Friday, September 19, 2008

This Little Piggy Hurts Like Crap

MP hates it when I say, "Eww! This smells terrible! Here, sniff it." I'm not sure what irritates him more: that I'm inviting him to sniff something nasty, or that, for a brief half-second, he leans in to sniff before giving me a withering look and stalking away.

Like the telling of a nightmare in the hope it will fade, sharing bad experiences (i.e. -- the scent of cheap candles, the flavor of uni sushi, or that time you ate half the cream cheese bagel before you noticed that, while the cream cheese was fine, the lid to the cream cheese was covered in mold) is necessary to balance the horror of it. Some things are too big for the individual to handle alone.

Which is why I want to tell you about my big toe.

All summer I keep my toenails painted. Where I live, well-groomed feet are a must. I am known for my bright and eccentric choice of colors -- "tidal wave" (turquoise blue) and "parrot" (lime green) are my particular favorites. Unfortunately, even if you remove the toluene and the formaldehyde, nail polish is some wicked nasty chemistry. For that matter, so is nail polish remover.

So here it is mid-September and I've had nearly six solid months of painted toenails. I removed the polish to give my toes a chance to breathe. The nails are not pretty; they are yellowed (dark colors stain) and dry like you would not believe.

Therefore, it was no great surprise that while I was putting on my kung fu pants, my big toenail snagged on a seam and split. The horrifying part, and whole reason why I'm sharing this, is that is wasn't your typical, horizontal split. No, this was a vertical split, 2 mm wide and 4 mm of side nail all the way into the quick.

After the initial swearing, I stared at it and reviewed my options. I couldn't put my foot in my kung fu shoes with this hanging off. I had no clippers, no file. I could have asked Sifu for a knife, but he probably would have handed me some KA-BAR drop point knife and I couldn't do anything but cut off my toe with that. Nope, only one thing for it -- I pulled.

The whole experience left me surprisingly queasy.

I think I read somewhere that you cannot walk without your big toe. I believe it. Just having that bit of nail gone from the side of my big toe has completely messed me up. Stepping down on my foot feels wrong wrong wrong. It doesn't exactly feel painful, but God knows it doesn't feel right, either.

I think I'm done with painted toenails for the season.

(And thanks for letting me share; I feel better. Really.)

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