Looking at my new gel manicure, shiny and dark gray, I was so happy. It took all of 30 seconds for my mother’s voice inside my head to pipe up in disapproval. She has been gone 15 years and yet my internal dialogue with her continues.
My mom and I always butted heads, not over the big things in life but all the little details. She hated my trendy preppy clothes in high school instead buying me Pendleton or Brooks Brothers “classics” that I refused to wear. She cringed at my choices in jewelry, wondering why anyone would wear black rubber bracelets that looked like “refrigerator o-rings”. She sighed loudly when I would try to engage her on the upside to libertarian politics or how horror movies were an important part of pop culture. “You certainly have a lot of opinions for someone your age.”
Now these gray nails. Even 15 years after she died, I can still hear her reaction in my head. “Honey, finally taking care of your nails! But that gray? Yuck. Why can’t you find a nice pink or red?”
Funny thing is that while we bickered back and forth all my life, I would give anything to be able to pick up the phone or send her a picture of these gray nails just to hear her response once more. I remember and miss these small interactions, where it was nothing urgent or important, just everyday life, and the kind of conversation where you roll your eyes affectionately at each other. Everyday I see moms and daughters do this and It makes me want to call my mom.
Maybe next time I will try blue nails. My internal mom dialogue is waiting for it.