I met this lady at the Further With Ford Conference.
We had breakfast at the same table earlier that day, so when I saw her during a tour of Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant later, I spoke. Nothing serious, small talk. I work at Glam.com. I have a blog I neglect. The usual.
She goes on to tell me that about all of the different press trips that she’s been on in the past month or so. She told me that she was in New York the week prior with another car brand and had the time of her life. She had dinner at Beauty & Essex, and if I ever go, I should have the fried chicken biscuits. If I’m into jazz, I should try Mintons in Harlem. “But take a date,” she warned me. “It’s expensive.”
She pauses to catch her breath and then tells me that she has stage four cancer.
I didn’t know how to react. I was amazed that she was so active. That she would want to travel away from her husband and family. That she still maintained her site. But what struck me most of all, and I hope that you won’t find this shallow that I noticed this, but, her red nails.
The woman told me that she couldn’t wear open toe sandals because her toe nails had fallen off from chemo. I instantly looked her over for clues that she was sick, thinking, maybe I missed some obvious sign.
She was wearing makeup. She had a rather low haircut, but she has such a pretty face, I just assumed it was her choice. She wore long dangly earrings. And her finger nails, what was left of them, were painted red.
I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want to make her feel like a victim. Especially when she so clearly declared to me, at least, in this moment, that she wouldn’t be one. Instead, I just gave her a kiss on the cheek and a hug.
I’m not sure that was the appropriate response either.
It’s funny, or interesting, I should say. My life coach asked me why I loved fashion so much. When I saw my Godfather a little over a week later in San Francisco, he asked me the same thing. I told them both: It isn’t about labels, or being flashy, or even trends in my opinion. It’s about what a person chooses to do with those things. Fashion, in its truest form, to me, is the ability to say who you are, as a person without ever having to speak.
Those red finger nails told me so much more than that woman could ever.
But most importantly, never to give up. To be, in a sense, strong as nails.
Wearing: J.Crew Factory Tee Shirt// J.Crew Factory Skirt// J.Crew Sandals// Kate Spade Necklace// Louis Vuitton Bag
p.s. I’m wearing Channing on my lips and tips–a custom shade by Sonia Tisdel-McNeil of Sonia Tisdel Beauty! Check her out, she can create a custom color just for you! This one is based on my logo