I’ve got exciting toes. So do you. If you keep staring at them, you’ll see great and wonderful things happening there. The middle toe is leaning towards the little one, but the big toe is acting pricey!
What yoink, you say. What next? Stare at my toes? I don’t have the time to do that – you, Jandy, have the time to stare at your toes and blog and stuff, but me ...
And yet, growing up gives us all this fascination with our toes. In a waiting room, we stare at them. While walking, we stare at them. And in an escalator – whoa – we do a PhD in the toe-staring thing. Aha! Got it now, didja?
The toe-staring is a grown-up thing to avoid eye-contact. At any cost!It would be strange really, if while walking around my neighbourhood, I looked at everyone in the eye – I mean I know everyone – the grocer, the housekeeping staff, the security men, the neighbourhood layabouts, the neighbour’s aunt. But oh no, it’s so much more polite to just pretend that though we see each other 44 times a month, we don’t know each other. We don’t really want to wish each other here. Or start a conversation, phew! That would take forever out of our busy schedules. So what do we do instead? We spend our time looking down at those mesmerizing toes of ours.
Last year, a young Swedish couple moved into our building complex. Cute young guy passed me one morning while I walked Marco, and sent me a cheerful : “G’morning!” I frowned at his effrontery, and stared at my toes and even more intensely - at Marco’s toes. The guy learnt quick. He grew up? The other morning, I passed him, and nodded, ‘Hello!’ He hurried on, refusing to wish me or even look at me. He was absolutely spell-bound by his hurriedly moving toes.And of course, we teach our kids this toe-staring even before we teach them their geography.
At lunch with a friend, and her lil daughter... the next table sported 4 young lasses – with pierced noses and weird chains and plastic flowers in their hair. While we tried hard to look at them just from behind our menus (they were so funky!), lil Ro went right up and did a stare-a-thon at them for 5 full minutes. The young ladies did NOT stare back, oh no. They stared instead at their toes, while we tried to entice Ro back to our table to school her properly.
When Neel was 3 years old, a nice blonde lady got him onto her lap. Neel kept staring at her silver blonde hair, remembering what he was taught in school, then finally pointed to her head, “Old”, he said, while I blushed beetroot and – ya, right, - stared at my god-sent rescue team – my good ole toes!