Yesterday, I took the plunge. I had thought about it for several months, and finally worked up the courage.
I got acrylic nail extensions.
This is a big step for me (albeit a frivolous one), because I’ve had literally three manicures in my life. All three times were when I had a lot of extra time to fill in downtown Chicago and the person I was with encouraged it. I grew up thinking this sort of thing was an extravagance; non-essential. It is, of course, but there is something about my brittle, uneven nails that nag at me sometimes, especially when meeting parents or using the document camera. It feels...unprofessional sometimes.
So when I saw a fellow teacher with natural looking nails that were long and strong, I was envious. And when I found out it was something called a “pink and white”, I started to research.
I’m afraid of manicure salons. I know of someone who got a staph infection from one once. My mother always acts disgusted when you bring up having someone do your nails. And I don’t know the terminology - I just have to copy whoever I go with and pretend I understand what is going on. I do like when they have the massaging chair :).
I put this idea to rest for several months - got some recommendations of where to go, waited until my budget allowed it (you have to understand I cut my hair once a year - I don’t like spending time or money on salons). I just couldn’t get the courage to do it.
But there we were, Sunday morning, my best friend and I, having brunch and she agreed to go with me to get a manicure. The timing was right. The location was close. I had support.
So we walked in and I asked for a manicure, “pink and white”. They say us down next to each other and then there was some confusion. Apparently, I didn’t want a manicure. A pink and white manicure is just a French manicure with your own nails, I guess? Anyway, the girl who sat down to work on my hands moved aside to finish another customer and a young man sat down in front of me. He began to work.
With swift motions from side to side, he ground down my nails. He filed. He added glue. Then tips. He trimmed the tips. I had no idea what was going on and he didn’t say anything. Luckily, my friend is very chatty and asked a lot of questions. The manicurist working on her hands was also chatty. Took the pressure off.
Then he pulled out two tubs of power and one liquid. With great efficiency, he combined the pink powder with the liquid and painted a coating over my nails. Light pink, very natural. After all nails were finished, he took this circular metal disc that had different nail sizes cut out and leveled off the pink glop.
The process was repeated with the white powder, only now he just painted the tips. He smoothed it again. At this point, I was in awe of his focus and attention to detail. He filed the nails some more, made the pink and white seamless and perfectly shaped. Then I put my hands under ultraviolet light for one minute each, and Voilà! My nails were done!
I had healthy, somewhat natural looking nails, finally! Yay! My friend complimented them and I was proud of myself for going for it….however….
It kind of hurt a bit. I didn’t anticipate that, but it’s passed. What didn’t pass is the fact that now I have to figure out how to take my contacts out without poking myself in the eye! And putting on a necklace needs focused coordination. And typing…
Well, it’s coming along, as I’ve been clickety-clack-tap-tapping through the day, but it definitely will add another layer of complexity to my blogging this month!