On Toenails and Sandwiches

I realized something today while cutting my toenails. (Not my normal place for epiphanies, but I’ll take it.) For a little context, I don’t really bother much with my feet. I wear flip flops all summer and into as much of fall as possible. I paint my toes maybe every few months, and sometimes just reach down quickly and throw another coat of polish on if I’m heading out and they look a little peely.

Really though, I don’t care. Sure it feels great when they look all polished and tidy, but it doesn’t affect my quality of life whatsoever. I realized this morning though, that if Steph cared, I’d probably paint them more. It’s the same with anything, really. If I knew that he really, really liked when I painted my toes, or my fingernails (which I do, for me all the time), or that he went insane with lust every time my hair was straightened or I wore red lipstick, I’d probably do it a lot more. It’s the same as when I go on a date with someone else and I put a little extra into my hair, my face, or perhaps my cleavage. It’s fun to do that for someone else’s enjoyment.

If my husband really, really had a thing for sandwiches, I would completely indulge that too. And I wouldn’t be doing it because of the patriarchy or misogyny or because he’s keeping me down, I’d be doing it because I wanted to. The same reason that sometimes, not always, I’ll freshen up before he comes home from work. Putting effort into something, whether it’s my appearance or a meal brings me joy first and foremost. But the joy is always much stronger when there’s another person there to experience it with me.

  • André

    You must be inside my wife’s head!! For the last several days I’ve come home from work and found a new homemade soup waiting for me. They have all been absolutely awesome (especially the pea soup [one of my all time favorites] last night) and when I asked what brought all this on she simply said “I like making you happy :)”. Whenever she says something like this, I can’t help but feel a bit misogynistic. I can’t help but think that I’ve done or said something that has made her feel like she has to do things just to make me happy. As much as I love coming home to a great hot supper on the table, I don’t want her think it’s something I expect from her. When she sat down just now to read your toenail epiphany she just pointed at the screen and hollered “HA! See, that’s what I mean!!”. Thanks for explaining what you’re thinking, it’s helped me understand my wife just a bit better!