It's that time of year again. No, I am not talking about bikini season. I'm talking about bunion season.
I did not even know I had a bunion until fairly recently and now, every time I start wearing sandals again, I am reminded that I do. I imagine it was growing on the sly for years before my husband, Peter, brought it to my attention.
"You have a bunion," he said.
"I do not!" I immediately answered -- because I had no idea what it was.
"Yes, you do. Right there, on your foot."
"That's not a bunion. It's always been like that ... I think."
"No, that's a bunion. That's what they look like."
I had heard the word "bunion" before, but had no idea what it was. For some reason, I associated it with old women in cottages who raised sheep and made cheese. I googled it and learned it was nothing nearly so romantic.
As I read up on bunions, I learned they were very unlikely to afflict a young person. Since, on most days, I still regard myself as a relatively young person, this was more than a little deflating.
"How did this happen?" I asked, shocked to learn that I had joined the ranks of the little old cheese-making women.
"It just happens when you get older," Peter informed me. Peter is older than I am and, occasionally, he lords this over me, as if there is a wealth of information about getting older he is withholding for my own good.
I was not at all pleased about this bunion. I asked the doctor about it at my next appointment. She was completely unimpressed.
"Does it hurt?" she asked.
"Well ... no."
"Then I wouldn't worry about it."
This seemed to me a highly unsatisfactory response. If young people got bunions, I have to believe they would be taken a lot more seriously. Doctors would say, "We must find a treatment for this bunion or this young person's foot will never fit properly in their sandal! They might experience discomfort and embarrassment and never find a mate!"
By my age, no one cares. The doctor shrugged. From this, I gathered that she did not think I would live long enough for my bunion to become a genuine problem worthy of medical attention.
I told my sister that I had a bunion, wondering if she had one as well. She is younger than I am. To my slight disappointment, I learned she does not. Yet. But my sister said she had a friend who had her bunion fixed.
"Really!" I said. "That's wonderful!"
"No! It was terrible!" my sister said. "She had to have it fixed because she was in pain when she walked."
"What did they do?" I asked, all ready to do the same thing myself.
"They operated on it, but then she couldn't move -- at all! She had to stay in bed for two weeks. She couldn't even get up to pee!"
I will tell you right now that I have not verified this information. If it is incorrect, don't write to me -- write to my sister. She's the one doing the fearmongering. Whenever I'm told about somebody who had to pee in a bottle, I already have more information than I want.
So it appears my bunion and I will have to learn to live with one another. It does not hurt. All it does is make my foot look funny in sandals. Luckily, I'm not easily embarrassed and I already have a mate, so maybe I shouldn't complain.
But now I have.
Till next time,
Carrie Classon's memoir is called "Blue Yarn." Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.
DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION FOR UFS