Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tarty boots and foot tea

I tend to name things.

I've named a lot of my clothing and shoes - my tarty boots, my octopus shirt, my tough girl boots, my erection skirt, my tan librarian dress - and so sometimes, when I'm trying to figure out what to wear, Nick will suggest particular pieces of clothing or footwear. By name.

At some point he told me he'd never, ever have predicted that he'd: meet someone who named her clothing and shoes; then learn the names of them; and actually spend enough time thinking about her shoes to recommend wearing "tough girl boots" with a particular outfit.


I've not gotten much further in his closet than the cocksucker suit, but with time, I will.

So Nick, he drinks tea rather than coffee. He has the English mother. He grew up drinking tea.

He likes to brew it in a pot, although that's more on the weekend. For weekday morning consumption, he brews it in a single cup with a little strainer. Me, I am all about the coffee.

He has a shelf full of different teas. He is particular, and he prefers loose tea. So recently he bought this special black tea. It's Indian, I think, although it might be Chinese. I can't even remember the name of it.

Because from the beginning, I've called it "foot tea."

You see, to me, it smells like what I think the smell would be if you boiled up a bunch of binding cloths. As in, those cloths that they used to use to bind the poor tortured feet of upper-class Chinese women. And tangentially, have you ever read The Binding Chair: or, A Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society? It's a very compelling read.

In any case, it's a gross way to describe it, I know, and maybe thinking about it makes you throw up a little in your mouth, but this is what it evokes for me. Not that I have ever smelled them. But that doesn't stop me from imagining.

But this morning I was the early bird, and I was brewing both.

"The water just boiled. Which one would you like?"

"Foot tea, please."

Usually he gets up first, and he makes the tea and coffee. So I hadn't realized till this morning that the name had stuck.


  1. I'm sure this post was extremely compelling, as all of your writing tends to be. But my attention was captured by your use of a wonderful new word for me: tangentially.

    I'm still struggling a little with proper pronunciation. But I love the word. It has made me extremely happy this morning. Thank you for your diction.

  2. I name things too! I love the language which developes between people sharing their lives.

    Luke drinks tea as well. And he's started to eat canned tuna, the smell of which reaches every inch of the house. It's awful, equal to the smell of foot tea.

  3. Simple Scholar - I'm always happy to introduce people to words! I love words!

    HKW - Yah, I love that as well! As for canned tuna - I'm definitely guilty of eating it, and I like this one that's packed in oil, which I suspect has a stronger smell. I know it's a smell people feel strongly about.

  4. I love canned tuna. Just made some tuna salad with it, actually. YUM.

    I love the little languages that evolve in a couple...so very intimate.

  5. I love that he's embraced and adapted your habit instead of being repulsed by the name "foot tea."

  6. oh my gosh! you're totally my new crush! i didn't know other people did this too. i rename everything!
    M even calls the place i get my car washed "the duck wash" now... at least when he's talking to me. he tried to tell me the real name of it for so long and he finally gave in.
    i make up names for Everything though... except clothes i guess. i have outfits that i define with a look but i don't necessarily call them by that look's name, like "trailer park church outfit" etc.
    it's so nice to see that i'm not this crazy all alone : )

  7. Lemmonex - Yah, I do too. And I'm sure you made a super YUM tuna salad.

    Maiden Metallurgist - I was pretty surprised. And delighted. :)

    notsojenny - I'd say one of the best things about blogging is the realization that none of us are this crazy all alone. :)

  8. Adjectives are my best friend. Technical terms are for dorks... doesn't "the boob-y dress or the hott-ass jeans?" sound better than "dress or pants?"

  9. Haha - "the boob-y dress or the hott-ass jeans!" Yes! Absolutely agree! You just reminded me - I used to have a pair of jeans I called my "good butt" jeans.

  10. I imagine that Foot Tea would be very popular with the patrons of the Chinese foot prostitute. If there were such a thing.

    You know, they might want to smell the smell of the bandages when they drank their tea. Might be arousing to the foot fetishists you know...

    Too far? Too gross?

    Should I not have gone there?

  11. Hahaha, SD! On the contrary, you should ALWAYS go there! Some of us live there!

  12. That's what I thought, but I have to PRETEND to have some boundaries of taste.

  13. I'm with lemmonex. I like those little couple words and phrases that develop. Mathman and I share some that stretch back twenty years.

  14. How does he take his tea? Cream? Sugar? Honey? Black?

    I like my tea Indian style... vaguely like the Chai you get at coffee shops, but without any cinnamon and much better. :-)

  15. Slightly Disorganized - It's good to be able to pretend so people think you're normal. :)

    DCup - Awww, sweet! I didn't think about that, but yah, there will be little words that last and last.

    VVK - He takes it with milk and fake sugar - the one in the yellow packet. Splenda, maybe? Chai is the best. You know what I used to love? Getting chai on the trains, in those rough ceramic cups that you would just throw out the window when done. So delicious, always.

  16. I love those terra cotta cups... Disposable cups, Indian style. And there's something special about the train station tea. Yummy. :-)

  17. This is making me rethink and question all of the things I've similarly named. I wonder how many of my people know and/or use the names.

  18. You really are your own breed, aren't you?


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