First, look at your toenails and think about how your dry tired and aching feet could REALLY use a soak and a scrub and a rub. For weeks.

Finally, even though most areas of your life that require maintenance are going to shit and this is probably a pretty low priority, and even though you really don’t have much time to get ready for work and you certainly don’t have time to enjoy pampering yourself,  Day 1: FINALLY drag out the pumice thingy and the heel to toe lotion and quickly quickly rub them soft and pink again before a rushed morning shower. Toenails still look like hell.

Day 2: Your five year old is in the bathtub so you sit down on the toilet lid and scrub away the old polish and clean/trim your toenails.

Toenails still look like hell, but they are clean and bare.

Day 3:

Even though most areas of your life that require maintenance are going to shit and this is probably a pretty low priority, and even though you really don’t have enough time to get ready for work, sit on the side of the tub, spray your toenails with the bleach solution you use to clean the bathrooms, and push the cuticles back before your shower.

Toenails still look like hell, but now they are really, really clean.

Day 4:

Even though most areas of your life that require maintenance are going to shit and this is probably a pretty low priority, and even though you really don’t have enough time to get ready for work, take one minute to throw on two thick fast sloppy coats of an extremely cheap but WONDERFUL shade of poisonous almost-brown purple that you actually bought for your kid, who loves purple.  Polish probably contains pthalates, which are very poisonous and are present in almost everything but especially cosmetics and self care products. Do not go look it up to see if this brand contains pthalates.

One of the most wonderful beauty secrets anyone ever gave me was– oh I always just slop my polish on, good and thick. I don’t worry about getting outside my nails. It will wear off your skin in a day, or immediately in a warm bath, but will stay beautiful on your nails for a good long time.

So, actually polishing the nails is not the time consuming part. It’s the trimming, cleaning, cuticling, rubbing, pumicing that is prohibitive. What possessed me to do it a little at a time, especially when everything else is a huge mess too and this should be a pretty low priority, I’ll never know.

Think for about fifteen painful seconds about how it sucks to have to move on from cool friendships like that one.  Forget the pain almost immediately because you REALLY have to leave for work.

Go ahead and wear open-toed shoes, even though WONDERFUL shade of poisonous almost-brown pthalate purple is all over your toes not just your toenails. Intermittently through the day– while still parked after dropping the babies at kindergarten, while sitting on the toilet at work, while blogging about the five day pedicure– scrape at the extra polish with your fingernail.

The extra polish is almost gone now, and shame on anyone if they notice, anyway, what are they doing looking at my toes?

Toenails now look pretty darn good.

I am emotionally exhausted beyond any exhaustion in recent memory, my house is a mess, I absolutely cannot get caught up at the office and my desk is such a snowdrift I can’t even use my computer mouse, I long to just have some unstructured quiet time. I feel like such a loser in other areas of my life (just a state of mind, I know, I’ll pull myself out when I get some rest)– but I can’t tell you how much satisfaction it gives me to see my poisonous pthalate purple toenails peeking out of my open toed shoes today, especially if I look at them right before or right after I look at my new purple purse.

I’m going to feel even better when all that adorable purple Gymboree arrives so my baby and her mommy can match.

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