The Showcase Magazine - Articles

Blue Fake Fingernail

By Monica Giglio

My mother was worried for weeks, after falling at my niece’s wedding years ago. She and dad, both in their 70’s were delightfully jitterbugging and without warning, suddenly mom was falling to the floor taking dad with her. They landed with a crash and they both hit their heads hard.

Everyone stopped dancing and came to their rescue in the middle of the dance floor where they both lay. “What happened? Are you ok? How did you fall?” We all asked. There was nothing on the floor they may have tripped on, no untied shoelaces or any obvious causes. Neither she nor dad knew why they fell or what happened. With help they were able to get up on their feet and be seated for the remainder of the celebration. Mom put her sneakers on and her dress shoes went into a plastic bag. No more dancing for them that night! They were both relatively fit and falling was not common for either of them as the trauma began to subside, the nagging, burning, desire to understand what happened gnawed at both of them.

Mom and dad had black eyes that seemed to bruise half their faces. They both had other assorted bumps and bruises. Over the next few days they were both uneasy, especially mom. She couldn’t rest until she solved the mystery of what unseen forces were at work, strong enough to take them both to the floor. A fall like that could have been much worse and she was grateful it wasn’t! She wondered if she’d passed out and fell but had no memory of it. She made an appointment with her doctor to see if a mini stroke or something worse caused them to fall. She was afraid it might happen again. Finally, weeks after the wedding, I got a phone call.“

Now I know why I fell!” Mom was relieved to have an answer to the question that had haunted her. She was happy to know it wasn’t a medical condition that took them down. But she was also somewhat perturbed, and maybe a little angry at the same time. She had finally taken her heels out of the plastic bag to put them away.“

I found someone’s light blue fake fingernail stuck to the heel of my shoe! That’s why we fell! It was like having ice on the bottom of the shoe!” It’s curved shape and shiny surface indeed would have been like glass. I knew this because to my chagrin, that fingernail had belonged to me! I felt terrible. I knew I had to tell her immediately it was mine. I had to tell her. I paused trying to think of a clever way to break the news. Nothing was coming to me, so I just blurted out my confession.“

Mom. I’m so sorry that was my fake nail! I feel horrible, I had fake nails on at the wedding. I feel so bad!”

Of course she never held it against me. It was just a freak accident and she was glad the mystery was solved.