from an original online journal entry in October, 2012, on the wearing of my grandmother’s fake pearl necklace, who passed in June of the same year.
They are fake, but the oversized high-quality kind with an extra perfect shine to make up for their faux style. I was examining them, trying to remember the last time I’d seen my grandmother dress up when, looking at my hands, the cognitive processes of “people say I resemble her a great deal” and “I should do more with my nails” collided into a powerful, simple memory.
She used to get her nails done, every week or so, at least to my child’s sense of time, as far as I remember, and I would get to go with her all the time. I was too young for school and when I was school-aged, I refused to go initially. I wasn’t ready, I had insisted. This meant a lot of time with my grandmother, which I loved.
At the salon she went to, we were regulars, a duo. She would chat and get her nails done and the ladies would polish my nails and trim and paint them clear as I sat beside my grandmother. Ammonia, I remember smelling, and lots of quick feminine chatter and high laughter I heard, but the most powerful sense of this one was my favourite reason for going: soft mints.
There was always a bowl or three of these pastel coloured soft mints, like little puffy square pillows of delicious with just the right crunch that instantly melted into a mouthful of joy. The ladies loved to feed me these and my chubby cheeked self loved to eat them. I would indulge sometimes in an entire bowl on my own.
Now that I’m older and have lost the chance, I regret never having taken her out to get her nails done again. I’m thankful for the time I did have with her, but I lament that this never occurred to me before tonight. I lament on many missed opportunities with her.
When I was little, I used to think heaven was in the sky. Maybe I’ve said that before.
Now, I like to think the clouds taste like soft mints. Maybe there’s a bowl full of cloud for me somewhere too.