Thursday, March 23, 2006

My Guilty Pleasure: Toenails and Tea



There aren't too many things that I'm picky about in life. I'll get a cheap haircut, I make my own soaps, lotions and bath products and I'll buy clothes at WalMart. Two things that I splurge on are my toenails and loose leaf teas(oolong and green). I even have a special Dragon teacup and have been known to buy tea samples that cost over $100.00 per pound. I'm not your traditional farmer.

I think the toenail fetish started while I was going through chemo. I lost all my hair, so I couldn't play around with new hair styles. I lost my eyebrows and most of my eyelashes, so makeup looked weird. Clothes didn't really matter because without any hair and being sickly thin I looked like a boy. I had my toenails and when I would paint them, I felt pretty like a girl again. I called them my "jewels". I still remember how outraged I was when I was going into surgery and they made me remove my toenail polish. They said they needed to see my bare toenails because if they turned blue, I wasn't getting enough oxygen. I know I shouldn't have cared. My toenail polish was the only thing I had left, it made me feel feminine.

This toenail fixation has carried on. It is only my toenails, NO fingernail painting. I have short and yellowed(from the iodine in the goat's udder wash) fingernails. My hands are abused too much on a daily basis to look pretty. A few years ago I started going to an Asian woman for pedicures named Paula. Paula doesn't bullshit around and is a very honest person. My Mom refuses to go to her shop because Paula offended her by saying her ring was fake.(It was too) It sucks because my Mom would pay for my pedicures but I won't go anywhere else. Paula told me three years ago I would look better if I lost ten pounds.(she was right) She told my step daughter she was acting too masculine and boys don't like that. So you get the drift, she doesn't mince words.

I have never met anyone that can paint toenails like Paula though, she knows exactly what I like. She is truly a gifted artist. She really concentrates and puts lots of thought into her work. It reminds me of the eggs I paint. Every three weeks, I go to Paula and she creates a new design. We have developed a friendship so she will do special designs for me for free, I pay for the basic pedicure. I'll bring her eggs(her favorite are duck) and I made her a Buddha soap and incense for Christmas. We talk about her past in Vietnam. I sat and listened to her cry when her son died tragically a few months ago. When I got my toenails done a few days ago, she surprised me by sharing a pot of her own green tea with me. It was heavenly, pretty toenails and green tea at the same moment.

So, Paula's paintings are my guilty pleasure that I splurge on every three weeks. When I walk out of her shop with my freshly painted toes, I always feel more beautiful. I normally wear tennis shoes but when I take off my socks and see the polish it brings me happiness. The early mornings that I have to swim and feel cranky, I look at my toenails and snap out of the funk. What is your guilty pleasure?

19 Comments:

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Flatman said...

When I first read your title, I thought you said:

"Toenails in Tea"

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Love the post!! You are so lucky to have found such a wonderful friend in your pedicurist (is that a word?). I have yet to find one who will paint my toes real pretty like that yet. I guess I will just have to keep looking.

btw - I thought the same as Flatman, but I knew it couldn't be true.

 
At 5:49 PM, Blogger nancytoby said...

What a great post!!

I'm pretty sure all my guilty pleasures revolve around food. Certainly not attractive nails, on hands nor feet.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Robin said...

Why did you have to have chemo (if you don't mind me asking)?

 
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