I put a call out on Facebook for ideas for week-long resolutions, and my wife’s friend Chrissie thoughtfully suggested giving her (my wife, not Chrissie, which would have been been a bold request) a week of daily foot massages. Well, that’s actually a good idea. It’s Valentine’s week (I’m late in writing this up, for reasons that will almost immediately become clear), so there’s the whole romance angle, and she deserves it for putting up with me disrupting our family routine with various weekly diets and lifestyle changes over the year so far. More to the point she’s also heavily pregnant (see previous parentheses) and feeling the extra weight on her feet. And besides all that, I need to keep her on-side for the more ambitious resolutions I’ve got planned for later in the year, which I’ve vaguely hinted at to mild disapprovement.
Feet are gross. Not my wife’s in particular, just all feet. Well, maybe not baby feet, which look delicious. I would munch my way through whole packs of baby feet if there weren’t laws against that kind of thing. But most feet are … you know, “walked on”. I don’t really understand how anyone could get aroused by feet. I did once date a girl who liked getting her toes nibbled, but even then I’m pretty sure she was just testing my commitment to the relationship. It didn’t work out. Happily my wife, Lo, has no such demands. She does love a good foot rub though.
I think it might be worth noting that I am not a classically trained pediatric masseuse. I’d classify myself more as an inventive maverick. So much so that I’m using the word “pediatric” even though I know it means children’s medicine and not feet. Essentially, I don’t know what I’m doing. From time to time, as I set about her feet, Lo helpfully remind me of my skills gap by saying “ow”.
Over the week I find a kind of groove. Start gentle, with soothing lotion, and circular motions. Then some manipulation back and forward to stretch the ankle a little, before getting my thumbs into her arches. That’s when the “ow”s come in. I get a little too enthusiastic from time to time. It’s a good excuse to ease off though because it turns out foot massages are surprisingly hard on the thumb-rotaty bits of my hands. I’m using muscles that I don’t usually use, and which are therefore not perfectly honed like the rest of my body. Despite the effort I’m putting in I’m ultimately suspicious that I’m not very good at foot massages, but Lo says nice things. I assume a mediocre foot massage is better than no foot massage.
After a week the pads on my thumbs are a bit sore, and I don’t know if I would go so far as to say it’s brought us closer together as a couple, but she seemed to like it. So that’s good.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Worthwhiliness: High (my wife reads this)
Header image by Jeremy Brooks