The Painted Nails of an Adolescent Girl


On a Sunday afternoon, I’d gone out with my daughter holding hands as we strolled in the malls. The floor plans were very transparent, the sports section were, filled with colorful running shoes and shirts, stated aloud how persistent the mind is of, exercising, but, not guaranteed the long-term commitments; in the men’s section, there were, mannequins standing tall, although they didn’t have heads, they’d still, maintained their postures. The floor we’re on are the adolescent girls’ shops, there were, a multitude of items, accessories all over; with those sweet-looking clothes, cute stationeries, even the colorful candies and snacks, as the customers strolled, they’d become, tested in the wills, to not spend any money, not knowing why it was, that they’d, gotten off on this floor in the first place.

painted nails as a form of art, NOT my photo…

We’d passed by a small counter, and my daughter was attracted by bottles of colorful nail polish. “Sleeping Beauty” of the pinkish purple, the “Strawberry Jam” of glittering red—all these nail polishes, are sweet to a fault both in name and form, giving off that delusions, of applying them will return a person back to one’s own youthful days.

The young counter clerk’s voice was mixed in with sweets too, started selling the products, “The nail polish we sell are water-based! When you’d wanted to apply another color, just soak your hands in warm water, then, peel the original painted on colors off, you’d not needed the nail polish remover with the bad smell, and the nail polish is, lightly scented, can be used by pregnant women, as well as young children too!”

Another counter clerk smiled at my daughter, said, “Any color you like, I can, put them on for you!”, this was like an on switch, my normally shy daughter extended her hands said, “I want the pink”, the counter clerk picked up the bottle with “Pink Adolescent”, and applied it quickly to my daughter’s nail, dipped the nail polish brush in some white, told her, “I’ll paint a rabbit for you.”, and, my daughter’s originally simple looking fingernails started having rabbits, whales, flowers, bears, and a bow on them. And, she’d placed her painted fingers on the shiny counter, looked like a girl who’d just, walked out of a fairytale.

a wide variety of themes you can choose from, photo from online…

I’d never grown to an adolescent girl like her, my mother told me, that as she was pregnant with me, she’d thought that I’d be, a boy, or maybe, I’d, absorbed her deep desires, I’d not enjoyed getting dolled up to look sweet, dreaming, a princess, I’d only wanted to dress up like Jo from “Little Women”; I’d preferred trousers, and, at home, I was responsible, for killing the cockroaches, changing the bulbs, and, climbed onto the roofs with my dad to fix the antennas. In my growth processes, my mother raised me, as a son.

I’d gotten used to trimming my nails short like boys’, and couldn’t tolerate it when my nails got longer than the edges of my fingertips, once my nails grew over, I’d needed to, trim them short, to start handling things from day to day; this pair of hands, there’s no sense of femininity to them even AFTER the nail polishes were applied on, it’d felt, awkward to me, and, other than the day I had my wedding day photos taken, I’d put on the nail polishes, I’d never, actively, put them on myself.

心情點滴少女指甲油 圖/黃鼻子from the papers…

My daughter put his arms around my arm, and, those cute animals stayed on my arms, she’d begged me to buy her a set of nail polish set. There was, that sturdy and persistent adolescent girl inside my daughter’s mind, before she could say “mom”, she’d pointed toward her doll and called out, “Kitty!”; she’d become intrigued with anything princess related, and, all year long, she’d insisted on wearing those pastel colored, pink dresses. Did that adolescent girl whom I never was, made her way, into my daughter’s body as I was, pregnant with her?

After I bought this set of nail polish, my daughter had often commanded that I’d extended my fingers to let her practice painting the nails. And so, the femininity I’d never experienced growing up, started, taking root, on my fingertips, and, rabbits started, hopping onto my nails too.

So, this, is very interesting, how a mother can get the younger version of herself as a girl which she never had the chance of experience being back, and this just shows, how things can happen, without you expecting it to…


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