Sunday, 21 August 2016

Extremities and Extremism

I think people have underestimated their extremities.  I know, I know, that's an odd thought to have, but think about it.  Everything seems more extreme at your extremities.  Whenever I'm cold, my toes are always the coldest.  Double layers of gloves and socks barely keep up in a freezing NYC winter.  Conversely, on a sweltering, Alabama summer day, while the rest of my body struggles on with the heat, my toes get hot and claustrophobic in shoes.  They demand sandals so that they can breathe.

I know that not everyone shares my opinion on toe shoes, but toe socks and toe shoes are the absolute worst.  It's not just the fact that they create tiny prisons for your toes that bothers me.  No, what bothers me is that they are imprisoning your toes in tiny isolation cells.  They were born together; they've never been apart.  They aren't used to isolation.  Some people might even call it cruel and unusual punishment.  And one should not be cruel to one's toes.  They are sort of the foundation of a person, you know?

So, really, I think people are underestimating their extremities.  By this, I don't just mean that people are not looking out for their extremities when they cram them into high heels and pointy shoes that don't always fit.  I mean, that people don't appreciate how much extremities really feel.  Feeling extremes in heat and cold is just the beginning.

I believe that extremities and extremism go hand in hand.  Popular expressions would support this notion.  When you love a song the first thing that happens is toe tapping.  Your toes either appreciate the music more or first.  They start dancing before you do and then convince the rest of you to follow along.  When you fall for a stranger's charm it is called being "swept off your feet."

The ultimate expression of relaxation is putting one's feet up.  The opposite is also true.  When someone is tired the highest expression for exhaustion is "dead on your feet."  Because feet are the first to relax and the first to tire.

If you're extremely obstinate you "dig in your heels."  The opposite is also true here.  When someone is over eager you can tell them "cool your heels."  There are numerous expressions that express feelings by equating them with extremities.  If you worked hard all day you could say that you ache from "head to toe."  If you feel like you are in a changeable or fast-paced environment you might say that it "keeps you on your toes."  This evokes a feeling of change and surprise all at once.  Rarely would someone try to express this feeling by referring to a body part in the mid-section.  And that's all just feet.

Your fingers can be lazy "not lifting a finger" or take the brunt of all your hard work when you have "worked your fingers to the bone."  You give people and things you approve of a thumbs up.  People who are clumsy are referred to as "being all thumbs."  And when you feel like you're being oppressed you could call it "being under someone's thumb."

Your heart may just be the center of your emotions but your extremities may experience them in the most extreme manner.  Seeing as I'm in a frivolous mood I'm just going to go out on a limb here (a limb being an extremity as well), and say that my emotions are magnified at my extremities. My fingers are extremely important and my toes are extremists.

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