Having lived much of my life in cold climates, my toes were buried most of the time from October through March in opaque stockings covered with silk socks followed by wool socks all encased in boots. The rest of the time they were hidden in tap shoes, ballet slippers and jazz shoes; for modern we danced barefoot, but nary a toe had a pretty pedicure the likes of which we have here in Southern California. Here the pretty foot is not a choice; it is a requirement of good grooming. Here pretty toes twinkle in blushing pink, dramatic red, pearly turquoise, shimmering gold and every other color of the rainbow. Every season has its favorites that always include the neutral French style, which, I’ll admit, I had never seen on a toe until arriving in SoCal.
When summer arrived in those cold regions, I loved wearing sandals and would give myself pedicures. Back then, before cancer decimated my back, I could fold my torso flat over my extended legs, so reaching my toes for a pedicure was nothing more than a hamstring stretch. I never ever even thought of having someone else give me a pedicure. Usually, I chose subdued colors, delicate hues of peach or pink, beige or tan.
With the titanium now lining my spine, I have no bendability forward, back or sideways. With that kind of rigidity, it is impossible for me to give myself a pedicure, so I have had to get used to having it done professionally.
As I sat in the chair today, I thought about how ironic it is that the cancer that ate my spine has forced me to take myself to a nail spa once a month to be pampered with a whirly foot bath followed by a massage with exotic foot butters and to emerge with feet as soft as a baby’s tushy and toes painted bright blue with tiny white flowers. Yep. pretty little flowers on my toes. Sometimes I even wear a little butterfly toe ring. I always smile after my pedicure.
And, I gloat. I just know this quirky consequence confirms that sometimes the orneriness of this disease backfires.
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