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The guys say it’s beautiful, then it’s beautiful

Submitted by on Thursday, 28 August 2008 No Comment

Ay, the risks you take when you put your appearance in the hands of your children. I did that and wound up with hands that have sprouted mold.

It started about a week ago, when Big Guy began lobbying for me to polish my nails.

There was a time when my talons never went naked. In high school, I was flat-chested with bad hair and a retainer, but my nails were knockouts. Polishing was a great way to put off studying in college. Manicures every other week were wonderful midday breaks later in life.

And your manicurist winds up being a far better confessor than your hair stylist, because you see your manicurist more often. One in Kentucky almost teared up the day I asked her for demure pink. “”You have a job interview!”" she said accusingly. And she was right — potential employment was the only thing that could break me out of Christmas crimson or blood burgundy.

It’s been a while, though. I haven’t had a manicure since the day before Little Guy was born and a fresh acrylic fractured on the way to the hospital. Never mind that my water had broken and the contractions were five minutes apart. If it hadn’t been 2 a.m., I would have stopped for a touch-up.

Big Guy asked for months after that when I was going to “”get red nails again.”" I put him off with a “”someday.”"

The pressure has mounted lately, as a cousin hit her teens and became nail-polish eligible. She went for electric blue. First Love, his Goth-ish teen heartthrob, always wears black.

Which makes me wonder why I thought I would wind up with red when Big Guy said he was going to buy nail polish.

Any doubts about its importance to him ended when he wanted Crayola Window Markers and I told him to choose between those and the polish. “”I want the polish, Mommy. I want you to look beautiful,”" he said as sweetly and sincerely as he’s said anything in his life. I bought him the markers anyway.

I would have been safe if I’d stopped in the Revlon aisle. A few bucks poorer, but safe. Instead, deeply ingrained cheapskate tendencies pulled me toward Sally Hansen and her regrettable rainbow hues.

“”There!”" Big Guy exclaimed. “”You want green!”"

After his “”Gift of the Magi”" act with the markers, I didn’t argue. The only question was pastel lime or neon emerald.

He went neon. I suppose if I’m going to be tacky, there’s no point in whispering.

“”Mommy, you look beautiful!”" he said softly as I finished painting my nails.

Maybe neon’s not so bad.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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