I'm attempting to write 52 stories from my life during the year 2020. One story a week, in no particular order, to remember and document some of the memories of my life.
I'm not sure what I was thinking. Perhaps my double digit status gave me the courage to defy my father. I think I was eleven or twelve when this story took place. I was at cousin Carol's house. Sunday visits to each other's house after church were an almost weekly tradition. After Sunday dinner, we painted our fingernails. We had done this before I'm sure, but this was the first time that I dared to wear it home. For some reason, my father abhorred fingernail polish. (Perhaps I should mention that my father was born in 1912, in rural Oklahoma and his father was a Baptist preacher.)
When I got home from Carol's house, it didn't take long for my father to notice my fingernails. He exploded in his gruffest voice and insisted that I remove the offending nail polish. I responded with tears and my own anger. Fingernail polish seemed so innocent. What could be wrong with the pale shade of pink on my nails? I stomped off to my bedroom, removed the polish, and began a reign of silence.
The next day I was surprised to find fingernail clippers and a nail file on my pillow. Without the rage of the previous day, my father sat on my bed and explained that he wanted me to take care of my nails and had bought me these tools so I could do exactly that. The discussion ended with a hug. I never understood my father's dislike of painted nails, but I always understood that he loved me. (Perhaps it wasn't really the nail polish he disliked as much as the thought that his little girl was growing up.)