Posts Tagged "beauty"

How to Polish Your Nails: Then and Now

Dear Kid,

The choices we make about nail polish can say a lot about us. DearKidLoveMom.comWhen 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.

Love, Mom

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Venus, Cassiopeia, Orion, and Unhealthy Vanity

Dear Kid,

If you happen to live in this hemisphere, and if you happen to be awake early enough in the morning that it is still dark, and if you happen to be outside, and if it happens to be reasonably cloudless, take a moment to look up.

Right now, Venus is shining so brightly it hurts. You can tell it’s Venus because it is far too bright to be a star and it’s not moving particularly quickly (you might think it’s an airplane, but it’s Venus).

I love the constellations this time of year. Cassiopeia is one of my favorites. This is probably my favorite time of year for stars. I love seeing Orion and Cassiopeia (she’s the one that looks like a W [unless it’s an M]) in the sky. They are larger than life this time of year and wonderful fall constants.

I’m guessing you don’t know the story of Cassiopeia. So, being the kind of mom I am, I shall tell it to you.

Queen Cassiopeia was the wife of King Cepheus. She was beautiful and vain (you know that when you add Queen plus Mythology plus Vain the story is not going to have a happy ending for the queen).

Cassiopeia boasted that both she (Cassiopeia) and her daughter (Andromeda) were more beautiful than all the Nereids, the nymph daughters of one of the lesser sea gods. Again, if you think you’re more beautiful than a god’s daughters, if you ARE more beautiful than a god’s daughter – perhaps especially if you are – keep your silly mouth shut about it. Look beautiful, be humble, live long.

Not so much for Cassiopeia.

She made her views on her beauty perfectly clear. And Poseidon (head god of the sea) got royally annoyed.

An angry sea god is not a trifling matter, what with him being in charge of floods, earthquakes, and sea monsters all of which can severely damage the infrastructure of a country and the inhabitants therein.

So Cepheus (the king) and Cassiopeia (the queen) decided to consult an oracle to find out What To Do. And once one (or in this case two) has consulted an oracle, one had best do what one is told because otherwise why did you ask?

The oracle said to sacrifice Andromeda. “Oh, the waste of such beauty,” said Cassiopeia, “but at least it’s not me.” So they chained Andromeda to a rock at the edge of the sea where she could look beautiful and await a sea monster.

Fortunately for Andromeda, Perseus happened to be flying by with his borrowed winged shoes (he’d just killed Medusa), and being a Hero kind of guy he rescued her and eventually married her.

To recap, everyone was now happy except Poseidon who thought that Cassiopeia had just weaseled her way out of a red card. So he tied her to a chair and stuck her in the sky in such a way that she is right side up half the time and upside down the rest of the time.

No word on whether Cassiopeia likes rollercoasters or gets sea sick when she’s upside down.

Enjoy the fall stars. And Venus.

Love, Mom

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