This little piggy needed some love / by Susie Lubell


On Friday I decided to get a pedicure. I very rarely do this. But there is no pumice stone rough enough to get the half inch dermal layer off my heels. My husband had given me a gift certificate to a place downtown for my birthday (nine months ago) and I figured I'd better use it before my next birthday. I mean what the hell was I waiting for anyway? The messiah? My appearance on Oprah? It's just a damned pedicure. But now that I work for myself I start to have anxiety about using any of my time for anything besides my work. Not that I don't waste plenty of it sitting in front of this very computer but at least it looks like I'm working. Nothing about sitting in a massage chair reading People magazine having someone dunk your feet in paraffin wax looks like work.

So Friday was the day. I wanted something with a little punch so I picked out The Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It red. The last time I had my toes painted was on a trip to the US when I'd been living in Israel (twelve years ago). I went with an old friend to get our nails done and I picked out bubble gum pink. The next day I flew back to Israel and then quickly drove with my boyfriend to the Egyptian border because I had an assignment to edit and rewrite the Sinai chapters of the Fodors Israel and Egypt guidebooks. If I was going to be traipsing around the Ritz Carlton at Sharm El Sheikh, I wanted some pretty toenails. You know, in case Bill Clinton showed up.

Three days into the trip I had a raging fight with my boyfriend and it turns out that he was now second guessing our relationship because I had paid $9 to have a Vietnamese woman in California paint my toenails on a whim. For him, those pink toes called into question all of my values and stood for everything he despised about the world - wealth, bourgeois society, appearances, western entitlement. Seriously. And this is not a cultural thing. Plenty of Israeli women paint their toes. It was his own thing. Eventually I helped him to understand he was acting like a jackass and twelve years later we are married and have two kids and own a house mortgage in Silicon Valley. But my nails have remained nude ever since.

So after twelve years The Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It and these piggies got the royal treatment. And my husband didn't give a rat's ass and we enjoyed a lovely weekend in Lake Tahoe where my red toes looked especially AWESOME against the alpine blue lake.