Things which are ridiculous

My toenails; more specifically, my inability to paint them properly.
I believe in painted toenails. I don’t know why, because I almost never paint my fingernails and rarely wear makeup. I’m not exactly a get-dolled-up-regularly type, is my point. And yet, to me, summer = painted toenails. And given that I am far too cheap/lazy to get professional pedicures—hey, I have polish and passable eye/hand coordination—I do my own feet here at home. I am never either drunk or blind before I set out to prettify my feet, AND YET! What the heck is my problem? I manage to BOTH slop polish all over my toes AND miss entire sections of nails altogether.

I have been painting my nails for something like 30 years. You’d think I would’ve figured it out by now…? And when I paint someone ELSE’s nails—like on the rare occasions when Chickadee will allow me to do hers—I’m fine. This leads me to believe it’s some sort of angle issue, but I’m pretty bendy and not tall, really, so it’s not like my feet are all that far away.

[Somewhat-related digressions: Anyone else keep buying pretty colors in different brands because they’re cheap and then getting annoyed when they chip? OPI + MIR = BFF 4EVAH. I am currently sporting Lincoln Park After Dark both to pretend Fall has actually arrived and because the stuff I had on before this was a different brand and was all chipped up by the time I took it off. Also—random recommendation ahoy—am I the last person on earth to learn about Gooey? I appreciate how it keeps the (good) polish on my nails even while I’m scraping it off the surrounding skin.]

My dog (in various ways).
1) The weather was beautiful this weekend, and so yesterday Otto and I took Licorice out for a nice long walk. Look; I don’t begrudge her pooping while we’re out. She’s a dog, that’s what she does. I always joke that I’m going to get her one of those working dog packs so that she can carry her own crap, but so far it hasn’t happened, and fine, I’m a responsible dog owner, I will pick up her poop and carry it until we pass the bus stop with a garbage can, at which point I can stop being That Person Walking With A Bag Of Feces. But I cannot escape the suspicion that the dog really enjoys watching us carry her waste, because yesterday I threw the bag away and about ten minutes later she pooped a second time. By that point, we were kind of equidistant between the trash can and home. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe it’s all part of her plan.

2) By the time we get back from the walk, Licorice’s tongue appeared to have increased in length by at least four inches. She was panting and lolling around on the porch, and no matter how we exhorted her to come drink some water, she ignored us. (Just like our other children, the moment we suggest something, it becomes unappealing, apparently.) She panted and drooled for a good twenty minutes before succumbing and having a drink.

3) To repay us for taking her on such a nice excursion, a few hours later, Licorice apparently discovered a mole hole under the porch. This was Very Interesting. SO VERY INTERESTING, in fact, that she decided to dig to try to find the mole. We know this because eventually she gave up and rejoined us on the porch, completely crusted in dirt, and while I gave her a bath, Otto filled in the hole. Licorice does not enjoy baths and seemed disappointed in us for not understanding that she’d only been trying to help.

Sort of my dog but mostly me.
1) I am a conscientious enough pet owner to carry my dog’s poop around on a walk, but I hate cutting her nails and so hardly ever do it. Licorice is black, with black nails, and that means I cannot see how much I can cut before I make her bleed, and so whenever I DO screw up my courage and start snipping away, it feels like I make no progress (I’m just cutting off tiny tips) and the dog is upset and I’m upset and Otto is laughing at both of us and I alternately vow to do it more often or give up. The end result is that her nails are always too long and I never get any better at cutting them. I have guilt.

2) You’d think the major problem with Licorice’s too-long nails would be that she’s constantly scratching us by accident, and I guess she does, but for me the main problem is actually that her nails bruise me. I AM A DELICATE FLOWER. We always joke that the dog is part mountain goat—she has an impressive leap, and thinks nothing of launching herself either into or off of your lap with no notice—and my thighs are dotted with a pattern of 4-clustered bruises where her nails dig into my flesh when she’s jumping down from my lap. I have all but abandoned shorts at this point, lest someone spot the horror which is my legs and assume that Otto is either very kinky or beating me (or both).

My insistence on Googling things I know I should not.
I bruise easily. I have always bruised easily. See also: Delicate flower. I do not have leukemia, no matter how many times a particularly impressive set of bruises makes me think “Well that seems abnormal, maybe I should Google what might be causing this.” (Of course, now someday I really will get leukemia, and I’ll be all “No, I’m FIIIIINE, no need to see the doctor!”) (This is really how my mind works. It’s scary in there.)

The sleep habits of teenagers.
Remember when your kids were little and you were all FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST GO TO SLEEP/STAY ASLEEP/SLEEP IN A LITTLE!? Then they become teenagers and they’re all “I’m not tired!” at night when all you want to do is snuggle with your sweetie on the couch and watch television. And then in the morning when it’s actually time to get up, those same teens who assured you that they were FINE, not even a little tired, why they are suddenly three years old again, except this time, instead of whining about how they don’t want to take a bath or whatever, they are not getting up, you can’t make them, go away. It just about takes an act of Congress to get Chickadee up and out on school mornings before she misses the bus (and boy howdy is she pleasant while that’s happening…), and usually I just let Monkey sleep in, but it’s gotten to the point where I even have to wake him up, lest he sleep all morning. And then my usually happy-go-lucky guy is all “I’m tired” and “I don’t feel good” and “why do I have to?” Fortunately, I can sort of gesture in the general direction of the shower and he reverts to his normally perky self while in there. Chickadee, on the other hand, was pissed off when I woke her up one day a couple of years ago, and I’m still waiting for her to forgive me.

Of course, only suggest to a teenager than they hit the sack early if you’re in desperate need of a good eye-rolling. Because they’re NOT TIRED.

Our fancy new bathroom scale.
I have lived a scale-free life for many years, and this was by design. If there’s a scale in the bathroom, I am likely to step on it. If I step on the scale, I am likely to become aggravated. Even though I am a reasonably intelligent human and aware that weight fluctuates and my weight is probably fine, something about the scale brings out every ounce (see what I did there…?) of body insecurity I possess. FABULOUS. But! We needed a scale, because we are currently following the not-putting-any-emphasis-on-your-weight-except-for-the-part-where-we-weigh-you-regularly plan with a certain teenager who needs to gain some weight. After weeks of comparison shopping, I ended up with a digital scale that stores user profiles to both recognize you when you step on it (how does it do that?? MAGIC!) and to display past weights for comparison.

You might think I could just have that scale around and never weigh myself on it, but you would be incorrect. I weigh myself on it. It’s VERY accurate, which means I can see exactly how much weight I gain when I drink my morning cup of coffee, for example. Not that I would do that more than two or three days in a row, of course. And I would never weigh myself in the morning and then again in the evening and get upset about the gain that I knew full well it would show, because how dumb would that be?

Nor would I try to set up a profile on it for the dog. That would be silly. And she doesn’t weigh enough for it to recognize her, anyway. I mean, I assume.

Writing 1500+ words about ridiculous stuff.


  1. Arnebya

    I”m guessing it’s angle since I’m in the same toenail messing up boat. All of my nails minus the big toe are tiny so it’s barely even getting a dot per nail but there’s that dot, the skin around it, and possibly the toe knuckle. Is that what it’s called on toes like it is on fingers? Probably I should Google that but then I might hit images and we know that’s wrong already, don’t we? Google cares not about what it shows my eyes. As for OPI, if I could bring myself to pay that much for polish, I would buy it regularly. As it stands, I only have one bottle of OPI and the rest are crap. But I suppose if I simply stop buying the crappy ones I’ll have saved up enough for a couple of good bottles of OPI. Eventually. $1.99 man. Can’t beat the crappy ones (except when the time comes to wash a damn dish and you realize 7 out of 10 nails are chips two hours in).

  2. deva

    I love OPI and Essie. I think a no-chip top coat can help with the chepies, but I dont’ know for sure – I bought a quick-dry top coat because my love of reading was ruining my nails before they were dry.

  3. Brigitte

    I was just saying the other day, I might as well be dipping my toes in a vat of polish. And why hasn’t the eternal “they” used sciency knowledge to invent a polish that sticks to the keratin in nails, but not to skin?

    I like to lose myself in the minutiae too, real issues are so ICKY.

  4. Mame

    I don’t wear makeup, I have a hard time motivating myself to wear sun block. I don’t polish my finger nails because my hands are always too busy. I do my toe nails. During all the years I was telling doctors my thyroid was off and they were telling me my TSH was “in the middle, so I was fine” my feet were a mess. I knew dry skin was a hypothyroid symptom but I didn’t realize that was what was wrong with my feet. When I started on synthroid my feet got beautiful! So now that my feet aren’t a dry cracked nightmare, I paint my toe nails!

    I have a similar relationship to my cats nails as you have to Licorice’s nails.

    I weigh myself all day long. The Wii fit is good, it weighs me and compares my weight to previous day. If I try to weigh again the same day it complains. My two cats have profiles. First I have to weigh myself (which lets face it I was going to do anyway) then select the pet’s profile and weigh holding the pet. The vet says if my female cat were to get over 12 lbs she would become diabetic. It would probably be impossible to give her insulin, so I watch her weight.

  5. My Kids Mom

    I always figured that dipping my toes in a vat of nail polish and then scraping some off my skin the next time I took a hot shower was the way to do it.

  6. Brenda

    Never heard of Gooey, but I’m thinking it looks like a fantastic idea! I don’t often give myself a manicure, but a few times a year I’ll break out the polish and paint my toes. I just like the way my feet look better when my toes are polished, and since my feet don’t get washed a million times a day like my hands do, the polish tends to stay on for several months before it’s bad enough for me to care.

  7. Korinthia

    I did not know of Gooey! Have to try it.

    And the thing with my dog and pooping on walks is that I don’t understand why he’s so particular about where he decides to do it when we’re just going to pick it up! It doesn’t matter where you go! Just go!

  8. js

    I yelled at my child today, because she is becoming a teenager and is such a JOY every morning and I was tired of the way the tone of her voice says she hates me. I have guilt. My husband said we knew she was becoming a teenager, and I did, but I am not ready.

    Of course, the one time I cut the dogs toe nails I cut him. He holds a grudge. So, now I let the guilt and anxiety over that one be the vets problem :-)

  9. alicial

    I second the paint your nails and then let them dry, then shower and scrape off the excess. Helpful hint: it works better if you massage lotion, cuticle oil.balm, etc in to the skin between them drying and the shower. Hence, why I only do my nails (of both varieties) at night. :)

    OPI and Essie are great brands. Zoya ( is another favorite of mine, and they run sales all. the. time. (BOGO, free shipping, half price, etc). They are also vegan friendly (meaning no fish scale sparkley things or of the like)in case that is anyone’s concern. :)

    • Mandy

      Very cool! Thanks for the tip about Zoya. Off to check it out. Didn’t know those sparkly things were fish scales. Ewww.

    • Sanna

      Zoya is also sold (albeit in somewhat limited color choices) at at least some ULTA stores, for those of you with one in reasonable driving distance.

  10. Beth Mitcham

    So, I supposed you can’t set up a profile of you+dog? It probably can’t tell the difference between you holding Licorice and you drinking two cups of coffee. Not that you’d try it or anything.

  11. Carmen

    I can manage to paint my toes in a reasonable manner – not too much polish splattered about on my cuticles or the ends of my toes. But no matter how long I sit like a statue, I ALWAYS end up smearing it. I haven’t heard of Gooey (so you’re not the last person on earth) but what I found last year saved my smeary toenails. OPI Drying Drops. Put on polish, wait one minute, drop one drop of this stuff on your nail and 1-2 minutes later, it’s completely set. So more smearing! I love the stuff. I noticed that Sally Hansen has a version of these drops as well.

    Now I’m off to see if I can buy Gooey here in Canada…

  12. Leslie

    Ha ha, your daughter and mine are twins! Love, love, love this age.

  13. Sarah B.

    I swear my son, who turns 11 in two weeks, is narcoleptic and has his days and nights switched. How else can I explain the fact that he will sack out from 2-5 p.m. and want to be awake from 2-5 a.m. every day? But then he’s cranky and wants to go to bed at 8:30. So he can get up at 2. UGH. The sleep habits of the deranged preteen… make for deranged mothers.

  14. Jeanie

    I also am not a good nail polisher of either fingers or toes. I do love me the OPI polish, though. Every now and then I’ll go have a professional polish my fingernails only for $5. Completely worth it.

    I have all of my dogs’ nails cut at the groomer’s. My little cocker mix stray dog, who has lived with me for over three years now, was crying and licking his foot a while back. He would yip so loud, and was obviously in pain, that I took him to the vet. It was discovered that he had broken a toenail, which was really hurting him. They had to put him out and trim and file his nails and shave his paws so I could see when it was time to have them cut, to the tune of $360. This happened about five weeks ago, and they’re already really looooong. I don’t know why they grow so darn fast.

  15. Jessica (the celt)

    I can’t paint my toe or finger nails, so I’m pretty inept. Of course, I don’t really wear makeup either, so maybe I just don’t make a very good girl…

    Back when I had my kitty (*tear*), I would always procrastinate at cutting her nails as well. Then she’d kind of stick to the carpet, so I called her Velcro-Kitty. When my husband (then-boyfriend) started coming around, he was appalled at how she had to walk, but I thought it was hilarious: she had to kind of pull her legs up and out to unstick herself, so she always looked like she didn’t know how to walk. ;~) My husband made me feel guilty, though, so I got better at cutting her nails. Cats’ nails are much easier to deal with, I think, if you know how to get the other three legs to stay still.

  16. Megan

    I once, out of scientific curiosity, tried to allow my teen to sleep herself out. at 2:00 in the afternoon I cracked and woke her up (teen: silence, harrumphing noises, reluctant turn over, baffled blinking…. ‘mum? wha’?? It’s too EARLY! Just give me five more minutes….).

    But I do remember the horrible sleepiness of teenageness, particularly because I was blessed with a mother who was not only a morning person, she was convinced there was some sort of spiritual virtue in getting up early, while sleeping in was sloth. So although I still hustled my teens out of bed, I did so sympathetically. I’m sure they appreciated the difference.

  17. Little Bird

    OPI: Russian Navy, Ginger Bells, and …. Yeah, I like their colors too.

  18. A Different Kind of Zoe

    I admit I am not adventurous/stupid enough to try them on my cats, but there are a number of Dremel-like tools to grind dog nails rather than clip them. Rotary emery boards, really. Amazon has several, and a few have decent reviews. Just sayin’.

  19. Meri

    Seche Vite is awesome for drying polish the whole way super-fast, but it does not agree with me anymore.

    For my toes, I do them at night, blob the color all over the edges, and clean up in the shower the next morning. This is easier if you don’t have a super-hard top coat on.

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