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Sarah Lynn Gold

I have a confession: I am obsessed with feet. I never thought that there was anything wrong with obsessions until the topic of drugs came up in my health class. It isn't good to be obsessed with drugs; it isn't good to be obsessed with smoking and of course, all of that is true.... Then Tara, my best friend asked if it was bad to have an obsession with chocolate. The teacher told her that, yes, it was bad and that there are many negative side effects to this, obesity just one of them. So now, I feel guilty about my obsession with feet. Every day I walk around in socks at home although I don't at school. This isn't because I am cold but because I love how feet look in socks. Each night before bed I caress my feet and rub oil and lotion into them. Now what is wrong with that? I never thought that being obsessed with feet was a particularly bad thing, only inconvenient. It is difficult for me to go to the beach because I don't even go swimming, I just sit and stare fixedly at all those bare feet.

Whenever Tara and I go shopping at the mall, I want to stay in the shoe stores, admiring all those shoes, and seeing how they look on me. I have over fifty pairs of shoes, all purchased with my own money, which is why I never have any to spare. Every night, I try each pair on and parade around my room. My dad walked past my room one night while I was doing my parade with my door open and said, "Look at this! Before I know it, there will be a Parade of Shoes executive living in this house!"


One night Tara slept over. Although she has slept over many times, she was staring at me weirdly as I performed my feet ritual. I threw her a questioning glance which she didn't even notice.

"Tara! What is it?" I exclaimed at last.

Tara answered, still in a daze, "That feet thing.... Why do you do it? It is so weird!"

"I always do this. You haven't ever said anything about it before."

"But this is now and I don't like it." Tara replied, all the while staring at me, but I continued to rub my feet.

"I happen to like feet."

"So what? It is an obsession and those are dangerous. Didn't you listen at all in health?" Tara was inching away from me.

"Yeah, but that's with harmful stuff, not feet. Feet are legal - after all, they are a body part!" I pulled a pair of socks on over my feet and turned on my hot water bottle, preparing to warm my feet.

"It's still weird."

"How come you never thought it was weird before this?"

The conversation continued in this fashion for a while, becoming redundant. Finally, I told Tara that if she didn't like my obsession with feet, she could just leave. I didn't expect her to actually leave, but I was wrong. She tried to leave my room and in an automatic function I jumped up to block the door. I didn't want my best friend to leave.

"Tara! Don't leave. I promise that I'll stop obsessing over feet!" This was a promise I knew I couldn't keep but I would at least try.

"Well I won't talk to you until you do!" and with that Tara stormed past me and out of my room.

"Wait, Tara! You forgot your socks!" That was just the beginning of my problems. I couldn't believe it, my best friend for ten years had just left because of my obsession with feet. A fat tear rolled down my cheek as I squeezed her rolled up socks.


Over the next week, I tried to stop thinking of feet. I stopped parading in my shoes each night and I only used oil on my feet. That was how badly I wanted to stay friends with Tara. I was really trying to stop obsessing over feet but it was very hard. I rolled up my giant foot shaped rug and ripped my shoe company posters down, leaving empty spaces on the walls.

"Lizzie, do you want to go get some new winter boots?" Mom called down to me on Saturday morning when I was stationed in front of the television. I pondered the thought: should I miss the rest of the movie to get more shoes? I'd told Tara that I'd stop obsessing over feet, not shoes.

"Sure," I called. "Let me just get some socks."

I hurried upstairs. I noticed the empty spots on the walls and the absence of my foot rug. This whole thing without feet was really getting to me. I wanted to be able to freely express my obsession over feet.

Mom walked out of the house and I followed. We pulled up in front of the shoe store where I had spent many afternoons.

"Hi Bob," I called out to my favorite salesman as we entered. "How ya doin'?"

"Great, Lizzie. How 'bout you?"


"Can I help you, Mrs. Robinson?" Bob asked, his professional side appearing when he saw my mom.

"Yes. Lizzie needs some boots," my mother replied, scorning Bob's casualness towards me. She always hates when salespeople aren't formal. It is just one of her strange characteristics; you know the type all adults have. I tried on the boots, two sizes larger than I actually wear, just the way I like them. They fit, even with the three pairs of socks I wear every day. Promptly after we checked out, we left. Mom never liked to spend any extra time in stores.

The next morning, I woke up and dressed for school. I wore only one pair of socks just in case Tara checked. I hoped that Tara would talk to me. I ran to the bus after slurping my cereal. As I boarded the bus, I saw that Tara was sitting at the back of the bus with the popular girls, laughing and flipping her hair along with the rest of them. I had an unbearable feeling that they were laughing at me and my feet obsession. I sunk down low in the seat behind the bus driver where Tara and I normally sat, together.

After what seemed to be hours, the bus stopped and I walked self consciously off and to my homeroom. I was already dreading lunch because Tara and I usually ate together. It was hard to imagine that Tara and I had been best friends only hours ago. I ate speedily so I could rush to the library by myself and work on my homework, by myself. I sat down at a table and bent my head over a book, to appear as if I was actually studying, but I could feel the tears coming. I put my head between my arms and cried. Then, I suddenly felt someone pat my back. I turned around, trying to shield by red, swollen eyes. Casey, the girl who sat behind me alone in science and social studies, was standing behind me.

"Are you okay Lizzie?"

I tried to speak but I couldn't, so I shook my head; Casey slid into the chair next to mine.

"What's wrong? Is it Tara? I noticed that you weren't sitting together at lunch today."

"Y-Yeah. She doesn't like me anymore. She th-thinks I'm weird because I'm obsessed with feet," I mumbled, tears rolling steadily down my cheeks.

"What's wrong with that? It seems to me that she is obsessed with hair. How long do you think she brushes it?"

I giggled. "She told me once that she brushes it two thousand times each morning and night." We laughed together, imagining the kind of person who had nothing better to do than that. At first I felt guilty, but when I thought of her malicious attitude towards me I changed my mind.

"Do you want to come over after school?" Casey asked me.


After school Casey and I got off at her bus stop. I looked back and saw Tara staring after me; I didn't feel any guilt that I had made a new friend. Tara shouldn't have counted on me to always be around for her if she wasn't for me, and I realized that then.

When we got to Casey's house, we went up to her room. She opened her closet and pair after pair of gloves spilled out of it, "I have a confession to make: I am obsessed with hands!"

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