Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.


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May 18th, 2015 Posted 7:56 pm

An irrational fear of feet

I’ve been browsing through the personals section on Craigslist fairly regularly since I moved to Montreal. Contrary to popular belief, Craigslist has actually been really good to me over the years. I’ve made lifelong friends and had many enjoyable times that all began with a simple email to someone who posted in the w4m section.

Recently I’d seen a post on Casual Encounters (the section where you go for NSA hookups) from a girl who sounded unusually genuine, saying she’d like to meet someone with the intention of hanging out on a casual, FWB-type basis. I normally steer clear of this part of the website because 95% of the posts are either spam or creepy guys pretending to be girls, but this particular post was worded in such a normal, human-like way that I felt it truly was a girl looking to hook up with a guy for a bit of fun.

I took a chance and emailed her, telling her I was new to Montreal and also looking for a similarly beneficial agreement with someone. I mentioned that I enjoyed travelling, I offered a physical description of myself and I invited her to my favourite Montreal venue for first dates, Cafe des Chats (my local cat cafe).

Hallelujah! She replied back.

Hi Dan. Ok, you partly had me at Australian, the accent is awesome. 🙂 I have never been to Cafe des Chats before. I actually had to google it; I think I’d vaguely read about it online or something because there’s something vaguely familiar about it. Random choice, I like it!

She went on to say she’d lived in New Zealand for a year and spent some time in Australia (including my hometown of Townsville); it was clear I was pretty high up on her hit list. We emailed back & forth and texted a few times and ended up agreeing on a day to meet for coffee & cats. Interestingly, we never even shared photos or spoke on the phone through any of this. I had no idea what she looked like or even if she really was a woman.

We eventually met at Sherbrooke station at our set time and I confirmed: she was indeed a girl! She was in her early 30’s, quite tall, dyed dark red hair, with an athletic kinda build. She could have passed for a swimmer. We got along well over coffee and ended up getting some dinner at a nearby Korean restaurant. It turned out to be quite a successful date, so I asked her to come to the cinema with me the following weekend.

She agreed, and we saw a documentary called Seymour: An Introduction, which told the life story of a famous concert pianist from New York. It was a good doc (like, 10 out of 10 good – you should watch it). I picked well. We journeyed on over to a bar for dinner & drinks, and before we went home we hung out at the park and cuddled a bit. It was nice. I knew by this stage that I wasn’t interested in her in a romantic sense but I was definitely down for sticking one in.

So for our next date of course I invited her over to my place for dinner.

She arrived early on a Friday evening – somehow we had the house to ourself, which is rare for a Friday – and by all accounts the dinner went very well. She was super impressed with the food, which included a pie from Montreal’s very own Australian + NZ pie shop. We watched The Castle after dinner and made our way through a bottle of red. We got a little snuggly during the film which was nice, you know, an arm around each other and holding hands. The movie finished and I invited her to chill out in my room. She agreed.

We got to bed and chatted for a bit but I could tell she wasn’t entirely comfortable. I thought perhaps it was just some initial nerves and she’d come through in a while. We started to make out but again there was something about her that wasn’t quite right. She was laying in a really awkward position… she just couldn’t seem to bring herself to relax. I asked if she was ok and she assured me she was, so we kept at it but still it didn’t feel right cause she was kinda half on the bed and half off the bed. It was so weird & confusing. It was like she didn’t want to disappoint me by admitting that she wasn’t comfortable, you know?

I encouraged her to loosen up, to no avail. Finally, she came clear:

“I can’t relax! I have this psychological block where I’m not able to put my feet on anything I don’t own!”

That’s right, kids: she couldn’t put her feet on my bed because it wasn’t her bed.

Even with stockings on, she still couldn’t bring herself around to it. It was like my duvet was a forcefield, blocking her feet from ever residing on its soothing feathery warmth. She told me that in her previous house, her roommate kept a footrest in front of their sofa, but she could never use it because she didn’t own it – it was owned by her roommate.

Alarm bells rang in my head. Are you serious?

The romance was dying off big time but I tried once more to comfort her by assuring her I had no problem whatsoever with her feet on my bed. And she actually tried – oh how she tried – but the look on her face while she attempted to position her entire body down on my bed from head to toe was terrifying.

I called it off. She was clearly upset at herself because she knew her actions were unreasonable. I was nice about it and laughed it off: ‘forget about it, it’s ok! We can just chill and chat instead’. When really in my mind all I was thinking ‘WHAT THE FUUUUCKKKK JUST HAPPENED?’ She went on to say that she struggles at being affectionate and she has some trust issues, but come on man, why would you post an ad on Craigslist Casual Encounters wanting to meet boys for a causal shag if you can’t even physically handle being on their beds?

God knows what happened to the poor girl in the past that led to her having a phobia of her own feet.

She left half an hour later and we never heard from each other again.


This entry was posted on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 7:56 pm and is filed under Blog, Dating. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Podophobia”

  1. Vicki
    4:00 am on November 9th, 2016

    That’s a really sad story for that girl. I think it comes from her not totally relaxing enough to make herself comfortable on someone’s property.

    Does she worry she will ruin someone’s stuff ? With having dirty feet on it. Maybe in the past something has happened that gave her tramau.

    It would’ve been nice if you could’ve stuck around and helped her with her problem. Overcome her phobia. She probably hasn’t opened up to many people about it.

    Your story was well written and I enjoyed reading it 🙂

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