Tuesday, September 22, 2009

what i want now...

A manicure.

I’ve only had one manicure in my entire life.

It was two days before my wedding and I went to the salon to have a manicure and pedicure.

My sister and my mom came along. I can’t remember if they got their nails done too, but they’re not the point of this story, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

I remember being embarrassed, apologizing to the nail lady {technician?} about my short nails and picked cuticles.

I had good intentions of letting my nails grow for my wedding day, but as the stress built up, I did what I always did, and picked at my nails and cuticles until they were red and raw.

I am not a nail biter and never have been, but I think I take after my mom and her sister in the picking department. We are cuticle pickers. And although I loathe band aids, I always remember my mom having a band aid around her most recent hangnail. My aunt is the same way. Rarely will you see her hands without a band aid wrapped around a fingertip.

But not me, I despise band aids – on any part of my body really, but on my hands the most. They get wet and soggy and the little blood stain visible from the outside is disgusting. I’d rather leave my cuticles and cuts to heal in the open air. And maybe, I often thought, when they are not hidden from the public, I will be so embarrassed oneday, that I will stop. Stop picking, and pulling and bleeding.

And so, on that day, mere hours before my wedding, as she was attempting to make my little stubs of nails look elegant, because above all else, I was sorely opposed to fake nails, all I could think about was how embarrassing it was to have someone trying to make my gross nails look nice for the biggest day of my life.

And so I sat there, apologizing to a woman I’m sure has seen worse. And before knew it, she made my sad nails look great. Creamy and opaque, she worked her magic on them, and when I see the pictures of our wedding now, I don’t notice how short my nails were, but how shiny and bright my wedding ring looked next to my perfectly manicured nails.

So, why am I telling you this, you ask?

Well, since then, I’ve {almost} stopped picking my fingers entirely. I will admit, there are the days when old habits return in a haze of boredom or anxiety, but for the most part my hands always look pretty nice – except for the occasional cooking burn.

I give the credit to the my use of neutral nail polish and top coat. I almost always have a coat or two of creamy beige polish on my fingernails. After years of complaining about thin nails, I have found the key – put stuff on them to make them thicker.

So I do.

Curtis makes fun of me, because at least once a week {he’ll say it’s more, but he’s wrong} I sit at the dining room table and do my nails. He thinks I use the excuse, “but my nails are wet,” too often when he asks me to do something. In reality it is barely once a week.

But that’s how I’ve cut down on hangnails and nails picked down to the quick. I keep them polished, then they look too good to mess with.

The other effect of polishing my nails is that they grow like weeds.

I don’t like long fingernails, and because I’ve never had this problem before, I am un-used to the need to file or cut my nails down. Now, however, I find that I have to make an effort to keep them at a length I like. When I can’t dip my finger into a tub of lipgloss without getting it under my nail – that’s when I know they have to be shorter.

So. Now summer is over and the weather is transitioning to fall and all I find myself wanting is a manicure.

Some ask why I don’t just go get them done. And although I know it really doesn’t cost that much, it just seems so extravagant. But all I keep thinking about is how that lady made me feel on my wedding day, and how I would love a dark coat of something dramatic to start of the autumn in style.

So I might, just might, see if I can make myself an appointment in the next couple weeks to get them done. A small splurge, and I’ll forgo highlights for another couple weeks to afford it, and I’ll use that as my excuse why I can’t do the dishes or change the laundry.

*photo above was taken when my wedding ring was being fixed...hence the cute, stackable rings, sans diamond


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