Toe Ring Pondering

I’ve never quite “gotten” toe rings. I’ve owned a few. Probably still have them somewhere. I tried to wear them but it always felt unnatural. Maybe it’s because I have short, stubby toes. I don’t know.

At any rate, I always thought I understood the point. Like most jewelry, it was to look good. You wore them while barefoot or while wearing sandals. People couldn’t possibly wear them because they liked the way they felt, right? They didn’t wear some family heirloom toe ring everyday, right?

Now I’m not so sure. Now I’m wondering if some people wear them 24-7. And if they do, why?

It all started when I went to weigh in for a contest at work. The goal is to not gain weight over the holidays and I knew there was no point in me weighing in. My name would not be put in the drawing for the prize. But I went anyway.

Another lady came in right behind me. We took off our coats. And our sweaters. And our jewelry. And our badges. And anything else we could take off and still be decent. We were both wearing tall boots. We took those off too. And our socks – the scales required us to be barefoot.

I weighed first, cleaned the scales, and then began to redress. I glanced over at her feet. A lot of us don’t expect our feet to be seen much in the winter. This lady, however, had fabulously painted red toenails. And… to my surprise… a toe ring on the middle toe of her left foot. I looked again, thinking surely it was my imagination. But, nope. There it was.

Why is she wearing a toe ring inside her boot? I wondered. Do other people do this? Is this a thing? What’s the point?

I soon forgot about it when I got back to my desk. I didn’t think about it again until I got in the shower this morning. I looked down at my feet as the water washed over me and I thought of the woman’s toe ring.

Does she sleep with it on? Does she shower with it on? Is it like a wedding ring that never comes off? And why? How did she ever get used to wearing it?

Any ideas? (Besides that I’m neurotic and ponder totally useless things?)

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4 thoughts on “Toe Ring Pondering

  1. I certainly can not imagine. Seems like the most uncomfortable thing in the world to me. I’ve never worn a toe ring so I couldn’t say for sure but, I mean, I won’t even wear a thong sandal. I can only guess that this was something oddly sentimental to her…maybe given by a husband or boyfriend, kind of like a tattoo that no one can see.

  2. I guess wearing the toe ring to her is much like any other jewelry, and especially the stuff you get attached to. Some people are taught to remove all their jewelry every day, others not, so I would imagine it is partly a matter of habit. I always hate the idea of something getting lost and ending up in the vacuum cleaner, so mine stays put with the exception of the ring I bought myself for special occasions which now also serves as my reminder to stay on track with my graduate degree. I wear it to class and on days when I have assignments to write, and it works.

    I think wearing strange-feeling jewelry really isn’t that strange after a week or two. They are much like anything else: you get used to it. I have tiny gold hoop earrings. Six of them. Three in the mid cartilage of one ear, one in the lobe of that ear, and two in the lobe of the other ear. I also have my grandmother’s wedding band on my thumb (too big for my other fingers, been there almost 25 years so I don’t lose it), a silver filigree on my left middle finger, and a silver necklace that is doubled and holds two other silver band rings. All of this jewelry stays in place 24/7 and only comes off when I dress for my first-person history presentations. Really. i shower and swim and hime etc with all of it. It hasn’t ever bothered me to sleep in it, but it feels very strange when it is off! I took the cartilage earrings out a month ago for a presentation and they are bent so badly (had them for 18 years–gift from mother of favorite former boyfriend) that I think they may break if I keep playing with them. My mother has always hated them. And I’m starting to think I should retire them, but I’ve always liked how they look. So they sit on the dresser and I’m contemplating whether I’m too old to pull off that look…but I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to give them up. And, the former and I are still friends, so to stop wearing his mother’s gift after all this time actually feels almost traitorous! Perhaps toe-ring lady has a similar attachment to her toe ring. Maybe it was a gift from someone special from her college days? Or maybe she wears jazzy sandals all the time and has an affinity for the look?

  3. I imagine the toe ring and the painted toe nails simply make her feel good about herself or put-together. We all have little things that bring us joy, so she may have allowed herself some small happinesses. Perhaps she knew she would be weighing in and figured if her feet would be on display, they should adhere to her personal beauty standards.

    • I certainly see the painted toenails that way. But it seems to me that the toe ring would be remarkably uncomfortable under sock and boot, not a joy at all. Then again, I find them uncomfortable barefoot too so perhaps I’m not the best judge.

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