Tuesday, May 19, 2009


My friend Megan and I were discussing the joys of perma-dirt last night; how the bottoms of our feet are consistently black. Soap doesn't help. Scrubbing with a loofah doesn't help, either. A foot scrubber, akin to a mini cheese grater, is the only thing that works. Every night I sit and scrub, watching gray flecks of water speckle the sides of the bathtub.

That's what I get for walking around bare foot in my house and wearing flip flops outside in China.

Maybe that explains the Chinese women's style of ankle-high nylon stockings with sandals. Keeps the perma-dirt at bay.

The really disturbing thing is that my son Gabe has quite a lot of perma-dirt, most noticeably on his knees. Baths don't help. Scrubbing with a sponge doesn't help. Last night, in desperation I applied the foot scrubber (aka mini cheese grater) to his knees.

"Does this hurt?" I kept asking.

No, it didn't hurt. I used it on the bottoms of his feet and his ankles too. He's got a perma-dirt patch on the front of his ankle from wearing his Crocs every day. People keep asking if it's a bruise. But really, it's just perma-dirt.

I would welcome suggestions for eliminating perma-dirt. Also, I'm curious: does anyone else have this problem in another part of the world, or can I give all the credit to Tianjin dust and pollution?


  1. i can't give testimony to the problem...that covers washington and now kentucky. :)

  2. Perma dirt abounds here too... only on me though. I wear crocs as my "barn shoes" while I make the kids wear big rubber boots. The cheese grater doesn't even work to get it all off me... but I also don't use it every day. Only when I have to go someplace "high class" where people frown on perma-dirt. Mine isn't just on my heals, but its in the crevices around each toe nail. And my fingernails are stained with dirt too. If I don't cut them down to the wick, my hands look dirty. And it doesn't bother me... except when people look down on me for getting dirty to feed my family healthy food... then I'd like to rub a perma-dirt heal right in a perma-snide mouth. But alas, I don't... it might get me too clean.

  3. LOL Alison. I wish I had growing organic produce as my reason for perma-dirt. The scary thing is, I'm not even doing anything that cool and I still have perma-dirt. But just so you know, I won't look down on your perma-dirt. I think you've earned the right to wear it with pride.