My Father’s a foot rubber. His father was a foot rubber. I’m one and so is my youngest son. I’m not talking about some new age-y genetic defect that makes you want to give foot rubs to people all the time. I’m talking about the insatiable appetite to rub my own feet together to calm myself down. You know how people in asylums (or at least the actors who portray them in movies) rock back and forth in chairs? Almost all the men in my family rub their feet together with a similarly psychotic rhythm and compulsion.
As soon as I lie down, the desire to rub them together courses through my legs like a venom. If I try not to do it, all I can think about is ripping my legs off and throwing them out the window. I know that sounds severe, but it’s like trying not to scratch an itch in your ear – eventually, if you torture yourself long enough, you just grab the nearest javelin and impale yourself through the head with it. You’re now terrified of the color yellow and can’t stop eating corduroy pants, but at least that itch is gone. Going even 5 minutes without satiating the need to rub my feet together usually results in the fantasy of a quick trip to Walmart for a chainsaw and 3 bottles of Night Train. “I’m cuttin’ em off, baby!” Then my wife says, “Oh, just rub them together, I don’t care.”
That’s the issue. Apparently the frenetic movement and paper-sliding-against-paper sound of my dry feet rubbing together gives my wife a bad case of “OH MY GOD, STOP THAT!” If you’ve been keeping up with some of the other entries here, you’ll have a nice picture of our evenings. After the kids are asleep, we collapse on our sofas and watch a documentary about some dude who cured his cancer by drinking only juice. I complain that the cheese she’s eating smells like a damp refrigerator box, and she dagger-eyes me for rubbing my feet together so loudly that she missed the part when he says exactly how much kale to put in the 10am concoction.
Do I have restless leg syndrome? No, I don’t. I have something called, “I really enjoy rubbing my feet together.” Not every proclivity needs to be diagnosed and treated. Silas was somehow spared of this insane need, but my youngest, Arlo (2), has been afflicted. It’s cute now, but it won’t be when the noise causes his first girlfriend to miss Shiloh Pitt’s acceptance speech for winning best tween at the VMAs.
I think I’m going to get my Dad and Arlo and possibly one of my uncles who may or may not have the gene (he’s very private about it), and all go on a retreat where we can just lay on couches watching TV and rubbing our feet together. No one will be able to hear the program through the cacophony of skin and bone, but that’s not the point. It’s about freedom from being judged, and it’s about togetherness. Yes, I know that’s beautiful. If you want it to stay that way, try to avoid creating a mental picture of 3 barefooted men and a toddler watching Bob the Builder at top volume while they massage their own foot with their other foot. Too late? Sorry. Cheers!