Being a child basically raised on the beach I grew up barefoot and absolutely hate wearing shoes. When I was a little girl I had callouses so thick on the bottoms of my feet that walking on hot Florida asphalt was like walking across a cool tile floor for me. When school started, I was the kid walking down the street in my bare feet putting my shoes on only when I got to the school yard line and not a nano-second before I had to.
David, on the other hand, refuses to take his shoes and socks off. David’s refusal to remove his shoes and socks has become a running joke in the Allen house. It has been so many years since his tootsies have seen the sun that even when he does take his socks off his sock line is so white and devoid of hair that he looks like he is still wearing a pair of bright white tube socks.
Three years ago, David’s parents moved in with us. Mom has always been a great seamstress and keeps herself busy by sewing. I have never looked so put together than I do since Mom moved in. She has basically tailored every piece of clothing I own. She even put pockets in a coat I have had for years but didn’t like to wear because it didn’t have pockets. Now that my cute little gray coat has roomy pockets it is one of my favorite coats. When the weather turned cold last week I was delighted to pull out my newly pocketed coat. Excitedly I slid my hands down into the new deep pockets and was rewarded with a prick to my hand. I jerked my hand out of the pocket in time to see a small dollop of blood start to form. I took a closer look at the pocket and realized I had pierced my hand on a long sharp sewing pin. I gave the coat back to Mom and she eradicated the pin and assured me that there would be no more poking coming from my coat. The next time I wore the coat I pulled it off in a restaurant and left it sitting on the seat of the booth. Coming back from the bathroom, I slid into the booth and was rewarded with a vicious prick to the thigh. My first thought was that my sciatic nerve was acting up but then I looked down and there was a huge pin sticking out of the coat and into my thigh right through my jeans! For the next several days, probably due to post-traumatic stress from being skewered in a restaurant, I was on high alert for pins. Walking through my family room in one sweep I found a wayward needle on the floor, followed by a wayward 3” sewing pin, followed by, of all things, an open safety pin. I retrieved all these off the floor and went to put them back in Mom’s sewing basket by her chair. As I started to sit down in her chair I realized that she was using the seat cushion for a pin cushion and narrowly averted pinning myself in the behind.
Now it all makes sense. David was raised in a house where pins and needles were left on the ground with no regard for the pain they might inflict if stepped on. David said the final straw for him was when he stepped on a tack running up the stairs when he was a young boy. Voila, a life-long phobia of not having protective footwear on was born. Since we have up to 4 dogs running around the house on any given day, I have discussed with my mother-in-law the importance of not having wayward pins floating around. But 80-year-old habits are not soon to be broken. I may be better off just getting the dogs some protective footwear.
For now all I can say is, if Mom is in the midst of a sewing project, we are all on pins and needles.
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