Nanny’s Sofa

Nanny's Sofa

Before she passed away last fall, my grandmother owned a sofa in this exact pattern.  And she just friggin’ loathed that thing.  Kill it with fire, you could not.  It was simply indestructible, and being of that generation that would never think to part with a thing over something as “insignificant” as its looks, she kept it.  For nearly 20 years.  You know, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t believe I ever saw her sit on that sofa.  She had her chair that she always sat in and a couple of other occasional chairs, but the couch was the big, slippery, dusty rose-printed elephant in the room.

I imagine that the sofa came into being in much the same way as these nails – totally by accident.  I was actually aiming for a soft, delicate floral design.  It wasn’t until I sat back and took a good look at my work that I realized I had created something that could most charitably be referred to as chesterfield-esque.  And in case I had any doubts, when I showed them to my husband and noted that they were not quite what I originally had in mind, he said, “What, you weren’t going for your grandmother’s couch?”  Sigh.

Nanny Nails

Luminous Owl Light Sun

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my grandmother.  At 90 years old, after a full lifetime of absolutely stable, overwhelmingly positive health, she’s finally beginning to fade.  I don’t like to think about this too much, both because she’s doing a tremendous job of being brave, as should I, but also because I have the luxury of living close to her and being able to see her often, which is when I invariably note that she hasn’t yet given in to the fade, as evidenced by her desire to continue dressing in nice clothes, surrounding herself with pretty things and, as per her lifelong custom, painting her nails.

My grandmother (I call her Nanny) is a woman of few vanities.  She’s always worn makeup, set her hair and visited the salon for occasional touch-ups, but I think this is more a function of being a woman of “that generation” (namely ladies who really knew how to turn it out) than an overwhelming love of and for certain beauty rituals.  But her nails?  She’s ALWAYS loved doing her nails (long, strong ovals to this day), particularly in shades from the muted pink-mauve-brown end of the colour spectrum.

So a couple of weeks back when she gifted me with a bit of birthday money, I exercised zero restraint and, taking a page from her handbook, immediately ordered up two polishes on my perpetual wish list, Cirque’s holographic Luminous Owl and Sky Woman, both of which arrived yesterday.  I started with Luminous Owl, drawn to its vaguely rusty-looking hue and gorgeous holo shimmer.  Here’s the Owl twinkling prettily under my kitchen pot lights:Luminous Owl Pot Lights

After I took all the necessary pictures for this blog, I sat around staring at my new find in a kind of dumbfounded stupor (come on, we all do it!), this stupor made all the more perplexing by the deja vu I was experiencing – as in, I have owned this polish before.  Which I must say is simply not possible, for as beautiful and unique as I find the colour, it’s not a polish I would ever, ever, ever think to buy (until, of course, I actually bought it.)  Coppery-pink polishes with brown undertones are generally not my jam, and besides, it’s Finger Candy financial and organizational policy to never buy two of a too-similar polish.  So where on earth had I previously run across this lovely gem?

Suddenly it dawned on me – my grandmother.  I can think of only one lady powerless to the lure of a beautiful browny-pink polish like Luminous Owl, and while I can say with total certainty that she’d never buy a Cirque polish (would be SCANDALIZED by its price tag, actually), she has worn some variation of it nearly every day of her 90 years, which is surely where I’ve “seen” this nail polish before.  It’s a Nanny polish, no doubt, and simply sporting it on my nails puts a smile on my face, as sometimes these things truly are genetic. 😉

So in the interest of filling her in on what I purchased with my birthday funds, I’ll show her these pictures and then whip out my bottle of Luminous Owl, see if she’s in the mood for a mani with what I’d dub “the good shit” (though I’d never say that to her – it’s sage life advice to never swear around your grandmother.)  It will be delightful to share in a common interest, even if that interest is something as prosaic as silly old nail polish.  And anything that takes her mind off the larger issues at hand by prettying up her hands can never be considered a bad thing. 🙂