We Went … Earthing

Mar 3, 2020

I joined dating apps looking for a guy who’d fit my personality better than the ones I kept meeting IRL. Matching with Russell felt like a breath of fresh air. His profile said he was into long walks, meditation, and protecting Mother Earth.

I’ve dedicated my career to fighting climate change, so I found Russell’s bio especially appealing. He had long hair (Yes, a man bun. What can I say? I like them.), green eyes, and wide smile. What’s better than a sexy man who wants to save the earth?

Russell talked about how getting in tune with his mind also helps him get in tune with the earth. Through the course of the conversation, he mentioned that he composts his leftover food, grows his own herbs, and lives car-free. Everything he said resonated, so I brought up the idea of a date.

We met at the local botanical garden at 3 PM on Saturday. Russell looked as good as he had in his profile. Except, he wasn’t wearing shoes or socks. At first I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be rude. 

We paid to enter the gardens, then walked around admiring flowers. Once, when I took a photo of a Bird of Paradise, Russell commented that he likes to live in the moment rather than try to capture it. I didn’t take any photos after that.

At one point, we decided to sit on a bench and silently enjoy nature. I felt at peace. Once we began talking again, I felt comfortable asking Russell if there was any particular reason he didn’t have shoes on. 

Russell said he was “earthing.” I hadn’t heard of this practice. Apparently, earthing involves walking barefoot so the earth’s electrons will enter your body. 

Russell said the surface of the earth is full of energy, and when we wear shoes, we block that energy. He looked down at my feet and said, “Imagine how you’d feel if you connected with the earth deeply.” I felt like he wanted me to take my shoes off too, but I kept them on. 

After the gardens, we walked to a nearby restaurant, but the hostess asked us to leave because Russell didn’t have shoes on. When she mentioned it was for sanitary reasons, he began ranting about how society has become obsessed with cleanliness, and how cleaning products and hand sanitizer are killing good bacteria.

He has a point. And there are studies that back up his point. But, shouting at the hostess about how meditating and earthing could help her reconnect with life force and gain empathy for microbes felt like overkill.

We left the restaurant and I told Russell I had to go, I’d remembered there was something I needed to do. He walked me to my car. Instead of hugging me or saying he had fun, he told me that he hoped I would take my commitment to Mother Earth more seriously and get rid of my car and shoes like he had.

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