I wore flip-flops from June through October keeping my toenails painted a cheerful rosy pink. I loved glancing down and seeing well-groomed feet. ‘See?’ I’d think, ‘You’re not frumpy any more! Why, you even maintain a decent pedicure!’
But months of nail polish will do bad, bad things to a girl, and under that coat of rosy pink my nails grew increasingly stained.
By autumn, my toenails were Harvest Gold. (Hyperbole? I’ll never tell.)
Oh, I know what you’re all thinking; “Rebekah, why didn’t you use a base coat of clear polish?” Friends, I lie awake asking myself the same thing. But having missed the ounce of prevention, I needed a pound of cure.
The Internet claimed that scrubbing one’s nails with lemon would return them to their original healthy color and warned me to moisturize afterward — lemon can be drying. Easy enough.
I trotted to the nearest grocery store and spent $1 on three pretty, plump lemons. I hurried back home, sawed a lemon in half, spread a towel on my bed to create a work surface, rolled up my jeans, climbed onto the bed, and — came to a sudden halt.
How could I desecrate a lemon? Lemons should be cherished; squeezed over freshly steamed veggies or made into lemonade. Lemon wedges are for iced tea and Aunt Dorothy’s lemon cake, not for grinding into my “grotty yellow talons” (to quote Sal of Already Pretty).
There was no turning back. ‘Twere well it were done quickly. I took a deep breath, seized half a lemon, and scrub scrub scrubbed my big toenails. I destroyed two whole lemons this way, rubbing the pulp into my nails, splashing seeds/juice thither and yon.
Know what? It worked pretty well! My claws weren’t 100% restored to former glory, but they were no longer earwaxy yellow. I washed my feet, lotioned up the ol’ nails, and planned to finish the next day.
Mr. Jaunty, unaware of my foot-fixing agenda, used the final lemon to make cocktails. It died a noble death.
Lesson learned, folks! Since that day I’ve kept my toenails bare, neatly filed and buffed. While I’m enjoying these naked nails, I may yen for polish someday… and next time, I’ll remember that clear base coat.