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Friday, March 29, 2013

No, I'm Not. You Are.


Over and over, I fall for the allure of a manicure and the thought that, this time, my nails will look good. I’ve always wanted them: elegant nails, healthy nails, purpose-driven nails as capable of delicately tapping my chin in thought as they are of scraping something horrible from a cleaning client’s kitchen counter.

“Hey,” she says, “do you know you’re deformed?”

Sue, as guileless as she is perky, yells across the room.“Trish! Come here and look at her nails!”

Trish abandons the pedicure she’s doing just to take a gander.

They huddle over my hands, inspecting one finger after another.

“I wouldn’t call it a “deformity”…” I counter.

“Well what would you call it then?” Sue cackles gleefully. “Look at this. The sides of your nails? Where they’re still s’posed to be connected to the skin? They’re, like, not?”

“Gimme that,” I say, yanking my hand away. Taking hers, I hold it up next to mine, compare the two.

Dang it. Sue is right.

I frown.

“So what’s it mean?” I say.

“What’s it mean?”she laughs, taking my hand back and massaging lotion into it. “How would I know?”

“Hey, who’s the nail tech around here?”

She shrugs. Sue lives in the moment more fully than anyone I know. “Doesn’t mean anything except that your nails suck.”

“They do, don’t they?”

“Yep,” she says, smiling. “But at least they’re not like some people’s feet.” She jerks her head toward the woman getting a pedicure on the other side of the room, leans toward me conspiratorially. “You think you got problems? Have you seen her little toe nail? Dang thing is just a weird little sliver.”

I nod slowly. “So you’re saying our problems are all relative?”

“Nope.” She shrugs again, lowers her head as she applies polish. “I’m saying everyone’s a weirdo, only some people are weirder than others.”

I smile down at her, at the grinning sun tattooed on the back of her neck.

Everyone’s a weirdo.

35 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Thank goodness, I fit right in.

Shelly said...

To take liberty with Shakespeare:
Some are born weird, some achieve weirdness, and some have weirdness thrust upon them.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
It's my birthright.

Weird's the new sane. I'm sure it is. It HAS to be.

...oh, I'm in trouble...

sage said...

Purpose-driven nails... That's good!

Goldenoldenlady said...

My relief is palpable. I have thought this for years - that everyone is Very Strange Indeed, it is only a matter of degree. We are all aliens to others! Now I know I am not the only one who thinks that, I can relax and apply for a government grant to develop my weirdness nad wildly new directions.

Oh, and my big toe nails are not attached down the outer edge. It's a thing, but not a big thing.

Barbara Blundell said...

True,I've been told (on good authority ) that I have a nose like a clowns.

Eva Gallant said...

So Weird is the new 40? That must mean what ever is the new 70, I'm headed for trouble!

Rose said...

*Cracking up*
I can relate. My right middle finger nail bed is completely misshapen & deformed from writing so much as a kid.

savannah said...

of course, i had to look at my nails...thanks a lot!. *looking for some gloves now*
xoxoxoxo

esbboston said...

My wife was s'pposedly going to work on my nails but I could never get squeezed into her schedule - too many females doing hair and nails - so I finaLLy gave up and simply chopped them off myself. And to think that I was the person who took the money out of my savings in order to create the nail salon (?). It was almost a Rodney Dangerfield moment.

Lorna said...

Hey, have you ever noticed that a pedicure lasts a whole lot longer than a manicure? A pedicure rarely gets chips, or as many chips, as a mani does.

Sioux said...

I can hear it now---the new REM song: "Everybody's Weird (Sometimes)."

Douglas said...

I have always wanted talons. Nails are so wimpy.

Val said...

This is why I am leery of the gynecologist.

jenny_o said...

Weirdness is relative.

If our weirdnesses are similar, they are seen as familiar and comforting. If they are not similar, yep, one of us is a strange bird, and of course it's not me!

bill lisleman said...

a favorite cartoon type picture I "pinned" (is pinterest common enough that we can write pinned like we write tweeted?) about normal shows a girl asking her mom what normal is. The mom says it's just a setting on the dryer.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Another reason why I will never get a manicure... or pedicure!

klahanie said...

Ah Pearl,

Can't quite put my finger on it, but you nailed it with this one.

Pearl, it's my right, dammit, to let you know I haven't a clue what you're on about! :)

Everyone's a weirdo, eh!

Your starstruck fan,

Gary :)

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

That's right. We're all weird. I would never want to draw attention to my nails. They don't match.

Joanne Noragon said...

When I wanted a manicure or pedicure, I couldn't afford one. Now I just don't care. They sure look nice on my friends, and I should point out, we're all old. Everyone's a weirdo.

The Savage said...

I fall in the, "weirder than most" category.

Scarlet Blue said...

I never let anyone look at or touch my feet. I wear the nicest shoes to compensate. That's all I'm saying.
Sx

Jacquelineand.... said...

They love me for mani's....for pedi's? They point and laugh. I have nubbins rather than full grown toes, lol.

Gigi said...

GAH! Now you've made me look at my hands. The very hands I've avoided looking at since I was a teenager - only because my hands look ancient and always have; think wizened, old crone hands. Somehow I don't think they will improve with age. But maybe a manicure? Nah.

Geo. said...

I have and always have had perfect toenails. This has not detectably advanced my social, economic or spiritual progress. It doesn't even make people hate me. There are simply some things upon which perfection is wasted.

Jackie said...

The EXACT reason I would never get a pedicure. I KNEW they talked behind our toes!

Susan Kane said...

Here, the manicurists are from Vietnam, and they talk non-stop to each other. No one knows what they are saying, but now I have an idea.

Daisy said...

It's nice to know you're one of us! :D

Roshni AaMom said...

What a comforting thought!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

If you want to see deformed hands just look at my sister Sue's hands they are really odd looking as her thumbs look like toes.......lol

River said...

My nails aren't attached either and don't grow even as far as my fingertips before splitting or peeling. A manicure would be wasted on me.

Elephant's Child said...

Normalacy is overrated.

Rose L said...

Just think about it as making you unique, one-of-a-kind!!

vanilla said...

That last line is universal truth.

Austan said...

Hooray for weirdness!!!