Clearly, I like to play it safe.
Recently, I made my anticipated summer pilgrimage to the local salon to get my pedicure. When it comes to nail polish colors, I usually stick with the understated neutrals…the light pinks, maybe a brownish mauve every now and then, and I usually do not waiver on this. In fact, when reviewing some baby pictures from each of my children’s births, (they are four years apart) I noticed that I was sporting the same color with each child.
I’m not sure what got into me when I entered the salon recently. In fact, I am sure I heard an audible shock of surprise resonating amongst the nail technicians when I finally decided on…purple. Just to be clear, it wasn’t purple-mauve, or even a dusty lilac. No, it was an in-your-face- Seventeen magazine’s top color-Bonne Belle’s pick of the week-throw caution to the wind and wear a string bikini on the beach because your stomach hasn’t been compromised by two pregnancies- purple. Seriously? Yes. Of course, this decision was not entered into lightly; after all, this was big. This could rock my entire run of the mill lifestyle. It was to say the least, out of the box, not to mention, life altering. I made the technician crazy as I asked her to test polish a few different colors on my toes just to ensure I had indeed picked the right color.
I LOVED it! It was different, fresh and so out of my comfort zone. Yeah-me! I was ready to face anything that came my way because I went out of the box with purple polish. I was unstoppable…until the next morning when I looked down at my toes and thought….Oh my god, I REALLY HATE THIS COLOR! This must be how one feels when waking up with an unidentified tattoo after a night of drunken reverie. Okay, a little exaggeration, but you get my drift.
Purple? Really? What was I thinking? Was it temporary insanity? Were my hormone levels out- of- whack? Was it a full moon? Whatever it was, I wasn’t ready for the regret I felt the next day when I looked down at my polished purple toes. I was annoyed. I felt out of sorts and frankly a bit foolish.
After all, I thought that I was stepping out the box, trying to prove something to myself or maybe others, when clearly I didn’t have too. I began to wonder if this attitude spilled over into other decisions I may have made along the way like when I when I thought I could carry off a two-piece bathing suit and ordered them online in bulk. How about, my insistence, (despite my husband’s uncertainty) regarding the decisionto send our 10 year old to an out- of-state sleep away camp for the first time. Who knew that a nail polish color could send me into a metaphorical meltdown? Nevertheless, that’s what I was having. I knew I was being ridiculous. Clearly, I was having doubts about my daughter’s departure, and the changes that would undoubtedly ensue with the experience. Change is not my favorite word unless it’s pouring out of a slot machine. I guess the nail polish color choice was my coping mechanism. It’s as if I was trying to prove that I could go with the flow, shake it up, and be out of the box. I failed miserably because I felt even more stymied than ever before. The purple polish mocked me everyday. If it hadn’t been 90 degrees, I would have worn UGGS, just to avoid looking at my feet. I refused to go camp shopping, I kept misplacing the packing list, and I was late with the camp forms and very scattered. I knew what I had to do.
I returned to the salon, for an unscheduled pedicure and this time I picked a color entitled Canyon Sunset. Ahh….a lovely sedate color that is a mix between a peachy melon and a tomato. I instantly began to relax as the technician removed all traces of my anxiety. She rubbed that purple off like Lady Macbeth…out, out damn purple. My feet were finally exposed, and subsequently, my soul was too. Gosh, my feet looked ugly without polish.
As she began to polish my toes, I felt calm for the first time in two weeks. Later that day, when I picked the kids up at school, my daughter noticed my feet. “Hey, you got rid of the purple, how come?” I just looked at her and said, “I just did.” She responded…”Well, you know that color just wasn’t you, I like this better.”
I just had to laugh, because clearly, she was more for camp than I was.