Every so often, I have a toenail that likes to go rogue.

Back in the day (“the day” being sixth grade) my brother and I went to see a movie — Scrooged, to be exact. The Buena Park mall was the place to be and he was newly-licensed, so we drove over to catch the flick.

Among other atrocities, I had on my pegged, acid-washed jeans, white L.A. Gear shoes and two color-coordinating pairs of socks: peach and seafoam green. It was the late 80s, if that wasn’t already obvious by the preceding hints.

We got our tickets and headed for the theater. After entering one set of swinging doors, we appoached the second set, a.k.a. the ones that would lead us into the theater itself. A guy came running from the other side and flung them open, smacking one into my right foot that I had extended as I reached to push it open. I felt excruciating pain, but the guy kept running — maybe to the snack bar, maybe to the restroom. Who knows. I certainly didn’t, nor did I care. What I did care about was my pulsating toe that had heat radiating off it.

My brother and I found two suitable seats and settled in, but I decided to take my shoe off to see what was going on. The second I pulled off my white shoe, I could feel the throbbing really start. And it wasn’t heat, it was blood — blood that had already soaked through both pairs of socks, and I started to freak out. When the guy had flung the swinging doors open, the impact of the door against my foot popped the toenail on my right big toe clean off. Brother wanted to go find the guy and beat him up, but I urged him to get me some napkins, instead.

We didn’t end up seeing Scrooged that night; to this day I still haven’t.

The above is background as to why I have a toenail that likes to go rogue. It grew back completely over the next year-plus, but occasionally — 20+ years later — it likes to make a U-turn as it grows, thus leaving me with a painful digit that has to be fixed by my miracle-worker of a nail tech. Sometimes it’s good for months, other times it’s constantly finding a way to become ingrown. It’s annoying. And painful.

Today at work I realized that I needed to get the toe looked at, and fast. I headed to the salon on my way home and my Miracle Worker was there. Success.

As I sat in the spa chair that looked out into the mall, I watched people wandering by. One woman was holding hands with what I presume was her husband. She looked in and said, “Ohh, that looks nice.”

I noticed that he looked in the the direction that she was looking, but as soon as she turned to look at him with an expression that seemed to say, “Would you want to get me that for Mother’s Day?” he not only looked away from the salon, but let out the most exasperated noise and rolled his eyes. Her expression turned from hopeful to dejected, and I’ve never wanted buy someone a gift certificate for a mani/pedi more that I did in that moment.

Seriously, dude — really?

I’m pretty sure that had he said, “Yes, honey, that does look nice,” it wouldn’t have killed him. It’s a statement that doesn’t commit to purchasing anything, but it lets your lady know that you’re on the same page with her.

His reaction not only said that he was interested neither in her paragraph nor her chapter, it pretty much said that her entire book was a load of poop.

Thus, the idea for tonight’s post.

Mother’s Day is around the corner, but — and case in point with me and my furbaby — moms can be moms to various things. Some are parents to babies, pre-teens, teenagers, grown adults and some simply have pets or a garden to look after. Some are caregivers to their mom, thus flip-flopping the mom role a bit.

The point is that there’s a gal in your midst that has a short list of little things that bring joy to her life. Maybe she’s your girlfriend, your mom, a friend that’s a girl or a mom-figure. Whatever and whoever she’s a mom to — whoever she is — find the equivalent to that woman’s simple pleasure of a pedicure and snatch it up for her.

A day at Burke Williams? Sold. A manicure? Easy peasy. Lunch? Cake. (Mmm, cake.) A day-trip somewhere? Just go. But seriously — don’t be that person I want to wiggle my ingrown toenail at.

Pony up. Find her pedi-quivalent. It’s painless (unlike my toenail). I promise.

Tonight I’d like to thank the tool at the mall for making me realize, in the wake of his delivered disdain, that it’s so much easier — and more pleasant for both sides — to practice a little bit of kindness.

Especially for a day like Mother’s Day.

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