It’s interesting—to me, at least—that I’ve been writing for about one hundred years now, and still have not discussed topics that are common in the gay community.
Or aged . . . I haven’t seemed to age in one hundred years, either. Thank you very much.
That’s not completely true.
I’ve been writing since I was twelve. Back then, my content focused on murder and mayhem. Still does. Recently, I finished Bury What Remains, my latest psychological suspense manuscript, and lots of murder and mayhem ensue. Side note: If you’re an agent looking for a new author to represent, allow me to take a moment to say, “Heeeey!”
Yet, it wasn’t until much later in my career, about four years ago and right around the release of my second crime fiction novel, ‘Til Death (which I assume all of you are familiar with), that I began delving into LGBTQA+ subjects and themes with my Rage column.
Since then, I’ve expressed thoughts and feelings on the ugliness of dating, bisexuality, partners who are too active on social media, etcetera, etcetera. Ad nauseam. Yet, there’s been one teeny tiny (or, depending on who you’ve been acquainted with, not so teeny tiny) issue I’ve shied away from until now. Are you ready for it?
The size of a man’s . . . feet. Because, as some believe, feet size is everything! Without a good pair of feet, how do you expect to walk properly?
If you think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous the amount of attention we put on this body part. The feet, I mean. It’s also significant to mention that straight women are not exempt from the conversation. After all, straight women want a decent-sized pair of feet, too.
It goes without saying (you know sure-as-shit I’m going to say it anyway, though) that we do not get to pick our feet size. Whether we’re blessed with small, medium, large, or magnum-sized feet, we all have to live with what we’re given. And, yes, regardless of length and width, it can sometimes be hard to find a pair of shoes that fit.
I know someone (fine, it was me) who once invited a friend over for a playdate. When that friend got to my apartment and took off his shoes, I immediately said, “Call an Uber and get those feet out of here before they hurt someone!”
On the flip side, I know an individual (yeah, still me) who had to promptly leave a social gathering because the host had Ken doll-sized feet.
What can I say? Shoe shopping is hard!
But, I wholeheartedly stand by what I said earlier: We do not get to pick our feet size. Therefore, are we going to simply throw someone away just because their feet are too small or too big? Who are we? Goldicocks? Oops—typo! I meant Goldilocks.
Think about it: Say you meet someone, and they’re perfect. Well, as perfect as someone can be. In this climate, perfection probably looks like having a job and voting for anyone other than Donald Trump. But, I digress.
So, you meet this perfect, job-having, non-Trump-voting person, and the two of you really hit it off. Maybe he makes you laugh, owns a publishing company, has Sarah Jessica Parker’s cell phone number to share with you.
Before long slash probably the same day you met, it’s time to shoe shop. Now, where this man has shoe shopped in the past is not part of this particular discussion. However, for your sake, let’s just hope it was at Christian Louboutin and not Payless. Am I right?
When those shoes finally come off, you may discover feet that you’re not initially happy with, and as a result, want to make up an excuse to run away and never look back. Yep, me again.
Is this fair, though? Is it rationale? By doing this, are we ultimately doing ourselves a disservice? How important is feet size, anyway? And, is feet size more important than personality, sense of humor, kindness, or patience?
For some, maybe so. That doesn’t make them wrong, per se, only proves that everyone is different. As such, everyone has their own list of priorities and qualifications when looking for a partner.
But, by being closed-minded (and not just when it comes to shoe shopping), we could be limiting ourselves. Dare I even say, setting ourselves up for failure. Today, closed-mindedness is a disease. While it may not exactly rival the Coronavirus, it is still damaging and deadly.
Why do we continue to allow ourselves to be so closed-minded, then? We very much do it to ourselves, even though we have the full ability to stop. That’s right, boys and girls: closed-mindedness is a disease, but it’s a curable disease. What’s the antidote for it? Stop being so fucking small-minded.
Look, I’m not saying go against everything you believe in, or sacrifice everything you want in life. We all have—should have, at least—a list of values or standards that we’re not willing to budge on when it comes to deciding who to share our lives with, be it with a partner, friend, even blood relative. However, the list should be small and not necessarily written in stone.
While it’s cliché, it’s still true: If we’re so focused on what we think we want and need, then we stand the chance of missing out on something better and more fabulous.
My advice is to not knock it until you try it. Small feet, big feet, plaid, pineapple on pizza, a Cutter Slagle novel (how’d that get there?) . . . Be willing to give the unknown a fair opportunity.
Once you do, and you determine you don’t like it or it’s not really for you—whatever “it” may be—don’t judge or belittle or shame anyone else for enjoying it. Remember, not everyone is the same. You may feel a certain way about something, but that doesn’t automatically make you or your way right.
It’s not about understanding; it’s about respecting. I personally don’t understand why a person would rather watch the movie instead of reading the book, but I respect that the choice is theirs to make. It’s a right, a preference. Just because I have a different way of doing things doesn’t make my way better or more correct.
Another thing, too: It’s perfectly okay. I’m not going to die or lose any sleep over the fact that someone doesn’t like to read. It’s not as if books are going to be sacrificed or I’m never going to be able to read again simply because someone else doesn’t find pleasure in the activity.
You can substitute books and reading for just about anything: feet size, Adam Sandler movies, gay marriage. You may not understand gay marriage—and that’s fine—but you should respect an individual’s choice and right to marry someone of the same sex.
If you can’t respect those who have contrasting feelings or opinions of what you may have, then at least learn to keep your fucking pie hole shut. Seems pretty straight forward, don’t you think?
Unless we’re talking about Britney Spears.
If you don’t like Britney, then there is no help for you . . . And may you burn in hell.
Well, kind of.