Painted Toenails

One of my life’s simple pleasures is painting my toenails. My feet may not be the most attractive part of my body, but I owe them some respect, especially after that whole 300-pound ordeal.

Think about your own feet for a second and what you demand of them every day. Whether scrunched into 3-inch heels, molded into sweaty work boots or tennis shoes, or left barefoot to walk on concrete, these small physical marvels support us when we stand over the sink eating a peach while dinner heats up in the microwave and when we stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night. At least that’s a few of the demands I put on my feet without thinking about it. The least I can do is be nice to them.

And so, on a beautiful evening last week, I brought outside to our back deck all the accoutrements necessary for an in-home pedicure – file, buffer, cuticle trimmer, base coat, color, top coat, quick dry spray and cotton balls to stick in between my toes.

I pulled my left knee up to my chest and started working on the left foot while talking to my husband who was sitting at the table across from me drinking a martini. I filed and buffed, got the crud out from under the nails, and proceeded on to the right foot. After carefully painting and sealing the color, I rested my legs on another chair and admired my work.

“There’s nothing like pretty toenails,” I sighed.

“But you don’t wear open-toed sandals, do you?” Larry asked.

I stared at him for a few seconds. 

“Um, no,” I said with my right eyebrow raised. “And your point is…?”

“Well, who’s gonna see them?” he said innocently. I think he might have actually laughed a little.

Larry and I talk about world politics, the upcoming election, his sons, my daughters, aging parents, how to treat our Golden Retrievers’ cyst, everything under the sun. You’d think by now, after 12 years together, we’d know each other inside out. And still, he asks about my toenails?

“Babe,” I said. “Stepping out of the shower and drying my feet and seeing my painted toes makes me smile. When I go to bed at night and I rub lotion on my feet and I see my painted toenails, I am happy. I don’t care if I’m the last person on this earth to see my toes. They are ruby red and look like a little party on my feet. That’s enough. That’s why I paint them.”

“OK,” he said, kind of tossing his hands in the air like I’d just told him his mother wears Army boots.

Is it all men or is it just my husband’s brain? I’m thinking most guys would not understand painted toenails. But I do know Larry probably filed away what I said for future use. He’s a Ph.D. by day and a husband by night. Painted toenails are hardly scientific. But if they make your wife happy, just smile and nod your head. I’m sure that’s what he told himself.

I have my computer on the deck right now, writing to you from a comfy chair with cardinals singing in the background. Larry is at some dinner meeting with some chemistry VIP. I’m barefoot and admiring my toenails. He’s knee deep in BS, no doubt. If he had pretty nails, he’d have something to distract him. All I have to do is look down. Reason #2,495,931 why I’m glad to be a woman and not a right-brained man.

Call me shallow, but I’m content.

I want to send out a very big THANK YOU to my friend Gail Gedan Spencer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for thinking of me on her trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. She emailed me a few photos of Minnesota Twins memorabilia. Does she know me or what?

 Ah…the Twinkies. I don’t know a single one of them now since I live so far away, but back in the day….man….they rocked. I still have my Homer Hankie from 1987. I dug it out in 1991 when they did it again (won the World Series, that is). I was living in PA by that time and married to the wrong husband. I was all alone in our bedroom watching game seven. The kids were in bed, my husband was probably watching Nova or something in the living room. Maybe he was asleep. Anyway, the Twins won and I called my mother back home and celebrated. I was happier than painted toenails.

So thanks, Gail, for that memory today. It is a sweet one and it made me smile.

5 thoughts on “Painted Toenails

  1. I’m with you on the toenail thing. I DO wear open-toed shoes fairly often, but I paint my toenails in the winter, too, just for me. It makes me feel attractive and a little sexy. It’s amazing what a little thing like that can do for our mental state.

  2. I agree with you on the toenails. I get mine done also and I don’t always wear sandals that show them off. It’s like my little secret, I’ve got rockin’ toenails hehehe. And no, my husband doesn’t understand it either.

  3. I don’t paint my toenails, but I do insist on comfortable shoes. Life is truly miserable if your feet are uncomfortable. I do wear open toe shoes and often think that I should paint my toenails, but…mine just don’t look good painted. My sister teases me. Ahhh but perhaps I’ll go and give them a file and perhaps a coat of something pale and sparkly.

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