There’s concern over my toenails. It’s not made the nightly news yet, but there’s a palpable unrest. Gratefully, the problem isn’t fungal. Scary, scaly green babbling blobs with pencil thin legs are not lurking between my toes or under my nails. But, there has been and continues to be a move for color change.
Not a manicure kind of gal, and not to forsake all girly-girl things, my intrinsic tom boy does go for late Spring and Summer pedicures. Pink, however, is definitely out. I abandoned doing anything that color decades ago. Red’s aren’t me either. My predilection has been for satisfying neutral and earth tones. Taupes. Brownish reds.
My first pedicurist eventually gave up suggesting color change. I doubt she’d met stubborn the likes of me before. Unlike predictable me, her toes and fingernails could don any conceivable color from the vast rainbow range of nail paints available.
Eventually I resorted to buying and bringing my own polish every appointment lest the choices available to me at the salon be reduced to offshoots of only pink and red, a direction it was approaching.
The bring-my-own strategy served me well. It was insurance while traveling on lengthy business trips in the summer. I could amend chips and wear offs easily even if not professionally. Steve’s told me no one looks at your feet, but I do. Open toed shoes and chips on painted toenails don’t mix. It borders on egregiousness.
Somewhat of a surprise even to me, I did go off on a tangent once. I saw a khaki green color in the OPI brand of nail enamel and tried it. I’d often been told green looks good on me. My pedicurist didn’t seem overly awed by my bold move, so I admit to some smugness when it garnered a remark from a stranger who, out of the blue, told me I was daring to wear such a color. Imagine, me, daring, when all I sensed ran through my pedicurist’s mind was a big, bad, boring.
Then, one remarkable day, while waiting for my hair appointment at a different salon, a cosmic event knocked me out of my neutral, earthy-toned orbit. A young woman came in and sat next to me. She had the most stunning toenail color I’d ever laid eyes on. It was simple. It was gorgeous. It was basic black. Sure, I’d seen black polish on fingernails before, on young women who’d totally bought into the gothic glam thing. I’d never translated that the same black on fingernails that partnered with the ghoulish everything else, could look so classy on toenails. A double perk for me was the consistency in it matching all the black I wear. Once I’d confirmed what I thought the color was, I’ve worn OPI Black Onyx ever since. It’s going on three years.
Still, the movement for change perseveres. My current pedicurist last week said, in her heavy Chinese, staccato delivered English, “You need new culla.” This, despite the fact that of all the public restrooms I’ve been in or public anywheres, I’ve never seen another set of toenails painted black. I know I can’t be the only one to check out toes on the either side of the stall walls, admittedly or not, unless you’re someone that has personal cell phone conversations in a public place while doing your personal thing. Then, chances are you probably wouldn’t notice toenail color.
So what is all the fuss about me needing to change toenail colors? Why is it there’s more concern for my toenail color than, let’s say, how my vehicle’s running? My inner well being? Whether I’m getting a good night’s sleep? Am I happy with the state of the world? My loyalty to my toenail color is a testimony to my loyalty as a person. It reflects stability and consistency. Admirable traits. Further more, my study reflects empirical data that strongly suggests myself and only one other person are using black polish on toenails. How is it possible pedicurists can possibly be bored with me when just about everyone else is donning the ubiquitous variations on reds and pinks? It’s a head scratcher.
Despite all of this, I admit to a recent shift in wind direction, a slight tilt towards a discovery that may be eroding my resolve. While getting my pedicure last week, the woman next to me was getting a light, almost battleship gray painted on her toes. It turned my head. It was daring and neutral and new to me. It looked fabulous on her brown phalanges. I stared and considered how good it would come off on my caucasian toes, unsure it would look as divine. A slight swoon over the color escaped my lips. I said to Mei, my pedicurist, that maybe next time I’d give the gray a whirl. It wouldn’t be a huge stray. Gray, after all, is just black with a little white thrown in.
Mei merely smiled. Or, was she gritting her teeth through closed lips, envisioning the potential of a long-playing future of gray, instead of black, with me?
Consistency is grossly under appreciated.