Last weekend Donna and I were sipping and sunning poolside. Looking proudly at her brightly painted toenails, Donna confessed that this was the first time in her life her toenails had ever been painted. For the record, Donna isn’t Amish and hasn’t been living on a deserted island all her life. She’s a run-of-the-mill American woman (though special to me) who simply had never applied lacquer to her toes. Or even had a professional pedicure. Oh, and she’s from New Hampshire.
“Are you freakin’ kidding me? What’s up with that?” I asked, wiggling my mango-colored tootsies in the water. I get a pedicure every spring and usually at least one more time over the summer. It’s right up there with my twice-yearly dental check-ups.
As if her confession wasn’t bewildering enough, she added, “Women up North don’t paint their toes. I never saw painted toenails until I moved to the South.” Yes, she actually said that.
Heather, who hails from Pennsylvania, arrived a few minutes later and the first thing I noticed was her that her toenails were naked. Heather, incredulously, backed up Donna’s assertion that polished toenails is a Southern thing. I don’t buy it. I lived up North for many years and painted my toenails frequently. And I know for a fact that ALL my gal pals up North paint their toenails. I have pictures to prove it.
I think I know what I’m getting Donna and Heather, for Christmas this year: gift certificates to the local nail salon. After all, the long, cold, snowy winters up North winters require shoes be worn for much of the year so polishing one’s toenails may be largely pointless. Here in the sunny South we wear flip-flops sandals and open-toed shoes year ‘round. And when in the South, do as the Southerner’s do!