“Let’s get a pedicure,” Jon said. And I immediately started thinking about what color nail polish I’d choose.
This is a very different reaction for me since the first time Jon suggested we get pedicures. Then I was, well, horrified at the thought. But something has changed in me since that day about eight months ago.
We had one more pedicure after that first one, then Jon had all the trouble with his toe and there were plenty of time when he couldn’t even get his foot wet. But now that’s all in the past and in keeping with trying to slow down this week, I was actually looking forward to today’s pedicure. It also felt like a celebration of Jon’s foot finally being healed.
I chose a deep pink with sparkles and Jon went with a dark red with Maria written in white on his big toe. They had to spread my name over the two toes, but it still worked.
I had forgotten how good it feels to get a pedicure with all the extra foot care. It definitely slowed me down. So much I almost fell asleep.
But then I remembered when Theodor painted Eleanor’s toes red in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.
“I hate having things done to me”…. “I don’t like to feel helpless”, Eleanor tells Theodore. Then she says that’s it wicked to have her toes painted, that it makes her feel like a fool.
Theodore replies that she has wickedness and foolishness mixed up.
As I write this I think it’s crazy to have so many feelings, especially negative ones, tied to having my toenails painted. And yet once again, Eleanors words rang true for me. The first time Jon and I had a pedicure and I had my toenails painted red, I looked down at my feet and knew they were not the kind of feet that had painted toes.
Did I think them wicked, foolish, or just ugly?
Now I don’t know. I do know I was taught that women who wore makeup and painted their nails, were wicked (aka sluts) But at this point in my life, I like the idea of being a wicked woman.
I think in those eight months between pedicures, like the snakes in the woodshed, I shed some useless old skin. And that’s why now, when I Iook down at my bright pink sparkly toe nails, I smile.
They look good, I said to Jon about my toes. And I told him the red he chose suits his toes. You’d think that Jon would have had a harder time having his toenails painted than me. But it was his idea in the first place.
Bless him for suggesting it and bringing me along. It’s another step in the right direction for me. One more old useless belief slushed off. I feel lighter already.