My Father’s Feet

By: susan peterson stamis

May 10 2017

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Uncategorized


It was one of those muggy summer afternoons in 1962 Bethesda when the strictly regimented dreaded weekend chores were nearly complete. Every Saturday, Dad and I were conscripted into service by General Mom. We waxed and buffed the linoleum floors to a mirror shine, wiped every speck of dust from every surface with End Dust and ran up and down the creepy basement stairs to feed the hungry washer and dryer. Cleaning the hi-fi speaker grooves with Q-Tips was my tedious job exclusively and to this day I can’t poke a swab in my ear without thinking of that dusty hi-fi and those miserable Saturdays.

Clad in his weekend get-up of plaid Bermuda shorts and white tee shirt, Dad had finally plopped himself into his easy chair, his legs crossed man-style. He lolled for a while in front of the TV, enjoying a Washington Senators baseball game while, with a great deal of seething resentment, my desperate-to-escape-to-the-outdoors 12-year-old self continued cotton swabbing the hi-fi. I occasionally glanced up from where I was seated on the shiny floor to notice that Dad had started to sigh and twitch, crossing and re-crossing his legs, bouncing his ankles on his knees and wiggling his bare toes, which were in his direct line of sight to the TV screen.

The sighing and twitching went on for a bit, until Dad suddenly bolted out of his chair, hollering that he hated his feet and couldn’t stand looking at them. It was the first indication in my little life that folks could be offended by their various body parts and my father’s startling reaction to his own innocent feet was so acute that I was pretty sure he had gone nuts. I tried to assure him that his aristocratic Greek feet, long second toes and all were “just fine,” but he ran upstairs to find something to cover them with.

It’s no surprise then, that on a sunny day at the seaside in 1970 Greece, Dad thought it was okay to wear black leather loafers and brown wool socks with his bathing suit.

3 comments on “My Father’s Feet”

  1. He did hate his feet! Really miss him. 😢

  2. Too far between posts, dear Susie! These are great and so much fun to read! ❤

  3. Haha! It was the first thing I noticed about the picture! My father used to do the same thing. Another great post❤️

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: