Spring Is When Mainers Discover Their Feet
Well, the weather’s warmed up a bit, thank goodness. I was getting really tired of painting my toenails, then taking off the polish, and painting them again.
“Ida!” my husband says, a curious look on his face. “What the heck are you doin’?”
“Charlie, you just wouldn’t understand.”
See, it’s not officially spring until my toenails are painted. I’d be hard pressed to wear open-toed shoes without painting my nails, though I respect people who do. It’s a personal choice. For me, the minute the weather is warm enough to wear sandals, my toenails are painted. I like to let them rest during the winter, though, you know, to recover from all that polish.
So, when we have a “spring” like this one, it’s confusing. They predict nice weather, and I give myself a pedicure. Chose a spring color, pretty pink or peach or something. Then it gets cold again, and my polished toes disappear into my shoes and socks. Finally, I just take off the polish, and give my nails a rest. Then, the weatherman gets me all excited at the prospect of a nice day, or at least an hour or two without rain, and I paint my toenails again. And take it off when the temperature dips below fifty.
Painted toenails have always been a sign of spring in my family: robins, pansies, and a pedicure. I remember being little and watching my mother paint her toenails, the smell of Coppertone and nail polish, counting down the days to the end of school.
Mom would paint my toenails, too, and my sister, Irene’s. It was a regular pedicure party. Us girls could never decide between the pink and the peach, so she’d use both, going back and forth, one nail pink, the next peach. “Painting your toenails helps you make friends with your feet,” she’d say.
I didn’t quite get that back then, but now I do. Feet, among other things, do not age gracefully. But nail polish can cover up a multitude of sins. Except in Charlie’s case. My husband busted the nail on his big toe kicking his snowmobile last winter when he couldn’t get it started. It’s still a mess: purple, blue, yellow and somewhere between hangin’ on and fallin’ off. No amount of nail polish could fix that!
But this week, when that dim bulb in the sky got bright enough to cast shadows, and the thermometer outside the kitchen window (which I thought broken) went into the seventies, I got out the nail polish once more. I couldn’t decide between the “Everything’s Peachy” and “Pretty in Pink,” so I went with “Candy Apple Red.” I usually reserve that for summer, but this warm weather makes me feel all frisky and optimistic.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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