My Problem with Painting My Nails (and Wearing Thongs)

Something I hear a lot: “Your nails are so short!” This is not said in an admiring tone, mind you. No. What they are thinking is “Aren’t you supposed to be a girl? A delicate rose-petal-scented specimen who gets weekly manicures and biweekly bikini waxes? Who wears a tight, lacy, leopard print thong every day and likes it? Who has sleepovers and sometimes casual sex with her 18 closest girlfriends?”

Well. First of all, no. None of the above. Manicures are frightfully expensive, seeing as you’re paying for someone to spread a toxic combination of dye and chemicals onto your body. Thanks to your nearest Rite Aid, you can subject yourself to a just as pleasant asphyxiation for only $3.99!

Ever had a wedgie you couldn’t fix? That is, by definition, a thong. But if you crave the feeling of a germy string flossing your buttcrack all day, be my guest. Also, have you ever worn a nice, snug thong while sprinting after a gang of children in a spirited game of freeze tag? That could potentially land you in the ER. One of the girls in my freshman-year dorm told me, “I’ve heard panty lines are the worst fashion faux pas for women,” as she checked out her own ass in the mirror. Needless to say, I was not wearing a thong that day. Hint taken… Now I check.

Anyways, back to the nails. It’s quite difficult to articulate just what about painting my nails is so aggravating. It always starts out so promising.

It’s a lovely day, the clouds have cleared from the sky, it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and on cue, I begin to sweat and burn to a crisp simultaneously. A true Seattleite. What a perfect opportunity to sit on the porch and paint my nails! I can’t decide if my favorite soundtrack to this day is my next-door neighbor using the leaf-blower on his roof or my other next-door neighbor attempting to hack up a quart of phlegm onto his lawn.

Either way, I go about finding the perfect color for my nails. My selection looks like this: firetruck red, bright pink, baby blanket pink, duckweed green, black, baby blue, sparkly blue, clear. Oh, what a choice. It’s obvious I haven’t ventured to paint my nails since I was about twelve. I decide on the eye-popping red because it could be classy. Marilyn Monroe probably wore this color. Actually, she probably only ever had a French manicure with white tips, which is impossible for me because I have bitten my nails down to the point where it looks like I’ve just galloped across the Great Wall of China on my fingertips.

Next: Apply the polish. It pours off the brush in great droplets onto my nail, immediately contaminating the surrounding skin. ShitI don’t want my damn skin painted. I hate this part. I take a Q-tip and maneuver it around my fingernail at a snail’s pace, yet still manage to graze the nail, leaving a nice blotch in the polish. My perfectionism requires me to remove all the polish from that nail, start over, and repeat this process 3 times per nail.

Then comes the right hand. Imagine a blind sloth in Paraguay gripping a laser beam in one toe and aiming it at the shell of a single pecan over in Uruguay. That is my left hand trying to paint a fingernail on my right.

Lastly (1.5 hours of Hell later), the polish needs to dry. Note: this will take five minutes longer than the point at which you decide it is dry and touch it. Reapply.


2 thoughts on “My Problem with Painting My Nails (and Wearing Thongs)

  1. I am the same way about my nails, well, about painting them – I love having my nails long. But I am completely incapable of painting them myself! One finger (maybe two) out of ten will come out perfect, and the rest will look like a drunken six year old took a stab at them.
    And I’m with you on the thongs too.

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