Instead I thanked her and admitted I polished them myself. Coming from this sweet woman, it truly was a compliment. Everything was streaked, polished, buffed, accessorized and manicured artistically. She oozed confident glamour, that stuff that really needs to ooze into about 90% of us homeschooling mommies.
Because I had been sun tanning and playing Barbies with Beka on the deck all afternoon, I barely had enough time to shower and throw on dress clothes and makeup. In fact, I was a little late because my mascara kept glopping on, sticking my lashes together and making smears all over my eyelids. Of course, I can’t see without my glasses, but can’t put on mascara with my glasses, so it was a futile situation.
Glamour Woman wished aloud for the ability to paint her own toenails. We hadn’t been friends long enough to admit I wasn’t driven by ability, but by my money-spending and someone-touching-my-toes phobias. I secretly wondered if she needed to update her glasses prescription or if I truly was that talented. After several more sweet compliments, I was delusionally considering becoming a toe model or painting the neighbors’ toenails for money.
Another woman came up and complimented my sandals. Embarrassed, I lifted up my foot, showing my toe admirers the silver-markered $2.99 on the bottom. “I got them from the Goodwill, but someone told me Franco Sarto was a good shoe.”
Someday, I should just learn to take a compliment.
Another day while I was actually “doing” my own toes, soaking them in the sink while I did my makeup, my Mom snagged a picture of me.
Last April, when I had my second surgery to remove thyroid cancer I had to remove my toenail polish prior to surgery. It just didn’t feel right, staring at bare toenails all day against those plain white hospital sheets, while those nasty blowup things on my legs pumped away blood clots. I could hardly wait until I could get them painted again.
Prior to surgery, a friend offered to do “anything I needed done – but NOT cooking.”
Maybe we are really twins separated at birth, I could relate to this comment. I asked her to paint my toenails and fingernails. It was part of my CRP – Cancer Recovery Program. I just decided I could handle a little pampering from a friend who desired to help me through a hard time of my life.
We chatted, she painted, and patiently reminded me to sit still so I didn’t smear her work. It wasn’t about vanity, as much as it was about a friend pampering a friend through a hard time in her life. I was amazed that I was actually letting someone touch my feet. I was amazed that she WANTED to.
I remembered that previous conversation when I had been shocked when asked who had done my toes. Now, my answer was different. Clarese. Clarese did my toes. She painted away one of the stings of cancer and pampered my soul in healing strokes of friendship.
A few months later, prior to leaving for a two week trip across five states, my daughter and I had a girls’ night with snacks, a movie, and pedicures. I soaked and sanded, picked and trimmed, then began applying the color that screams summer, Fuchsia Bling Bling.
It was amazing. In fact, it was so amazing and so everywhere, my daughter actually asked hesitantly, “Mom, do you want me to paint your toes for you?”
I always hate to be a bother to anyone, so I continued on, squinting and trying to see my toes through my new higher strength reading glasses. I knew I could scrape the extra paint off my skin later. I finally finished the two coats and carefully added white floral decals with diamonds centers to my big toes. Stunning.
When we arrived at Bible camp the first thing my second daughter said to me, as she gasped at my blinged toenails, “Mom, did you get your toes done?”
Later, my third daughter saw my feet propped up on the dashboard and asked in shock, “Mom, did you get a pedicure?”
Maybe I should go into business with Clarese.
Cuz’, apparently, I know how to do toes.