There is a better than average chance that this was my idea but at 7 my sister was a very willing participant, if not instigator. Being 15 I was the one traveling with bright red nail polish, which does throw a bit of suspicion my way.
We tiptoed over to Dad's bed and pulled back the comforter. There they were, ten big old man toenails just aching to be bright red. Toe by toe we covered them all, he barely moved, save a few loud snore grunts. Leaving the comforter back, so as not to ruin his pedicure, we went to bed.
Dad woke up first, always an early riser, especially in Mexico. Ashley and I slumbered on until he could take it no more, "get up lazy girls, let's go get breakfast". He slid into his old huaraches, the ones he had made for him every year, and we walked across the street. I first saw them when we stepped outside, the bright sun reflecting gloriously off of Dad's ten shiny red toes. They peaked out from the front of his huaraches, those wonderful old sandals braided together with rough leather, all attached to an old tire tread sole. They were truly hideous, an absolute departure for my wonderful buttoned up father. He wore them constantly, but never like this before.
The minute Ashley saw the toes I knew we were finished, there was no way we could keep this under control while our big former football playing father stepped to the counter, his sparkly toes begging for an outdoor table with a nice view. His large frame kept his eyes at least six feet from his pretty toes; I think he was somewhere in his chilaquiles before he stole a glance at his feet. And there they were, in all their manicured glory, ten glorious toes that he had never before studied with such intensity.
"My toenails are pink."
We giggled, "really kind of red Dad, not so much pink".
This was a man who, having graduated from Texas A&M, was well versed in every shade of maroon known. The subtle differences in pink and red escaped him.
"We'll be removing this soon?"
Yes, of course, but I didn't have any polish remover. And Dad didn't have any other shoes so we walked the three blocks to the pharmacy and used his toes as a visual aid to describe, in my high school (but not fluent in beauty products) Spanish what we needed. The nice lady smiled and nodded, as if we were the 43rd American tourist family to come in that day looking for polish remover for our father's toes.
We begged him to stay red for the day, he insisted it be removed before going to dinner. Dad's brush with his wild side lasted less than six hours, time enough for him to outdo his previous record of total "God Dammit Allyson" expletives hurled at me, one fired off every time he glanced down at his feet.
Those huaraches had never looked better, he wore it well.