A month or so ago, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, I caught my thumb in my car door. It was pretty gross and painful, and I admit I’ve been a big baby about it through the healing process, which is taking forever. It’s still swollen and numb, but ALSO tender, if that’s possible (sniffs, and feels sorry for herself). The problem is that I didn’t quite lose the nail, but there’s another one coming up under it. John offered to remove it with a pair of pliers; I queasily declined.



Turns out my dermatologist offered to do the same thing. Yes, I have a dermatologist, but in the interest of full disclosure, I see him twice a year for Botox. I’ve been doing so for years and years, because nothing is more beautiful than a face full of poison. Thanks to my doctor, I manage to keep most of my wrinkles at bay, but I’m incapable of looking angry, or even very surprised. For the record, that’s the extent of my cosmetic procedures. That, and the occasional glass of virgins’ tears.


So there I was getting shot up with toxic bacteria, when I thought to ask the good doctor, who of course deals with skin, hair and nails, what to do with my grody thumb. He said the old nail needed to come off, and said he could do it right then and there. No time like the present, I thought, thinking how bad could it be? First came the freezing, which was excruciating, and I thought I had a high tolerance for pain. Then came the first attempt at removal, which failed because it wasn’t frozen enough (you ok? Are you enjoying this yet?) He topped up the freezing, and left me to see another patient, at which point the receptionist popped her head in to see what the screaming was about. You don’t usually hear that kind of hollering in a cosmetic clinic. I imagine it’s bad for business.

To make a long and gruesome story short, the doctor got the nail off, and yes, he used pliers, but they were PROFESSIONAL pliers. And now, Thumbie has no face. It could take 6 months to grow back, and in the mean time my naked thumb is useless. I can’t shake hands, or snap my fingers, or hitchhike, so there go my chances of joining an itinerant swing band. Furthermore, my Christmas piano recital is coming up, and I can’t practice without wincing. “Do you think I’ll be good enough to perform?” I asked John anxiously. “Well, you never really were”, he said kindly, which is true.



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