this might make some parents nervous. not me. i spent half of my growing up years on the counter of my parents kitchen. i’d eat, chat with my mom as she cooked, answer the phone, stir the bowl, pick out the yummy dried fruit from the salad (which i still do). as the youngest of four, being up high made me feel as though i was at eye level with the rest of the big kids. something about being on the counter top felt safe. i always managed to find my way back there. it was my spot. and slowly my comfort for the counter top found its way into the sink. after the dishes were done and the house was closing down i got in the rhythm of dipping my feet into a sink full of hot water. i’d watch the water pour over my toes like hot fudge over ice cream (yes, i know feet aren’t as appetizing as ice cream, but it feels just as dreamy). me, on the counter, feet emerged in water, is my safe spot. my little escape.
do i get married. do i quit my job. do we buy a car. do i start a business. do i send that letter. do i let go of the dream. do i? in crisis, confusion, in conflict, or confession i always find my way back to the warm water running over my toes. maybe it’s my way of getting a timeout. it gives me a break from wrestling with my anxious thoughts. it helps me slow down and go back to the basics. a little thing in life that is just for me. no kids. no husband. just me. so today, with a 45 minute window and no counter top to jump on, i pulled over and got a pedicure. i sat in the seat, closed my eyes, felt the tingling sensation on my toes, and there, tried to find my way through the tangled voices in my head. when my 30 minutes of pleasure was done i hadn’t come to any triumphant resolve, but for those 30 minutes, the weeds that were once neck high, were now only knee high. it’s those little pleasures in life that are safe, that are yours and belong to no one else. i have a friend, krissa, who loves to drive on chilly nights with the windows down and heater on. or my sister, malina, who gets giddy over tea and cookies. or sam, who creates art upon the waves and how surfing, for him, makes everything better. maybe it’s the way i hide away when the newest issue of anthropologie hits my doorstep. we all have tiny quirks, little perks, that help us process, help us breathe, and remind us that we are going to be ok. i just happen to find mine on a counter top and (if i’m lucky) with my magazine in hand.
…so random, but the lady who gave me my pedicure got mad at me. are they allowed to do that? while putting on those ridiculous flip flops i smudged my pretty purple polish. anyway, two other ladies come over to look at the smudge (so 3 altogether) all speaking a language i didn’t understand. it gets weirder… as i am leaving, she comes up to me and gives me back the tip i just gave her. what? really?? was i that bad of a client that you won’t even accept my tip? thus, adding another regret to my “things i regret” list… not learning Vietnamese.