Actually, I’m not getting them: I’ve always had them. And I don’t mean I’m scared about anything (although with Christopher having three other ten-year-old boys over for a sleepover tonight to celebrate his looming eleventh birthday, maybe I should be!) I mean that I have, quite literally, cold feet.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed, on some level, with getting my feet warm, and it’s only gotten worse as I get older. My most vivid winter memories of childhood involve walking home from school through piles of snow and slush with damp, wet feet that never seemed to get completely warm or dry till mid-July. I have slept with socks on for as long as I can remember. I spend most of every winter thinking about my feet: how cold they are, and how to warm them up.
Lately we’ve been having a bit of a cold snap, i.e. a “colder-than-usual-for-St.-John’s-in-January” snap, where the temps have been getting down below -10 celsius with even lower windchills. I’m cold all over most of the time, but my feet feel it the worst. I know they say “cold hands, warm heart,” and I’m pretty sure I have both of those, but what pleasant personality trait accompanies cold feet? I don’t hear so much about that.
I’m always amazed by people with warm feet. Two of my good friends — and I mean friends close enough that we have occasionally shared rooms and even beds on camping trips and vacations — horrified me when I was younger by insisting that they always sleep with the sheets untucked at the bottom of the bed so their (bare!!) feet could catch the breeze and “not get too hot.” Feet … too hot? This concept simply doesn’t compute with me.
For a couple of weeks in July and August every year I wear sandals and enjoy the luxury of feet that are warm enough. But even then I often find myself pulling on socks at bedtime, just in case.
This time of year, my best remedy is to take a really, really hot bath, then, as soon as I get out, encase my feet in large, warm, woolly socks. This must be done quickly to trap the heat before it leaves the feet. Then the feet must be either put in bed (with the rest of me of course) or covered in slippers to retain their warmth. This is sometimes good for a couple of hours of comfort.
As I said, it’s getting worse with age, but I have high hopes for a turn-around. I must be the only woman I know in her 40s who listens to older women’s stories of menopause with envy. “Hot flashes? Really? Your whole body just — gets hot? All over? EVEN YOUR FEET????”
All I have to say about that is, bring it on, baby.