Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Body Does Not Break Itself (Part 1)

I will begin this post with an anecdote.

I was recently visiting my Aunt in her new NYC apartment. My mother and her were having a conversation about shoes that I was peripherally listening to as I nodded off. My Aunt made a comment about my mother's bunions and how they were not as pronounced as her own. They traded some hopeful thoughts on the matter. My Aunt chimed in with "well mommy had them so I think it's genetic."

That last sentence grabbed my attention so hard it started to asphyxiate. There was so much I wanted to say. So we began trading blows.

"Bunion's aren't caused by genetics. It's the tight shoes you have been wearing since you were flunking college."

"I think they are. Mom had pretty bad bunions as well so I think I got them too."

I would like to point out that this "Mom" is mother to both my mother and my aunt. She fails to realize that this already destroys her argument as my mom does not have bunion fever.

"No no. Listen. You have been consistently cramming your toes into a space tighter than they are comfortable with for over fourty years. Over time, the body adapts to the tight space that has been presented to them continuously by reducing space between the toes. The big toe, being the most malleable, bends towards the little toes which causes the location of the bunion to move in the opposite direction -- which makes it protroud."

She insisted on the genetic aspect of the bunions.

I decided to compromise.

"Have you heard of an Epigenetic effect?"


"Essentially, your body could have a genetic predisposition to bunions, but they will not just appear on their own. Epi means "on top of" and genetic is obvious. That means that you might have been at higher risk for bunions, which combined with your toe-cramping style caused this bunion catastrophe."  

(Note: I think this is the longest piece of prose that uses the word Bunion over ten times).

She agreed to this. Then we all rode into the sunset happily ever-after.

Note: degrading humor added to make the conversation more enjoyable to the reader. My Aunt and I have a wonderful relationship.


Read part two here.

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