As I type this, my nails are drying. I haven’t painted them in a while and it’s a bit different this time.
You see, I have nine colors. And the one that’s drying this very moment is one I picked out. Huh? What’s that mean? It means the rest of the eight were gifts. Which means I didn’t pay for them. I’m pretty thankful for my eight (all of which are super bright and in-your-face).
But this one’s a little different. Let me explain. Let me be honest.
Money’s been tough. It’s been hard on my family, on me. Forget school, I was living off of every penny I could find. I didn’t know how I was going to pay my minimum payment of $10 on my credit card at one point. Please, reserve your pity for someone else.
But I’ve been working, been earning my keep. I think I’m doing better than simply surviving. I get surprised every time I peer hesitantly at my bank account. Wow. That much? How did that happen…
Even though I’ve been making a bit more than what my bills and necessities allow, I taught myself to forget my (rare) girlish desires for silly things- like nail polish. Walking through Target, Walmart, past Ulta, Sephora and so on, I believed I was over these things. I mean, it’s just nail polish. Not a big deal, right? True. ‘Tis a luxury. And in a time like this, luxury is exactly what it is: unnecessary.
This past weekend I spent a lot of time with a special group of people whom I like to consider family. One of the ladies arrived at our meeting place with three brand-new nail polish colors she’d just picked up from Target. Just like that. She picked it up. Like nothing. Something I had readied myself to forget. Something I withheld from myself for financial reasons gilded with moral justification. So easy.
It sunk into me over the weekend. It wasn’t like I was pretending to not care about nail polish. Hell no. I simply accepted it as it was.
But something spoke within me. I don’t know the exact words but it spoke deep into me. I couldn’t deny it, deny that I was being told everything I have is his. That he’s taking care of me. That he knows me. And that he wants me… to have… what I… want. Dramatic, huh? Yeah, it was more intense than the way I’m conveying it, trust me.
The paycheck I have… his. My bills, his. My livelihood, him.
And it blew me away. It rocked me, to know that he knew and that he acknowledged… nail polish. HAHAHAHAA. From one point of view, actually from many points of view, this is SO stupid. So trivial, so microscopic. And I know that. But you know what’s CRAZY? What’s mind-blowing?
That’s it’s not so stupid to him. Simply because it’s me. Me. Me.
Me who is nothing.
Thereafter, I felt this release from the weight of… money. It’s nothing. Money is nothing. Really. Freedom. What a breath of air, not even fresh air, just air. So good. I spend the rest of the weekend looking at my nails which I’d painted with her new nail polish and smiling because I felt like he cared, cares. That it’s just stupid nail polish, it means nothing to me, I’ve let go and yet I can enjoy it.
That Sunday, I ran an errand at Target. On my way to the cashier, I passed by the cosmetics section. My heart quickened a little. I promised myself I’d be just a second. I rushed over all the different brands, colors. It didn’t matter what I chose. Just that I got to choose.
I debated between two colors, going back and forth ’til I decided on Impeccable Grey.
I chose Impeccable Grey. I paid for it. And I walked out with something more than stupid nail polish.