Some requests can be too demanding until a couple comes together to honestly negotiate them. Some subjects are taboo until a group decides that it can honestly discuss them.
It is almost impossible to introduce the subject of nudity into a conversation. If the discussion begins to get serious, someone is likely to automatically dismiss the subject with, “Why would anybody even want to be naked?” and the possibility of nudity is promptly dropped. Then so is the possibility of any discussion. Nude activity feels too shameful even to be discussed.
Barefooting is another subject that is almost as difficult to introduce into a conversation. Going barefooted is next to illegal. I want to suggest a parallel for talking about taboo subjects. Whenever someone voices reluctance to talk about a subject, then it needs to be introduced sideways sidewise.
In places that frown on barefooted people, a person is not allowed to discuss the reason for going barefoot: shoes are required and there is no reason to discuss any further. For example, our county library branches (6 in Springfield, and 6 in neighboring towns) require patrons to wear shoes. Each table in each library has a placard of library rules one rule is that shirts and shoes are required
I tried to start a discussion about this with a librarian, but was confronted with a shrug. I sent a query to the library director who responded with a quote from the employee handbook where it was specified that shoes are required in the library branches, although the director did wish me well in my recovery from surgery.
When I was 68, I had a hip joint replacement and on a followup visit with my surgeon to learn how to take care of an artificial hip, I asked if there was something to watch for in a shoe. My doctor responded, “You don’t need shoes. Go barefooted when you can. It’s better for your ankles and easier on hips and knees.” I get around better now in my seventies than I did in my sixties. I do not need to wear shoes except for those other people. If someone else thinks that I should be wearing shoes, I don’t argue. If I have something with me, I slip them on. If not, I will leave.
In an instance like this though, the subject cannot be discussed. The barefoot person has violated some social custom, and the enforcer has corrected it. No further discussion will be required. I have learned to respond to the innocent questions though when someone is genuinely curious about why I so seldom wear any shoes. Knees and hips feel better when I am not required to swing a shoe around on the end of my leg. My back is more flexible, my rib cage and shoulders are stronger, and even my neck is more supple. I have better balance and more spring in my step. I must admit that this is not only because I go barefoot part of my improvement is the surgery, but I like to spread the word that shoes really are unnecessary.
Talking about barefoot in public seems to be off limits, but if the discussion could be started, maybe other people would join in. There should be a way to introduce touchy subjects like, “Why would anybody even want to be barefoot?”
However, you can’t start a discussion with that kind of question because it will be assumed that there is no reason to be barefooted, so therefore, no reason to even talk about it.
When I am not barefooted, I can still begin a conversation about it. I could just mention that I would be glad when I can slip my shoes off. I might ask if anyone would be offended if I were to slip them off. I may simply complain about my shoes. I will probably say something about how inconvenient it is be weighed down with shoes. If the question arises, “Why would you want to be barefoot?” I can respond with my sentiments.
Nudists are in the same situation. If the subject of nudity could be brought up in a conversant tone and with a sane approach introduced into the conversation edgewise a genuine discussion should be possible: glad when I get home and slip my suit off, when I get home, all I’m going to wear is an apron, etc
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