Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Black vs. Plum

I’m not kidding, or feeling one bit sorry for myself, when I say that if you put me in a room with any given group of people, in any given situation, on any given day, I will have the dubious distinction of having the ugliest feet in the room.  Please, don’t feel sorry for me.  I accepted it long ago…and since I’ve been told I have a winning smile I think it’s a pretty fair trade. 
So the feet are ugly, and to add insult to injury, as they say, all the running I did last year made these ugly feet o’ mine even uglier.   Hardly seems possible, but it’s true…along with my God-given bunions and knuckle toes, I also sport black runners’ toenails.   Nice!
This means that instead of pedicures in the summer, I now have to make sure my toenails are covered at all times.  Not such a horrible problem to have I know, but it can be kind of a pain, not to mention expensive, so for the most part I do my nails myself.
Occasionally though, I do treat myself to a real pedicure, as was the case a couple of weekends ago.  I go to one of those places that’s pretty much, “Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.”  I like it though because, as you can imagine, they’re quite speedy…plus you can get a manicure and a pedicure at, like, the exact same time.  Yeah, that’s right…simultaneously.  (Though I really don’t recommend it because part of the fun of getting a pedicure is being able to read all those trashy magazines that I pretend I’m too much of a snob to read, and, well, if your hands are being worked on at the same time as your feet are being worked on, yes, simultaneously, then you can’t read.)
Anyway, I walk into the place, tell them I want a pedicure, a guy hollers, “Happy Feet” and within a minute a very nice lady comes over to help me.   She asks me to pick out the color first, and while I’m typically a conservative, pale pink kind of gal, I have to cover up my gross black toenails so I go for it and pick out a deep purple color. 
The soaking and massage part of the pedicure are over and she starts to apply the polish.  Hmm…it’s looking really dark, so I say, “Um, wow, that’s pretty dark.  What color is it?”
“Plum,” she says, “pretty plum.”
“Hmm,” I say, “are you sure it’s not black?”
“No, plum, pretty plum,” she repeats.
I take her word for it that it’s plum and not black.  She finishes her job and I pay her.  I then wait a while for my nails to dry (and maybe to finish the trashy magazines, maybe not, I’ll never tell), and then I leave.  When I arrive home my husband takes one look at my feet and says, “Wow, that’s some black polish.  Are you going Goth on me now?”
“It’s not black,” I reply, “it’s plum, pretty plum, can’t you tell?”
He gives me his best ‘She’s wrong but I’m going to agree with her’ smile and walks away.
I head upstairs to show my teenage daughter.  Surely she’ll know the difference between black and plum.
“Wow, mom,” she says, “black nail polish, huh?  Wow, that’s dark!”
“No honey,” I say, “it’s plum, pretty plum, the lady said it’s plum.”
“Whatever, mom, it’s black.”
Of course, they’re both right; the label might say plum, but it’s totally black.  And as I’m realizing that calling it plum doesn’t make it not black it occurs to me that if you’re trying to cover up the fact that you have black toenails, um, you should probably pick a color other than, well, black.  Because now, instead of 4 black toenails, I have 10!  
(If you’re thinking ‘Wow, did she really just blog about her toenails?’   Why, yes I did.  It was either that or share with you my first attempt at a letter to the editor and I figured, hey, ugly toenails are probably much easier to stomach right now than more talks about cuts to Education.)