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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nailed it

There are many things I find strange about New York City. People are much politer than in London. Traffic is allowed to turn even whilst pedestrians are crossing. There are an astonishing number of ugly old men with gorgeous, young, blonde girlfriends staying at my hotel.

But the weirdest is toenails.

A work conversation the other day:

Colleague 1: I saw this woman on the subway the other day and she was wearing sandals and had like no nail polish on.

Colleague 2: Ewww! Gross!

Colleague 1: I know! I mean, why wear sandals if you have gross feet?

This confused me. I am not a particularly girly girl, and on average, I'd say I paint my toenails twice a year. And yet I wear sandals for at least two or three months of the year. I have never considered my unpolished toenails to be gross.

I dismissed it as a peculiarity of my colleagues. Until I was on the subway earlier today. I should tell you that by a random twist of fate, Nice Kate's wedding last weekend meant my toenails are still bright red, painted in honour of the occasion, and to match the belt that went with the dress I wore.

So I was on the subway, getting lost as ever because the NEW YORK SUBWAY IS THE SINGLE MOST FUCKING RIDICULOUS METHOD OF TRANSPORT EVER. Digression: they have multiple subway stations with the same name (a bit like having six Leicester Squares), you have to enter on different sides of the street if you're going uptown or downtown, and often can't switch if you realise you're on the wrong side, each colour line goes in several different directions, and is distinguished by a letter on the front of the train, there's no board displaying when the next train is due, so you can wait for ages and ages, then finally, to add insult to injury, some trains don't stop at every station, and others don't run at weekends. They let you guess which is which.

Anyway, I was on the subway, probably going in the wrong direction, and a lady said to me (because for some reason, people in New York don't know the London rule of 'shut the fuck up because someone might stab you'), looking at my feet "Cool nail polish. That's OPI, isn't it? I recognise it. I'm like, 'They do so many different shades, I get overwhelmed'."

I smiled, had no clue what OPI is and told her I did it in London. Myself. "You do your own nails?" she asked incredulously, like the fact that half of my toe is usually covered in polish isn't enough of a clue. I didn't tell her why. It didn't seem to be an appropriate time to mention that every pedicurist I've ever had, I've managed to kick in the head. The curse of ticklish feet.

Maybe I should try it one more time...


Jack said...

I share your genetic curse Laura, it's why my toenails are never polished

Sara said...

OPI is supposedly the best brand of nail polish... all salons over here use it.
It's not just NYC... it does seem to be a crime here if you are wearing sandles without nail polish! Silly Americans!