Friday, March 25, 2011

Fancy Toes

It was in my twenties when I first discovered the pedicure. For a period of time during college, I never missed a manicure appointment, a deliberate reaction to the end of a collegiate basketball career. Sports dictated that fingernails were to be short and trim, an unsightly punctuation to the damaged looking fingers on both of my hands either broken or inured during games and practices.

During the first week of college basketball practice, as an inexperienced and out of my league freshman, I fractured a bone in the index finger of my right hand. The team trainer, known for his warped and twisted sense of humor, placed a very large splint around my finger, which he then taped to my middle finger for stability. The splint reached about two and a half inches beyond my right hand, in a slight curved position, a cumbersome contraption that sat me on the sidelines for the remainder of practice.

Once the final suicide drill was completed, the team and I headed to the dining hall on campus for dinner. I knew that my injury looked unusual but I completely misjudged the ridiculousness of my hand with its large, perpetual pointing finger, wrapped in mounds of tape and gauze. I would soon found out by a sharp-tongued member of the male species how out of the ordinary I appeared.

I was standing at the salad bar, wondering how farmers grew the baby cobs of corn that are put into salads and if somehow they feel inferior to the larger versions of corn eaten with barbecue, when I felt a lumbering presence to my left. “What’s up, Jones?” he greeted before taking in with wide eyes my alien looking hand.

“Whoooaaaaa, Jonesie! What happened to you? You look like E.T.! Phone home! Phone home!” he finished in all of his hilarity and for all to hear. I rolled my eyes, took the remaining baby cobs of corn –that would show him – and walked to my team’s table, balancing the tray precariously on my injured hand. I would be known as E.T. on campus for a long time, despite begging the wicked trainer to trim back the splint more normally the next day.

Pedicures always seemed a little too intimate to me. I’m not a big fan of feet – either those of others or my own – and the idea of another scrubbing and moisturizing in between toes is not my idea of a relaxing experience. However, exchanging basketball shoes for flip-flops, I realized that grooming in this vicinity was necessary and much needed. So in my twenties, I relented, gritting my teeth when the bottoms of my soles were sanded like an old piece of furniture found in the attic, all the while discussing with the devoted nail tech the difference between a French pedicure and an American.


So, because God is the wittiest person I know, He gifted me with a pink loving six year old little girl full of joy who loves manicures and pedicures “with all her heart” and “forever and forever.” So much that for her seventh birthday party she wanted to celebrate it in a nail salon with all of her friends where their toes would be scrubbed and moisturized all the while discussing the differences between a French pedicure and an American.

So that’s what we did. And a good time was had by all.

And after the party was over, the birthday girl practiced her basketball skills with her mama in the driveway, bright pink fingernails sparkling under the moonlight with each enthusiastic dribble.

No comments: