My toes haven’t been this shade of…magenta since I was twelve.
My cousin turned the fine age of 10 today, and I was invited to her Birthday party. I went shopping and picked some things I thought a prospective 10 year old would like, discovered I’d probably keep them for myself if it weren’t her birthday, wrapped them up and the next day I was at the party.
There were cupcakes, small, round ham and cheese sandwiches, grandmas and little girls. We made ducktape flip-flops and gave each other manicures. Afore mentioned Birthday Girl, Torie, asked me if she could paint my toes:
Me: “Yeah, you can paint my toes.”
Torie: “Yay! How about this color?” She proceeds to offer me the most blatant shade of hot pink my eyes have ever seen.
Torie: “Oh, mm..” With a concerned expression she carefully places the bottle back in the plastic storage bin that contains all the hues and flavors of polish to satisfy a young girl’s heart. I immediately understand that I have transgressed in a most unforgivable way.
Me: “Torie, you pick whatever color you want and that’ll be great.”
And while I don’t extend a willingness to accept hot pink (my moment of sacrifice had not been inflated to reach the epic), I did sit on the floor and watch her transform my clean, trimmed nails to magenta paint chips. I stared at them reflectively, the color coaxing out old memories of sleeping over at my grandmother’s: wheat thins, the smell of Sam the Labrador, bowling ball trophies, a giant water bed, going out for pancakes, and nail polish. I remembered the time I loved nail polish, that long neglected era of growing up when I appreciated bright, bold things.
Torie then asked about my fingernails, and I surrendered only to flesh-tone.
I changed clothes when I got back home, and so disconcerted was I at the sight of my own toes that I put on socks. I feel like I’m 10 myself, every time I see them. A kid. Carefree.
It truly is the little things that get to you.