I have accepted the fact long ago that perfect feet must have been distributed before I was born. I mean I have a love/hate relationship with my feet. Of course, I love them and I am always grateful for having a pair of feet because without them, I wouldn’t be able to go places, but on the other hand, I hate them. Especially my toenails. They are so darned ugly. I wish I am just exaggerating but alas, I’m not.
And I have always hated having my toenails clipped and pedicured. I mean it’s always an ordeal for me to entrust my toenails to a complete stranger and allow her to poke and pierce my toenails with sharp and bladed instruments to remove ingrown which seemed to grow faster than I could monitor.
You see, while other girls have been blessed with wonderfully-shaped feet and toenails, I got a size 8 feet, and my toenails are structured like withered and dried-up ginger displayed at the sidewalks of Bankerohan public market. They fan out at the tips and the tips of the toenails are buried deeply and you have to poke them with a pusher and a nipper in order to really clean them.
I know I should wear closed shoes, but the irony of it is I hate closed shoes. I prefer slip-ons where my feet has complete freedom to wriggle and breath.
Okay, I know it’s sad but it’s easier to make fun of them rather than admit that I hate them.
Anyhow as soon as I was old enough I started “prettying” my toenails by applying different colors of nail polish, but no amount of nailpolish can conceal the original shape. My toenails now look like “colored” dried-up and withered ginger.
I had been postponing a trip to the beauty parlor to have my toenails clipped and my ingrown toenails (also pronounced and felt as ingroan..arghh) removed for weeks. I could feel two huge ingrowns are developing on both sides of my big toenails. The pain was bearable at first.
To make matters worse, people seemed to know I am nurturing four ingrown toenails on both feet, one on each side of my big toenails. The more I try to keep my feet out of the way, the more people tend to step on them. And the more I try to hide my toes from view by curving them inwards, the more attention it attracts.
Finally, I woke up one morning with a feeling of doom. My ingrown toenails haven’t stopped throbbing with pain the whole night through.
I know I have no choice but to have the ingrowns removed if I were to live for another day. After covering a launching affair at the city hall, I made the trip to a beauty parlor located near the corner of San Pedro and Crooked Road streets to have the dreaded pedicure, not because I want to but because I have to.
I survived the cleaning and poking of my eight little toenails but when it was time to remove the throbbing ingrowns, I was sweating profusely despite the full blast of the airconditioner.
Although the girl who administered the “poking and piercing ceremony” was an expert with her tools, she was unable to stop the pain that seared through my being. I gripped the armrests of the chair very hard that my knuckles turned white.
I tried to divert my thoughts on other things, silently echoing the words of Queen Esther of th bible “If I perish, I perish”.
Wave after wave of pain shoot through me, and finally one big toenail is free of the ingrown. One more to go.
Oh when will it ever end, and would I be able to survive more pain?
Scary thoughts drummed through my head. I wondered how many people have already died from developing cancer of the nails caused by infections, from pedicures.
I bit my lips to stiffle a moan as the last bit of ingrown was removed. It was finally over!
When the girl applied merthiolate on the newly-cleaned toenails, a fresh wave of pain shoot up again but it was only for a fleeting moment.
Only then did I realized what a lot of suffering have I been enduring before I had the in-grown removed. Walking and moving about became so much convenient and comfortable again as before I acquired the ingrown.
In life, we have to experience dark moments of pain before they can be removed. But the relief that follows is worth the pain.
Ingrown, as defined by the dictionary is a “grown abnormally into the flesh; inbred habits”
Some of us have ingrown habits that we just endure carrying, while we don’t pay much attention to some. Not until they start to throb and finally destroy us. These may include ingrowns like envy and hatred to others. If we will not entrust our ‘ingrowns’ to the Master of all tools up there, we won’t be able to live life meaningfully.
Until we decide that now is the right time to get rid of our ingrowns can we be able to live easier lives because no amount of nail polish can hide the ‘in-growns’. If they are not removed, the pain will always be there.*