I am a creature of habit. I like routine. I am comforted by “The Same” of it all. Shakeups and unpredictability are fun for me now and then (alright, depending on what it is); I can rise to the occasion and have fun with something different, but in general terms and daily details I am all cozy with what I’m used to.

Which is why, when my friend/co-worker said to me “We’re not painting your nails a boring color this time, are we?” I trembled a little bit.

Yeah, it’s just nails*.

No, I’m not a shallow person. There are bigger decisions to be made and the matter of nail polish color is nothing so life-changingly important that it requires a tremble. But I did anyway.

I was in that kind of mood, though: “Why not?” I said. Going over to the tester rack that I so often browse with the clients who ask me to help them decide on a color for their nails, I scanned my eyes quickly over all of the choices, hating the idea of a dark red or a brown.

Then I remembered that we have twelve new-ish colors at the front desk, and as I walked over to check them out, I had a crazy thought: Purple. My next thought? “Ugh.”

But I made myself choose one. Really Melisa: step out of the box a little bit.

When I went back to K’s station with the bottle, she bounced up and down in her chair, all giddy and stuff. “Now we’re in business!” she exclaimed.

I told her to hurry up and put it on before I changed my mind.

But really, what is the problem here? Like I said, it’s only polish. My aversion to using the color has nothing to do with age: I’m not concerned that anyone would think I’m trying to act like a teenager again, and I’m not worried yet about being mistaken for an old woman who could care less what anyone thinks. I know for sure that Prince would approve. Heck, I could even get Donny Osmond on board.

My problem? Too tightly wound up in details. Too Type A. Too…wait a minute. Can someone tell me why am I pointing out my faults here on my own blog?

Anyway, I went for it. And when the sixteen-year-old got home from school, the first thing he said to me was “Hi.”

The second thing? “Wow. Those are PURPLE.”

I said, “Yeah. Crazy, huh?”

He replied, “No, they’re cool**.”

The younger boy noticed them immediately too, and we had the same general half-conversation.

My conclusion? I’ve got to relax a little bit.

Or get out more often. (or Get a Life?)

*One of the benefits of my job as a Salon Coordinator is that I get free nail services. As a nail biter, this is tremendous. I’ve had acrylic nails for the past 4 1/2 years and although it’s a pain in the a$$ to keep up with them via a maintenance appointment–at WORK–every two weeks, it has saved me from the pain I put myself in by biting my nails down to my wrists. Typically, because I don’t like people to notice my hands first (“Oh, HI hands!”), I stick with light pinks. I only wear reds or dark pinks very rarely. Purple? NEVER. Til today.

**He did not exclaim “WOW, COOL, MOM!!!” and his use of the word “cool” did not, in any sense of the word, imply that I am really Cool. (and I wasn’t looking for that) His tone was more of general approval.