, my husband’s plate or the bread bowl, but I found him in one of those spots along with my love of mankind. A big shout out to the cook at Le Pain de Quotidien. I don’t know you but you saved some lives with your over priced salads this weekend.

I usually deal with loaves and fishes but an organic salad is also nice. (image via dreamstime)

Then we headed to REI. Hey, we don’t get out much. Don’t judge us. ‘Cause you know what? We weren’t the only couple in there on a date night. In your face!

I’m sorry. I went a little agro on you. I just need a granola bar.

Seriously, if you want to feel a sense of community, head on over to the running shoe section of an REI. Runners love other runners and they are some really nice people, which is why I pretend to be one of them. So anyway, there we were surrounded by our new besties, shooting the breeze about the merits of different running shoe styles (you are so jealous of my date night–I can tell) and the topic turns to the new barefoot style shoes. Hubs loves any new fitness gadget, so he got up on his athletic soap box and sang the praises of this brilliant invention. One of our new friends jumped on board and proselytized about the philosophy behind the shoe–how the shoe allows all of the bones and muscles in your foot to act independently in the manner in which they were meant, yadda, yadda, yadda. At that point, I had completely bought into the lie that I am a runner and I excitedly decided to try on a pair.

Barefoot running makes you younger, happier and more attractive. (image via dreamstime)

Here’s the thing: the bones in 40-year-old feet don’t want to act independently. They especially don’t want to act independently after being jammed into impractical high-heeled boots that fit much better before I was pregnant and my feet widened.

I torqued all of my shell-shocked toes into the individual toe spots inside the life changing footwear and then I jumped around and did the type of calisthenics that I imagined runners must do. However, one of my toes seemed to really dislike the shoe. Apparently I forgot to brief it on my secret identity. I decided against the purchase. Back into the impractical high-heeled boots my feet went and after a few heart-felt goodbyes, we departed REI to finish out the rest of our date night.

My husband's running shoes. Notice how they mock me and my psuedo-runner status?

The next morning, my toe woke me up bright and early with a manifesto about the horrors of barefoot shoes and delusional people who believe themselves to be runners. It’s diatribe got even louder when I tried to walk to the bathroom and continued to increase in volume until I finally considered that my toe might be broken.

My first broken bone. You have no idea how disappointing it is to have avoided breaking a bone all these years and then break one trying on a shoe. Pathetic. Seriously. I’m going to tell people I was paragliding with a snowboard in uncharted mountains.

How I Spent My Winter Vacation And Broke My Toe by Kelly Redican. (image via dreamstime)

I called a foot expert. No, not a podiatrist. A dancer. No one knows more about broken toes than a dancer and you can pay them in Diet Coke and cigarettes. So I called my dancer friend and got a very detailed treatment plan guaranteed to heal my toe and make me graceful and painfully thin. Bonus.

And you’d better believe that on our next date night, Hubs and I are going base jumping in Columbia. For real.