Earrings and nail polish

I once thought ear piercing was bad, like circumcision and scarification. I couldn’t imagine making a hole in my ear from which to hang a bauble, and I kept my parts unpierced until I was 60. I changed my mind then for two reasons.

My body was obviously sliding into dissolution, and preserving it was clearly impossible. By not defending the ever-changing status quo, I could get a little hoop earring like the one Morgan Freeman wore in a movie once, and the extra hole in my body wouldn’t decrease my value because I didn’t have any. The other reason is that a friend’s 8-year-old daughter had just gotten her ears pierced with great aplomb, and I thought I should be able to do as well.

My left ear’s piercing stung like the dickens, but I came to like earrings so much that a couple of months later I had the right ear done. I now have 11 pairs of earrings and a couple of singles, cheap thrills I once missed out on for no good reason.

I’ve been to a barber seven or eight times in 40 years. The rest of the time I cut my own hair, and it never got longer than the half inch or so dictated by the blade guides that came with the clippers I was using. I wanted it short enough to look the same whether I brushed it or not. This year I stopped cutting it. I have steadily far fewer functioning follicles, and now I let the survivors determine their own fate. I wash them and lube them occasionally as encouragement, and some of them have produced hairs up to six inches, although people still recognize me.

I went through a manicure phase that involved nail buffers and orange sticks and cuticle softener and some stuff I’ve forgotten, but I drew the line right after clear nail polish and tended to stick to buffing and let it go at that. A couple of months ago I saw a guy with toenail polish the color of old silver, and I could imagine doing that myself, though perhaps not in old silver.

My wife’s nail-polish color, Amber Ablaze, is stunning with my skin color, so I tried it first on my big toes and then my thumbs. Nice. Fruity and nice. Amber Ablaze says “woman” to me even on my own thumb. Though a split second later I realize I’m looking at the same old hand, for an instant I’m 25 and some chickie is giving me the glad eye. Conditioning can be fun. Earrings, long hair, and nail polish—I recommend them.