A rather traumatic experience happened to me when I was in Taipei last weekend with my grandma. You see, after a day of walking around in the city, she was complaining about a bit of toe pain and she reckoned that it was because her big toenail was a little too long.
So there we were, sitting in our hotel room a few hours before dinner when my grandma, who was examining her somewhat blackened toenail with her leg up on the bed, asked me if I had a nail clipper. I said I didn’t, but I was sure that the hotel staff would, so I ordered one up and five minutes later had it in my hands.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but as I passed her the nail clipper, it was pretty obvious that it was gonna be ME doing the cutting (NOT her) so when she asked me to help, I was a bit hesitant to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I love my G-ma to bits and it’s not that I didn’t want to help her, but 1) I’m not a huge fan of touching other peoples’ feet and 2) I really didn’t think I’d be able to cut her toenail at all!
You see, my G-ma’s toenail is no ordinary toenail and I’ve had my share of battles with it over the years. Instead of being thin, flat and manageable, it’s more like a fossilized rock that refuses to budge, taunting me with its multiple layers and various shades of beige-to-brown. There was no way I was going to even fit that into the mouth of the nail clipper…
But, being the good grand-daughter that I am, I gave it my best shot. With bare hands, I grabbed her toe and started clipping away like I would trim a hedge. Little by little, bits of nail flew off her toe like tiny eraser shreds, but the difference was microscopic. I needed to try harder, so I rolled up my sleeves and started jabbing the nail clipper deeper into her toe going CLIP-CLIP-CLIP, thinking I was making good progress when suddenly, I heard her scream, “AIIYAA!!!”
I’ll spare you the (gory) details but can you imagine the horror I felt when I found out I’d cut right into my G-ma’s toe instead of her evil toenail!? AIYA, indeed…and total fail I might add. Needless to say, she preferred having toenail pain vs. having her toe cut open pain so the nail clipping session came to a screeching halt right then and there… Luckily, my G-ma didn’t blame me at all, but I still feel horrible!! 😦