I’m not sure why I wasn’t surprised when Jon told me he wanted his toenails painted too. Blue, of course. We both love to watch Drag. Pose is one of our favorite TV shows. I can see a bit of a Queen in Jon.
I chose a deep red polish. I’m an old pro compared to Jon.
The first and last time, before today, I got my toenails painted was four years ago when I went to India. It was something the girls and women at one of the homes for orphaned kids that we were visiting were doing, so I did it too.
I thought it was a great idea when Jon suggested he get a pedicure. I enthusiastically encouraged him. It was a good way to take care of his Diabetic feet.
But when he suggested I go with him, I literally had a panic attack.
Intellectually I wanted to go with him for support. But emotionally, the idea terrified me although I wasn’t sure why. “Give me some time to get used to it,” I said, trying not to freak out.
We were on the edge of an argument when Jon realized what was happening before I did.
Jon’s suggestion triggered something in me. It felt too much like coercion. I took his suggestion as something I had to do, not something I had a choice about doing. And because it had to do with my body, I was extra sensitive to it.
I’m still not completely sure where my aversion to getting a pedicure came from, but a part of me knew that whatever the source, it had little to do with who I am now.
Today was a month since Jon first talked about getting a pedicure and when he asked if I wanted to go with him this morning I said, “Sure” like it was the most natural thing in the world.
But it wasn’t. Not for either of us.
For years Jon wouldn’t let even his doctor look at his feet and now he was sitting next to me with a grin on his face while someone he never met before clipped his nails and scraped and rubbed his bare feet with warm stones.
We were both a little giddy with how new and strange it all was.
I did my best to communicate with the woman treating my feet, though she spoke little Engish. But we did find a way, signaling and smiling to each other through our masks.
Jon said when he saw my nails being painted he knew he wanted his done too. He had to ask a few times before they took him seriously and the woman at the front desk brought him a bright blue nail polish.
I was happy to see a group of girls having their nails done when we first came in. I envied them a little. How easy it seemed for them, even fun.
But by the time Jon and I were sitting with our feet under a drier, I realized that we had had fun too.
I never would have imagined I would be getting my first pedicure with my 73 year old husband. And I never would have imagined it would feel so good. Even now, nine hours later, my feet feel softer and lighter.
Later, in the car on the way home, Jon and I laughed about our painted nails. “I’m going to get you a pink boa,” I told him. “And I could see you in one of those manly skirts like David in Schitt’s Creeks wears.”
“Next time” he answered, “I think I’ll paint my nails bright yellow”.