When I was in 5th grade, my best friend Judy T. and I would stay up all night painting our nails. We stayed up all night because A) that’s what 5th grade girls do and B) our nails were a Production of Intricacy and Major Proportions.
Between gossip and snacks and life goals, we would first plan. This was important because we had nearly 9 billion shades of polish to choose from and One Had To Get It Right.
Between more gossip and snacks and life goals, we would paint. First the base coat. Then the first and second coats of color (probably not the same color on all nails and DEFINITELY not the same colors on hands and feet).
Then came the artistic portion of the evening. We added stripes and polka dots and dots within dots. Remember, this was back in the days before this was commercially available. It was a Process.
And we loved every minute of it.
I remember (might have been in 6th grade by then) a teacher (a man, but I don’t know why that should matter) looking at my nails and commenting that I wasn’t nearly old enough to have purple fingernails. Au contraire, my friend.
Painting my nails these days is usually a little different.
First there is the matter of removing existing polish which is no easy feat (read about it here if you’ve forgotten).
Choosing a color is no easier than it was in 5th grade. Not only have the cosmetics companies made every shade imaginable available in a polish, they’ve also created shimmers and glitters and gels and shines and mattes and magnetics and…the list goes on. These days I’ve been drawn toward either Brisbane Bronze or Tanacious Spirit (get it? Tan?). I think my next career should be as the person who thinks up the names for nail polishes and lipsticks.
The real challenge is that nail polish requires time to dry (I remember when Uncle David first explained to me that nail polish drying was nail polish liquid evaporating—mind blown) and time is something I am generally in short supply of.
I’ve taken to painting my nails in the car on the way to work. Red light—paint one hand. Red light—paint the other hand. Rinse and repeat with a second coat.
There are problems with this. The first is that—inevitably—when I want to paint my nails on the way to the office, every light magically turns green. The second is that this is much (MUCH) less enjoyable when the temperature is minus 400 and one would really rather shove one’s hands deep in furry mittens.
For the record, mittens (furry or not) and wet nail polish do not mix well.