Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brotherly Love

This dating horror story mini-series is proving to be quite a trial for me. My husband "robbed the cradle," my almost-19-year-old cradle, and in so doing robbed me of horrible dating experiences. Not that I'm complaining...this is really the only time so far it has been an inconvenience to me.

So, I will be sharing some family favorites. My mom loves to tell this story at family dinners. It has a way of resurrecting long lost shame.

The year was 1984. My uncle was fourteen. He had a new girlfriend and with her, new found confidence. He invited her over to family dinner one night. He sat at the end of the long oval dinning table with his girlfriend to one side of him, and my mom (his older sister) on his other side. As dinner progressed he began to run his bare toes up and down his beloved's leg. (Bold move for a fourteen year old right?). The only problem was that his beloved's leg was actually my mom's leg and she was getting annoyed so she loudly said, "Knock it off. Leave my leg alone." He looked at his girlfriend, turned a pretty shade of pink, and confessed, "Sorry I thought you were Suzi."

My mom, and the rest of the family, hasn't let a family dinner go by without offering to play footsie with my uncle. Poor man. And to think, all of this embarrassment could have been avoided if he had just read the wikiHow on "How to Play Footsie." The rules are very clear.  Who knew?

  1. Find someone to play footsie with. It should be someone you've already flirted with (and who has flirted back). If you try and play footsie with someone who's not interested in you, they usually just won't play along, but some people will actually freak out.
  2. Sit at a table next to or across from the person. Your feet should be able to come in direct contact with theirs, without anyone else's feet getting in the way. Remove your shoe, and run your foot up to their calf and knee.
  3. Tap or push their foot lightly and playfully, then pull away. Do it just once and see how they react. If they pull their feet quickly out of reach, you might want to reconsider playing footsie. Either the person isn't interested, or isn't comfortable with foot play. If he or she looks around and says "Who just pushed my foot?" don't say anything yet. If they say it as if they're annoyed or bothered, stop here. If they say it in a lighthearted, cheerful way, continue.
  4. Nudge their feet again, this time a little more firmly and for a little longer, then pull away. Again, if they recoil, just stop. If they look around (perhaps after looking below the table to see whose feet just did that), give them a playful smile and maybe raise your eyebrows to hint that it was you. If they respond with a smile, or by nudging you back, continue to the next step.
  5. Tangle up your feet with theirs. This can include massaging their ankle with the sole of your foot and locking ankles (twist your ankle around theirs). Keep making eye contact and smiling. If the person seems distracted, pretend you don't know why and say "You look a little distracted. How come?" The person will probably feel a little embarrassed, because they won't want to tell everyone else at the table that you two are playing footsie, and that's part of the fun!
Personally it all sounds gross to me. "Tangled feet" and "twisted ankles" are not my idea of a good time, but what do I know,  I'm the inexperienced one around here.

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