Wednesday, October 05, 2005

maintenance and manicures

I've spent the day finishing up the work on the upstairs baseboards. The rooms are looking good, but my hands are a mess. I hate wearing gloves, and as a result, I have paint in places I don't want to think about, including between my fingers and under my nails, and this after scrubbing so well and so long I could probably have done surgery.

I'm going to the symphony tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon, and to look presentable I’m going to need a manicure and pedicure. Every time I go for a manicure, I feel as if I’m back in high school and I’ve been called out of class to the principal’s office. I know I haven’t actually done anything wrong, but I also know that I’m going to end up feeling as if I have. Whether the manicurist is male or female, young or old, it’s always the same: they take one look at my hands and nails, tsk tsk loudly, and ask, "What is it you do for a living again?"

They never seem to understand that I prefer my own nails, and I prefer them short and unpolished most of the time. Nevertheless, short nails or not, I’m not above having them painted a glorious Kickass Red when I’m in the mood, and when I’m going to the symphony, I’m in the mood. I always go to the same place for my manicures and pedicures, and the regulars know not to try to talk me into Power Nails (acrylics) or their idea of a good color. I have very definite ideas of my own on what constitutes a good color, and as I’m paying, I get to choose, and as for Power Nails...forget it. I tried those once, years ago, when I was going to some very dressy event. I managed to dislodge one within the first couple of hours (I think I was opening a jar and slipped), which meant a trip back to the shop to have it redone, and then...those frigging long nails got in the way of everything I do. I couldn’t get them off fast enough, and getting them off was no picnic...I vowed never again, and I’ve kept that promise.

I’m a low maintenance woman. Most of the time, I do my own manicures and pedicures and even cut my own hair, although a couple of times a year I do have my hair cut professionally. I’ve been going to the same guy for haircuts for several years, and his reaction on seeing me is similar to that of the manicurists.

Tuan always welcomes me warmly, no matter how long it’s been since I’ve been in. I suspect the warmth with which he greets me has more to do with the fact that I tip well than with any actual desire on his part to see me. Nevertheless, he always gives me a big hug, and exclaims enthusiastically: "Zhoodie! Long time, no see! Welcome back!" He then takes my hand and leads me to a chair in front of a huge mirror, with lighting that makes me look about 15 years older than I am (at least, I HOPE that’s what’s happening in that mirror). I sit down in the chair and he moves behind me and begins to run his hands through my hair. Slowly picking up long strands of my hair from each side of my head, he looks at the strands noncommitally, and then, making eye contact in the mirror, says, in a sad voice, "Zhoodie, you do not geev me much to work weeth!"

What can I say? Tuan is right.

Tomorrow the manicurists have their work cut out for them.


Lisa said...

I must admit to an attachment to acrylic nails. Like you, I keep my nails short...or what I do for a living does... And I hate the way nail polish looks on short least on my short, stubby little fingers. So, during the holidays, when I know there are many events I'm going to want to go to, I go and get the "Power Nails" as you call them. They are somewhat of a pain until you learn to navigate them...some activities, like putting on earrings or eye make-up, become extreme challenges. But I put up with that because I love the way they look. Come January, I'm usually so sick of being an acrylic nail cripple that I tear them off.

Lisa :-]

emmapeeldallas said...

"An acrylic nail cripple" - I'm sitting here chuckling at that description - that pretty much describes it for me, but I know that many women would disagree with me.


judithheartsong said...


oh my this cracked me up. I used to always wear make-up and my nails and hair were long. In this new life the make-up is gone, the nails are short (and usually have paint under them) and the hair is worn however I please at the moment, from buzzed to layered.
You be you...... whatever that means from day to day. How very delightful. I bet your nails will be gorgeous!

:) judi

Shermeen said...

(laughs) i love stumbling across great journals like yours. have to add you to my alerts.
i'm with you on the nail front. when it comes to every day, i just like them short and clean. i don't got anywhere near acrylic cause it's not all that good for your nails. Hope you have a good time at the symphony!

Take care, i'll come back again soon.
Shermeen x

Shaz said...

Zhoooodie made me laugh like a loon with this one .
I just cant do the whole acrylics thing.....apart from making me type like a ham fisted chimpanzee it takes me three hours to negotiate going to the toilet ...4 if im wearing pantyhose ! x

Paul said...

I work with a secretary who takes great pride in having her nails done every other week--her little luxury. We have a tradition. She holds them up in front of her chest for me to see, and I say, "That's a beautiful set."

emmapeeldallas said...

LOL! Why does that not surprise me? :)


De said...

Zhoodie! I miss civilization and "power nails". These peeps out here in the desert just won't let us nurses wear them! I have to admit, when I got my first set (sounds like my first bra), I didn't think I would be able to start another IV again, ever. Now I've had to learn to start an IV without my glamor tips! LOL! De

Chris said...

Ugggh! We're redoing Trevor's closet today. I have LiquidNails on my palms and it's not coming off.