Oct 25

When It’s Your Own Damn Fault: A Story of Impromptu Feet Sanding

Foot with painted toenail

You can tell this is not my foot, because I hate flip-flops.
Photo credit: Amina_Manicure_020 via photopin (license)

A few days ago, a friend commented that it would be a relief to have a Facebook group wherein we could be relieved of the tedium of pretending that we all have perfect lives full of cuddly puppies and genius children and a flawless career trajectory broken up only by our three exotic vacations a year. Because gross, and exhausting, right? Immediately thereafter, said group was born. And lo, it is good. This morning, catching up on the group’s contributions, I was inspired by another friend’s dog-grooming-gone-horribly-wrong post to reflect that sometimes, life sucks because of the stuff we do to ourselves. And man, it really blows when it’s your own damn fault.

Like so:

Recently, I’d been thinking that the skin on the top of my feet was a bit rough. This had not ever before been a problem for me, but life does throw you curve balls on occasion. On the other hand, my SO has the thick, cracked-heel-skin issue every winter. For a few years he actually used a wood sander on it. Not. Even. Kidding. I finally convinced him that power tools are not intended for self-care, and last year he bought a doohickey called the Emjoi Tornado, which is … uh … basically a power sander for your feet. Hey, it worked wonders on his heels last year! I think he only had to employ it once or twice throughout the season, and he completely lost the ability to chiffonade my delicate leg skin in bed. Really impressive results. So Friday morning I thought, why not use it on my crusty feet? I could use a little self-pampering anyway, right?

Dutifully–and atypically–I read the little instruction manual. (That’s how you know I was planning to use this thing responsibly. LIKE A REAL GROWNUP.) The manual said to use it only on your feet, so as tempted as I was to take a crack at some of my tree bark-like skin elsewhere, I decided to restrict its use to the recommended area. The manual said no more than two or three seconds on any one spot. Okay, got it, I could sign on for that too. Then it came time to choose my, uh, sanding grit. There were three colors of abrasive wheels described in the manual: green for coarse skin, blue for normal skin, and orange for delicate skin. I thought, I’ll just go with the normal one. But when I looked in the kit and saw green, blue, orange, and gray, I decided ON THE SPOT to use gray.

Why? I have no idea. Oh, I can say that I thought gray seemed like it was somewhere between delicate (orange) and normal (green), but the truth is I never compared them. I literally didn’t even touch the other ones. Nor did I look online to see what the gray actually was. I simply picked it up and thought, hmm, this doesn’t feel too harsh; it should be fine. Since, you know, I know so much about foot sanders. You know when your children do something completely idiotic and you ask them why they did it (because you are genuinely befuddled and also looking for training opportunities) and they give you the infuriating “I don’t know” response? They’re not hiding anything, I am certain. They are as perplexed as you are and have no idea why they were compelled to do something that was, in hindsight, so clearly stupid.

Anyway. So, I did the sanding, two to three seconds per spot, as recommended. And WOW, that thing is amazing. (Seriously, it really is awesome. Don’t pass on it simply because of my inability to properly adult.) Micronized dead skin everywhere! WOOT! THINGS WERE HAPPENING. Skin was smoothed. I did feel, at the end, that perhaps it had been a little harsh in spots, but overall not too bad.

Until about a half hour later, when the itchy burn began to set in. I showed my feet, then beginning to develop some red spots, to my SO, and he said “You’re really not supposed to use that on the tops of your feet, only the heels” (to which I replied “The manual just says ‘feet,’ not heels,” a very good point, I thought, although he ignored it), and, “Which color did you use?” When I said “gray,” the look of alarm on his face clued me in that perhaps I had made an error in judgment. Quietly, he said, “That’s extra coarse, for men’s skin.” He didn’t ask me “didn’t you even Google it?” because he just doesn’t ask those questions anymore. And then he handed me the Benadryl and hydrocortisone creams. I’m mostly healed up now.


  1. Meagan

    Ouch! I am glad you’re okay…maybe a little over zealous though. Take care

  2. Susanna


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