Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Painted Lady

Spring means different things to different people. Some can't wait for warmer weather, others yearn for opening day at the ballpark, while still others drool at the thought of those yucky marshmallow Peeps. For me, it's all about painted toenails. I love dressing my toenails in funky colors like blue or purple. These are colors that a boring old lady like me wouldn't wear on her fingers, but on the toes, all bets are off. You can get away with a lot on your feet.

It's fun to have shocking-colored toenails, but I don't bother in the winter. My toes are encased in wool or fleece socks for months on end while Chicago tries to survive blizzard-force winds and subzero temperatures. My feet are bare for only about 15 minutes every day while I'm showering. As soon as I've dried off, they're hidden in socks again. Why waste time painting toenails when I don't even get to see them?

When spring comes around, it's time to release my toes from their bondage. It's possible to go barefoot around the house again. When it warms up a little more, I can break out the sandals that have waited so patiently in my closet for many long, cold months. It's also time to grab the nail polish and cotton balls to coat my toenails in a wild, vibrant shade. For me, painting my toenails is a ritual of spring. As odd as it seems, seeing my toes again feels linked to the return of the sun. It's a chance to emerge from a cocoon of down coats and insulated boots.

I hope you all enjoy your own rituals of the coming spring, whether you turn your toenails blue or start seeds in peat pots or engage in any number of other activities that help you prepare for the coming warmer weather. Hang in there – summer's coming!

Kimberly Garland

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