What Good Are They Anyhow?

No, I’m not talking about men… this is a running blog. LOL

I’m talking about toenails. It seems to be a topic that has been widely discussed among my running buddies lately.

I used to get pedicures every month. That is, until I was starting to lose a toenail last winter. Then I was too embarrassed to show my feet to my manicurist, Tammy. So I saved a few dollars and painted them myself. I bought a bunch of funky hip colors and figured they wouldn’t look any worse that what I had going on with my feet and toes—black nails, loose nails, blistered toes. I even got a white nail paint pen and painted a little heart on the offending and dying toenail. I was sad that it was coming off and not sure what would be underneath. I figured I would look like I had deformed toes with a nail-less toe. And I was okay with that. Because I am a runner now. I considered it a runner’s right of passage, a badge of honor. My toenailless (yes, I made that word up) feet would shout “Look at me… I’m a runner!”

I love my nails!
I love my painted toes!

I eventually went back in for pedicures, because I missed them. Sitting in the pedicure massage chair, having someone else clean my toenails, scrap my calluses and massage my feet and lower legs was a luxury I was not willing to forgo for very long. I resumed my monthly indulgence after my toenail had fallen off. I was lucky in that there was a brand new nail almost all grown out underneath it. It surprised me really. Toenails are just like kid’s teeth when they are loosing them. They only fall out if there is a new one growing in. Remember when you would have one hanging by a thread and you would twist it around relentlessly till it finally detached from that string of gum that held it so strongly? That’s how my toe nail was. I could twist it around at one point because it had loosened from the cuticle on all but one corner. It didn’t hurt really either.

After that first nail fell off–who am I fooling, I pulled it off in the end, then the new one fell off too a few months later. I guess once a toenail falls off the odds are the next one will too? Obviously that toe is getting rather bruised when I run. I also lost another one on the other foot that I didn’t even know was loose. During one of my foot spa visits, the pedicurist was cutting my toenails and then said… this one is coming off and cut what was left of it off. Now months later, that nail is about to fall off for a second time. ((sigh))

Last year a friend told me that some people keep all their old toenails on a necklace. I pictured something similar to a puca shell necklace. Of course I thought he was kidding, because how gross would that be? Way more disgusting than me keeping all the lost teeth my two boys shed when they were little. See…

don't ask...
tooth fairy collection…

Why do I still have them? IDK. Their from my babies.

Now a toenail necklace peaked my curiosity, so I did a google search and guess what? There are some folks (okay, maybe just one) out there that save their fallen nails and what’s a runner to do, but make them into a necklace of course! Hmmm.. maybe I should make a bracelet with my kids teeth? J.K.

You can read about the toenail necklace by clicking the heart.  For those of you that want to cut to the chase and don’t want to read about the toenail necklace, here is a lovely pic for that instant gratification. You know you’re curious!

(click to enlarge):

on everybody's xmas list I'm sure!!
on everybody’s xmas list I’m sure!!

It looks like this guy takes toenail donations for… uh… his necklace creations? Maybe I should send him mine? Again, I kid. It’s rather gross actually, but who am I to judge, I still have my kids teeth!!!

We lose our toenails because of all the trauma our feet endure when we pile on the mileage. The fact that they come off makes me wonder why we need them at all. Exactly what purpose do they serve on our feet besides an additional expense for women (and some men?) getting them painted pretty colors on a monthly basis?

In the past they probably served a higher purpose as we are linked with primates and they used their feet with the same dexterity as their hands. We are more evolved and therefore don’t use our feet for intricate uses… when is the last time you had to use your toenails to do… well… anything??

The only purpose I can see for having toenails is to paint them (sorry guys). Or use them for the occasional scratching of my lower legs while I’m lying in bed and don’t want to reach down with my hands.

Other than that… what good are they anyway?
You tell me.

Are there any other tooth fairies out there with a collection of their own? (don’t worry, I’m not looking to start a crazy tooth necklace business… just curious)


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