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Toe Nail Polish Identity Crisis

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Bizarre, I have been wearing toe nail polish since I was thirteen. I distinctively remember the day when covering my toe nails with some kind of glittery girlie color became important. My gangly unsure self was going with a group of church girls, whom FYI I have not seen since the trip, to the beach. One hip to the times mom, yea you know one of those moms who wants to be a teen again, pointed out in a squeaky voice that it was oh so cute that all us girls had pretty painted toenails—hehe.  Except me. Oops, I thought I am once again society’s outcast my toenails are bare, ugly, and not the right shade of blue. That night I grabbed some random bottle of nail polish and painted my toe nails. Somehow, I know fit in.

I have diligently painted my toes since, be it summer baring my freshly painted nails in all their glory while wearing some dingy flip-flops, or during winter when my toes are secure and snuggly in thermal socks. Further into my teen years, I started learning about what they call a fetish. And apparently as far as I heard from a popular radio DJ, toe nails are a huge turn on to guys. Eww, was my first reaction. But hey, if this hip cool dude said it, well then damnit it must be true. Looking at my own feet I notice they resemble my fathers. Long and manly, oh shot not cute and girly. I started noticing that simply painting my toe nails a simple shade of pink was not enough now—so started the pedicures. Yep, seventeen years old and in desperate need to have the tips of my toe nails painted white—it’s some kind of French thing. Pedicures became a weekly obsession, the little oriental ladies in the salon began to know who the shy four eyed girl was and how she liked her nails painted. I began to put on the facade that I was doing this because I needed some kind of little pick me up in my life. Sure we girls parade around getting our toenails down like its some kind of treat to ourselves. But in honesty every time I stepped my pretty little polished foot out of that salon, I was hoping some guy would see my feet and sweep me off them.

The pedicures continue but nothing came of it, except the loss of money. With my growing knowledge and awareness of my financial situation as a young adult the pedicures stopped, but my obsession did not. I went back to square one; must paint nails to be accepted. This continued on for several years. Now in my early twenties I find myself slacking off. Yea I’ll often walk around with chipped toe nail polish and not care. I’ve even seen my shrink looking at my half painted dry toenails with some kind of cringe in her eyes, yea maybe the uncared for nails is another sign of depression, who knows. And I began to see that my toe nails, painted or unpainted, did not make me. Hell they caused me grief. So today I took nail polish remover and am now going au natural, kind of liberating, like burning my bra, oh wait that was before my time. But you get the picture.


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