I just have a lot to say.
July 8th, 2014 by

A Perfect Pedicure, Mon

Briana gives pedicures. She talks all the time about pedicures. She points out how much you need a pedicure and hounds you until you sit still and let her paint your toenails. She does a great job. She is diligent and tedious in her chosen art.

In the summer of 2012, our church youth group took its biennial trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, to lead VBS for several local churches. In the mornings, we worked hard crafting about the Bible story and singing about Jesus and loving on delightfully accented children and sweating. In the evenings, we had a group Bible study and prepared for the following day and tried to get to bed at a decent hour. In the afternoons, we played. We went to market one afternoon and climbed a waterfall on another. Most afternoons, we stayed at our beachfront condo and swam or sunned or snorkeled.

In anticipation of this priceless time, I ran by Walgreen’s before I left Dothan to buy some new fingernail polish. I planned to surrender to Briana’s pleadings and get her to paint my toenails as I rested by the pool. I pondered over the perfect color and purchased a shade of orange that was fun and summery, yet subtle and mature. Walgreen’s was having a sale: buy 2, get one free. I picked up a hot pink and a glittery silver to give to Briana as payment for my pedicure.

On Monday afternoon, after VBS and lunch and probably a little nap, I met Briana at the pool.

“Which color do you want me to use?”

“The orange one.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes! I chose it especially for this moment in time. It is sophisticated and whimsical, like I am.”

“I think you want the pink.”

“I don’t want the pink.”

“Yes, you do.”

I took a deep breath. It’s only toes.

“I meant to say that I want the pink.”

“I thought so.”

I leaned back in my plastic lounge chair and closed my eyes. I felt the sun on my face and smelled the breeze from the sea. I heard our FBC kids laugh and play in the pool. Briana petted me for about a half an hour. In Jamaica. I was as happy as I’ve ever been in my life.

“Okay. I’m done.”

I looked up to inspect her work. Eight of my toenails were hot pink. The middle toe on each foot was shiny silver. I looked like The Rainbow Fish.

Rainbow Fish

I squealed and giggled like a school girl. The toenail artist had worked her magic.

Later that summer, my girls and I visited my aunt in the nursing home. She has had a stroke and does not talk much. It is difficult—even for a talker—to keep up a one-sided conversation for very long. Grasping for something to say, I looked down at my toenails. My aunt has always liked pretty nails, so I showed them to her and told her my story. She laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.

I don’t think there is a moral or a lesson to this story. I’m not even sure there’s a point or a punch line. But when I need to think of a happy place or just need a chuckle, I can close my eyes and picture those sparkly silver toenails and hear the master say, “I think you want the pink.”



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