Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Living Dangerously

I was scolded today, much like I have been scolded on many other occasions for "having my feet on the floor," or walking around with bare feet in the house. Yes, I'm living dangerously today. Mind you, I had only to walk a total of 5 steps to the bathroom, and I couldn't find my house shoes.

Here in Naples, throwing caution to the wind to walk around with naked feet is likely to cause a vast assortment of diseases, all of which end in horrible death by bronchitis. In fact, the Naples chapter of Old Wives International is conspiring to blame the rising rate of cancer on the increase in "foot-to-floor" contact.

Just the other day I heard a story told by a sweet old lady about death by cold-foot.

But, in the end, not being one to argue, I have learned that it is best to avoid the incredulous stares, gasps of horror, and subsequent hail marys that my flippant American foot behavior seems to provoke, and wear the shoes that will eventually save my life.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go rest. I think I am getting a fever...

(Tune in for next week's all new compelling episode of "Living Dangerously" when the cavalier American Tracie leaves her wet hair in a towel for 30 minutes.)


Blogger Sicilian said...

After 20 something years in Texas (away from my parents) I can almost walk inside the house barefoot. I never let my kids go outside barefoot, and I never go outside barefoot.

Hair in a wet towel will give more chance for sickness than wet feet. I still get those comments all the way from Colorado. Bare feet can't compare to wet hair. I am staying tuned to hear the . . . rest of the story.

3/19/2006 10:06 AM

Blogger Yael said...

Imagine Stef's horror when I got drunk one night(bad enough)and took off my shoes in the street.

Other reckless acts have included kicking sand up when walking on the beach in my flip flops and letting my nipple pop out of my bikini, I'm still not sure what illness these lead to. Nipple flu??

3/19/2006 12:30 PM

Blogger nikinpos said...

Whatever you do , do not go outside without a coat yet. i did this today, and was grabbed on the street by many concerned locals urging me to go back home quickly..

3/19/2006 12:43 PM

Anonymous lena said...

In texas we suffer a scarier malady called hot-feet which you probably remember. When you wake up on a summer night in a panick because your feet are so damn hot and you desperately fight through your sleepiness to kick out of the twisted covers to get your poor feet to the surface so they can cool down. It is awful. Not fatal, but awful.

3/19/2006 1:26 PM

Blogger melusina said...

Lol, I hate going barefoot, so even if it is a problem in Greece (which it probably is, because everyone wears slippers) I wouldn't be in trouble. I especially hate going barefoot in a house with cats and thus getting a chunk of cat litter or cat food stuck in my bare foot. Ouch.

The wet hair thing has been an issue. I don't use a hair dryer, never have, and I think it is worse for your hair than leaving it wet. But every damn time, even though I have said over a thousand times I won't use a hair dryer, either my mother or sister in law will comment and say don't you want to dry your hair?

3/19/2006 1:28 PM

Blogger Lori said...

I got out of the shower an hour ago and still have a towel on my head... i'd had better start planning for my next trip to the doctor!

3/19/2006 3:54 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

WOW! what the hell happened to blogger?? i couldn't check my comments for hours and i almost had a withdrawal-induced heart attack.

yael-this shouldn't upset steph, i have seen way too many butt-cracks on the back of scooters here to believe that he would be shocked by that. But nipple flu? yea, i'd watch out for that...

nicki-it seems that your locals are even bossier than the ones in ischia! and that's bowssay.

lena-dear god, i had almost forgotten about Texas hot feet. it's horrible, just horrible.

sicilian--take a walk on the wild side girl! it's damnnear summer there in texas :)

mel--cat litter! eewww. that would DEFINITELY kill me.

3/19/2006 4:35 PM

Blogger Dear AL said...

You are one bad girl, you know that?

What in the name of all that's holy are you walking around bare feet? Woman, you have issues! My wife does to, mostly People magazine.

3/19/2006 5:20 PM

Blogger Dear AL said...

Hey tracie! Your profile views shows 666!

Where the hell is my holy water?

3/19/2006 5:30 PM

Anonymous maggie's mommy said...

I continually provide my Mom with evidence that wet hair, or being out in "that damp night air" will not result in catching any sort of virus. She refuses to believe me.

3/19/2006 5:38 PM

Anonymous maggie's mommy said...

I continually provide my Mom with evidence that wet hair, or being out in "that damp night air" will not result in catching any sort of virus. She refuses to believe me.

3/19/2006 5:38 PM

Blogger Annika said...

I swear, stepping on cat litter with bare feet is nothing compared to stepping on Lego or FlexiTrax-parts with bare feet. Especially in the middle of the night when you're not really awake and it's dark so you don't see a thing.
I am a little frightened by the foot issues though. I love walking around without socks and shoes!

Wet hair is only dangerous when it's below 0 so you end up with icicles instead of hair. I did that last week, and even had ice on my eyelashes. Not to recommend!

3/20/2006 12:51 AM

Blogger Lori said...

ohhhh good point annika. those legos can be a real b*tch when you step on them. at least cat food you can clean off. those little lego suckers keep on smartin for awhile

3/20/2006 1:26 AM

Blogger nyasha said...

it must be a southern european thing, this forbidden-to-go-around-barefoot-thing. In Portugal they claim that you will get painful cramps when the monthly period comes around! There you go. you all are going "eeeewwww"....

3/20/2006 2:53 AM

Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

I am gonna top you, today I will walk around with barefeet AND wet hair!

I can imagine what "Fear Factor" Italian style would be...

"For our next challenge, you have to stand outside, in the chilly air WITHOUT a scarf"!

(audiance gasp)....

You make me laugh!

3/20/2006 2:57 AM

Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Yale, I think a round of the "nipple flu" would kill me!

3/20/2006 2:58 AM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

oh girls, girls, girls, and guy, you all make ME laugh! thanks for taking the time :)

3/20/2006 3:32 AM

Blogger ThreeCharlie said...

What part of the city are you in? I've got a villa up in the Licola area (the compton of Napoli).

3/20/2006 6:22 AM

Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Now I see why I had to hurry and put my shoes back on after swimming and why I was urged to keep wearing shoes before going back in the water... But I did that a lot never got sick once hmmmmm.. :)

3/20/2006 9:12 AM

Blogger Teena said...

I love walking around with naked feet!!

3/20/2006 9:15 AM

Blogger american girl in italy said...

Now I know why my MIL is constantly begging me to put on my house shoes (that I leave at her house) whenever I opt to run around in just my stocking feet.

So, now I have to; cover my stomach after eating (with newspaper if nothing else is available),make sure my low jeans and short t's don't expose any skin, keep a scarf on so I don't get *witches neck*, dry my hair immediately (which I never do!) AND always wear house shoes. Man, it is tough being italian. haha

And all this comes from the woman (my MIL) who leaves her leftovers sitting out all night, and then serves them the next day. And she doesn't use tupperware, and doesn't cover the random foods in the fridge, so they all smell like stinky cheese. Doesn't this cause some sort of illness?? I know it did in my house growing up. hahah

3/20/2006 9:17 AM

Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

LOL, I thought it was just a West Indian thing. My parents would not let us walk around the house in barefeet. "You're going to catch a cold, no? Where are your slippers?" nor could you come downstairs for breakfast with just your PJ's on. "Where is your robe?"

3/20/2006 9:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom was a bad influence, to this day at 84 she continues to walk around her house barefoot. Maybe that is the dreaded disease, you don't move very fast at 84?

As far as the wet hair in the towel, in Louisiana, we were usually wet from the humidity after drying our hair and would need another shower to cool down.

3/20/2006 9:54 PM

Blogger Ginnie said...

It just amazes me that we grow up with all these "rules and regulations" and still live to talk about it :)

3/21/2006 11:23 AM

Blogger Alex said...

Your post did make me chuckle!

I live with an Italian - my other half is from Genova and I get scolded for wandering around - horror of horrors - barefoot or in stocking feet. And if I don't put my slippers on I get got at again - back in the old UK I didn't even have slippers.

You sort of get used to the myriad of funny little rules and regulations which exist. Italians do seem to love them. It's no wonder that Italy has so many problems with bureaucracy. Bureaucracy would seem to be endemic.

All the best from a Brit in It.

3/21/2006 3:36 PM

Blogger Ann said...

I've been chastised by my MIL a couple of times about leaving the house with a wet head. She's like "Do you need a hair dryer? If you do, I can buy one for you!". Or walking around with one's coat not buttoned up....

3/24/2006 7:17 AM

Anonymous lizi poopers said...

This is funny. The Italiaians' dogamtic rules for healthy living remind me of Mexicans'. My coworkers will come up with the strangest things sometimes!

Like, once, when I was hung over, I asked my fellow nursery amigo for an ibuprofin, and as he watched me swigging water, he scolded me. He told me to have another beer, and that if I drank too much water, I would die. Weird.

Anyhoo--your post made me think of this certain story:

The other day, my best coworker (hispanico)had a fever blister. Being also afflicted with the little nuisances every now and then, I gave him lysine and a fabulous cream, and I told him to take them. He did, and I later went to the store to get him his own bottle and tube.

I told him, "I get them, you know, when I get stressed out, or just before my period, or when I've been sick and my immune system is down."

And he said, "I get them when I've been walking on the floor without shoes, and the cold air gets to the bottom of my feet."


4/06/2006 10:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have very pretty feet

5/19/2009 5:55 AM


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