A question of etiquette

Pink foam toe separators

Some time back, a man who was in my bedroom saw some blue foam things on my bedside table. They looked quite like the items pictured above, except that they were blue.

He picked one up and turned it around. “What are these?” he asked. “They’re like brass knuckles, except for when you want to be very, very gentle.” He put it on his hand, like one would brass knuckles, and did some shadow boxing.

I laughed. “Those are for painting your toenails. You stick the toothy bits between your toes, and then your toes don’t rub against each other and smear the nail polish.”

“Ack!” he said, throwing the thing down. “On your feet? Why didn’t you say something?”

I apologized profusely, but ever since — this happened years ago — I’ve never understood what was the big deal. I mean, my feet are at their very cleanest when I paint my toes; I soak them and scrub them first. They’re like a baby’s feet. Everybody loves baby feet.

And would he have reacted in disgust after picking up a pair of socks? Clean socks, I mean.

But maybe I had been unkind to expose the poor gentleman to these items. Maybe feet and toes are inherently icky.

Please share your opinion in the poll below.

(This poll is now closed.)

8 replies on “A question of etiquette”

  1. Kind of ironic, but I was explaining how button sticks work to a friend earlier this evening.

  2. the first time I saw those when Lushie moved in with me I though “why does she have foam knuckles?” which was fitting since she was taking Tae Kwon Do

  3. rachel reminded me of a good story, well two actually.

    A bit of background first. Back in my fourth year of college, a very good friend and roommate (Jennifer) gave birth late in November. Her mom hung around through December to help care for my friend’s son so she could finish the semester. Another friend and roommate (Vanessa) was seriously dating a guy (Glen), so he was around a bit and got along fantastically with all of us. He’s a little nerdy, but a great guy and fun to be around.

    1) (This one I only heard about.) Jennifer kept little mittens on her son’s hands, and Glen thought this a little odd and asked Vanessa the reason behind it. Vanessa explained that it was to keep him from scratching himself (meaning of course, his face). To this, Glen got a quizzical look and responded, “that’s odd, I don’t think I started until I was in high school.”

    2) (This one I saw.) Jennifer’s closet doors were slightly open and Glen was peering curiously (not really nosily) inside. He spotted two round off-white cloth pads about 3/8″ thick. He picked them up and held one to each ear, then asked, “what are these, earmuffs?” We all laughed hysterically, and when recovered, Vanessa explained that they were breast pads to prevent milk from seeping thru a shirt when lactating. Glen quickly removed them from his ears and put them away, embarrassed, but also very much laughing.

  4. Count me among those creeped out by girl things. Except, for some reason, those metal eyelash crimpy things. Those are endlessly fascinating.

  5. Ok, Bob. The fact you find the evil eyelash torture device fascinating is creeping me out!

    But back to the topic at hand — if it were a GUY’s foam toe separators I’d be grossed out because — no offense, guys — I think many of you forget you should actually clean between your toes. Which might explain his horror — he’s extrapolating based on his experience or whatever the term is.

    Or maybe he had a bad fungal experience once?

  6. I would not be grossed out and I am pretty much a clean freak. It serves him right for picking up unknown objects. I just stumbled onto your blog this morning, thanks for the laugh!

  7. We’ve learned a few things as a result of this post:

    1. Given a choice, most people would rather select a joke answer to a survey than a real answer.

    2. Many (but not all) men are confused and alarmed by “girl things,” and most women are amused at the things these men find alarming.

    3. Bob is a masochist.

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