My nasty pinky toe

This is a little bit of a tough one for me: I hate my pinky toenail! It’s disgusting. It causes me great embarrassment! I don’t know what happened when I turned about 30, but this pinky toenail of mine all of a sudden overnight became absolutely freaking disgusting.
It’s weird. I’ve spent a good deal of time analyzing this over the last 12 or so years and I honestly just can’t figure it out. It seems like it’s not even-in terms of thickness- meaning: it’s thicker on one edge than the other. It’s almost as if it’s too wide too. There’s even a little bit of a split on one side and it seems like it might actually be two separate toenails. It’s just disgusting!

To me.

I’ve never had another human being notice it before (at least nobody has looked at my feet and had a sudden look of horror on their face and screamed running for their life)! My husband — who knows every inch of my body intimately– never said anything about it (before I mentioned it to him).

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do I persist in nit-picking my body and perpetuating this self-loathing? I seriously DO hate this toenail, but even the Bible says in Ephesians 5:29

After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.

Yet, I do.

So here’s the story…

Not long after I first became frustrated and disgusted by this toenail, I started painting my toenails almost all of the time. In the last decade or so it has been a rare occasion for me to not have toenail polish on. Anything I can do to cover that thing up, I will do it!

When I used to do my own acrylic nails back in college, I bought an electric nail file and I like to use that on my toenail to even it out. Omgosh… Is this disgusting g or what?!?

When I was getting my Masters degree, one of the professors was meticulously easy for my classmates and I to poke fun at. Wasn’t very nice, but we were kids and as such we were not always very nice- particularly when the professor was so overly demanding and unfriendly. He had a snot rag- it was actually a child size knit glove- and I will never forget his dribbling snot. More unforgettable though, where his teeth. They were not his best feature. One of my classmates dubbed them corn nuts. You’re welcome for the visual!After about five or seven years of keeping my hatred of my pinky toenail to myself, I one-day jokingly mentioned it to my husband telling him that I was really upset about my quartet. Oh my goodness! He had a heyday time with that one! Thankfully, he is pretty darn awesome and doesn’t give me too much crap about it, but every once in a while I can certainly count on him to say some wisecrack about my corn nut toenail.

Dr. Z’s Teeth

Anyway, about two years ago I went to the Hot Springs with my parents and as I was drying off after when I noticed the toenail was particularly  soft. It seemed like it was detaching from the skin a little bit.
In picking at it just a teenie bit, the whole thing just came off. I wasn’t sure if I was elated or horrified. The dang thing was GONE! It was like a dream come true- in a good way! At the same time, I was suddenly more of a freak because I WAS MISSING A TOENAIL! Thank goodness it was winter and I had tights and boots on almost always.

Sure enough to, though, that cursed corn but came RIGHT BACK!

I was having one of my daughters see a podiatrist for an inward turn in her feet and ended up jarring w him (jokingly) about my toe! He offered to culture it for a few weeks to see if it might be fungal and then be able to be treated with medicine. Honestly, I wished it WAS fungal, but dang it if it wasn’t! Crap! The corn but wasn’t going anywhere- unless I can get the thing to just fall off again.

Well, I’m sure you’re just dying to see this thing and know what all the hub-bub is about. Please don’t be too harsh!


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So the power lesson here is… it’s okay to make fun of yourself. Biblically, it’s not okay to hate your body, which is an area that I am still working on. I believe a sign of maturity in all of this is that we should really learn to accept ourselves the way God has created us to be. As much as I really am bothered by this toenail, God made me with it and He doesn’t make mistakes. That pinkie toenail is the way it should be. I can fight it as mightily as I can, but at the end of the day, I cannot change it.



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