Day 18

February 1, 2015
Nail Files
Day 18: Nail Files

In the first few months of living with someone, you begin to take notice of their daily patterns… well, at least you’re supposed to. After a few weeks having lived side-by-side with Ann, I began to notice three maintenance trips she’d take every week and in some cases every other day. First, mama had to get her “hair did.” Next, she had to get her “sun on.”  Lastly, Ann would require a pedicure. I’d say a “mani-pedi,” but Ann can’t stand anyone touching her feet. If you were caught off guard a bit by the first two, please allow me to translate. “Hair did” is equivalent to visiting a hairstylist and getting “your sun on” is defined as lying in a tanning bed.

But all of that was well over a decade ago. Nowadays, Ann doesn’t get her “hair did” like she used to. Now, it’s more of a chore to get her to go. She thinks of a trip to the stylist is pretty much like how some feel about going to the dentist… it’s a ride she’d rather not buy a ticket for.  She says that it’s her gray hairs that hold her back, but I think she’s a little looney tunes on that one.  She’ll try to show me, at least twice a week, how gray she getting, but I have yet to see the invasion she claims has overtaken the beachhead.

“Getting her sun on” went out the window with the birth of our first daughter. That ritual ceased to exist the moment the OBGYN, at our first appointment, said tanning was a BIG NO-NO. Ann paid homage to the UV gods at least twice a week prior to that day. I knew she looked forward to every half hour trip to the alter of light, but moving forward, I felt a bit saddened that is was being taken away.

The one thing that has stayed relatively the same is mama’s manicures. Ann’s arsenal is quite impressive and I can’t tell you how many Caboodles have come and gone in our home. She has it all and then some, but there’s one item that she’s a stickler for.

Back in the day, she asked me to pick up some cotton balls and a nail file when I came home from work. Of course I did and like most men, I got something so simple, so wrong. I picked up a pack of one hundred cotton balls and a pack of brown nail files. When I got home Ann just shook her head and headed out. When she came back she walked up to me, never saying a word and held the pack of brown nails I had purchased in one hand and in her other hand was a dark pink and white, very wide, double-sided emory board. She then preceded to hand me the brown nail files and then went about her business. From that day on, Ann was heard loud and clear.

She was extremely thrilled once our girls reached the age where they could begin doing their nails together. However, she’ll tell you she isn’t so thrilled about “those who will remain nameless” who take her supplies. Usually Ann will find certain “items” that have come up missing and in some cases find her nail polish has been used to paint a pretty picture.

During all of her pregnancies, I can remember Ann being ecstatic about her nails. “They’re so healthy,” she’d exclaim, “I can’t believe these are all mine!” She would flaunt her natural grown and manicured nails around the house and even make it a point to show me an even bigger surprise. She would spend a considerable amount of time at the store trying to find the right color. Not because the colors weren’t to her liking or she was trying to find a color that she used to use… no, she’d spend that time trying to find a shade that would catch my eye. All that for little old me.

So in honor of every extra mile a woman will go, I present this nail file. Every time I see a nail file now, I am reminded that I am who she wishes to see. I look forward to every twist and every turn that offers her a moment of peace and most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.


Medium: Watercolors
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Thursday, October 16, 2014

Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website:


Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!