Saturday, July 7, 2012

"No, I really mean should be in dresses!"

Several years ago, my nail tech decided that I needed a more feminine look for my hands, and applied permanent French acrylics.  They are a clean, professional look, and I adapted well.  Over the years, she has gradually increased their length, and now trims them no less than 3/16 inch past the tips of my fingers. She tells me that they're the perfect length for a woman with an office job, and now she won't trim them again till the shortest one reaches at least 5/16 inch long, usually every 2nd or 3rd fill.

For some reason, the nail she checks usually ends up just a bit shorter than the rest.  Intentionally?  Perhaps - I'll probably never know for sure.  More often than not, that means they get shortened on the third fill, and I have more time to enjoy the benefits of long of which is that they click nicely whenever I touch things or pick anything up!  Re-learning to type with my talons was a particular challenge, something all girls have to get used to.  And the days of pushing elevator or touch screen buttons with my fingertips is history - now I've gotta use my knuckles.  But ugly short nails would be a big step backward, and I wouldn't want to step backwards...!

With some luck and good fortune, someday they'll look like this all the time.  The girls and tech at my nail salon are still trying to make that my reality, and women at work (before I retired) completely concurred. They all decided that I need 20 red acrylic nails, with fingernails extended to at least 5/8 inch beyond my fingertips (though they tell me 1 inch or longer would make my hands look much prettier) and toe nails extended beyond the end of my toes.  This would make a permanent statement of my femininity, something plainly visible and impossible to hide, which a little nail polish remover and some cotton couldn't erase.  They all plan to pitch in to completely cover the cost of my first full set, so I won't be able to refuse.

And just recently, the tech added a sweetener - she's thinking about offering to do every other red fill on my fingers and toes gratis for one full year, if:  she installs one-inch fingernail and one-half inch toe nail extensions (beyond the ends of my digits); I agree to "never" ask for them to be shortened and give her sole authority to determine whether they need shortened (or more likely, lengthened, once I adapt to my new long nails), allow acrylic nail art of the tech's choosing to be displayed on three digits on each hand and foot at no cost to me, and (new offer - 2012) to pay a flat $10 fee to have that same nail art put on the rest of my fingers and toes whenever she does it.  I've run into the girls individually a few times - they all still think 20 long red (or hot pink from 2012) acrylic digits on full-time display will be a big appearance asset for me. Though long toe nails will mean wearing sandals all the time, every day, the reduced cost of my nail care makes it quite tempting.

All the girls who know me from the salon all want to be there that magical day my nails become pretty. My own cheering section will cheer this girl on as, one at a time, each nail becomes girlie fire engine red or hot pink acrylic (yeah - I know - they're really just making sure I can't back out!)  Unfortunately, those acrylics haven't happened yet - but the girls talk about it a lot.

Wonder if/when everything will come together?

From 2010:  No, they aren't the red acrylics everyone at the salon has been talking about having me wear. I wasn't that lucky! But since I was the only customer in the shop, she declined to shorten my fingernails when she filled the french manicure, and decided to give me special UV-dry red polish on fingers and toes.

After I was safely tucked under the drying table, she told me "You really need to get used to having pretty hands with long, gorgeous nails. And this is a special polish which will be tough to remove." She was hoping it would discourage me from taking it off at home. She assured me that the girls at work would all make a fuss over my nails, particularly if I take this opportunity to start wearing dresses or skirts and open toe pumps or sandals every day.

But she didn't really think this would be quite the motivator I need. And, she was right. Especially since there's an acrylic French manicure in hiding underneath (the flash shows a shadow of the white underneath!) Yes, I removed the red from my fingers (with some sadness as I really do like the look). But as promised, it took a lot more work with the polish remover.  Once the girls finally get the tech to outfit me with 20 extended red acrylics, there won't be any French underneath, and, taking them off myself won't be an option. If red doesn't look good with an outfit I plan to wear, I'll have to stop at the beauty section of the drug store, choose a new color and go home and paint them myself!

Even though the color only lasted a day and a half on my fingers, I sure enjoyed having them feminine and nicely manicured. My tech says that's a great sign. And, yes, the red was unbelievably tough to remove. It probably would have been easier just to leave it on till my next fill.

After 2 weeks I stopped by (wearing white leggings, a black sleeveless blouse and single-band slides), for a fill on my fingers, and asked my tech to change the color on my toes back to french. There were 3 women in the shop - none of whom I had seen before. She asked for their help in deciding which would look better on me, red or French. It was unanimous- they liked red better. Since I - not the ladies - was paying, that day I escaped with french fingernails. But the girls told me that my feet look feminine and beautiful, and the polish is still flawless, so there's no need to touch it.
So I left the salon with my bright red toenails glowing in the sun. They stayed red for two more weeks, till my next pedi, when the tech finally gave in and put the french back on!

June 2012: Hot pink looks great against a dark background...   I was facing the wind, and it blew my skirt back between my those are some "strange-looking pants" in this picture!  Trust me, it's my peasant skirt.

With the words of my nail tech echoing in my head, reminding me of a hot pink (used to be red( acrylic manicure and pedicure with extensions in my future (thus insuring that I'll have to wear sandals every day), I decided to run by my favorite Payless this afternoon.  After another visit with the lovely young clerk there, who is always supportive by helping me find what I need, I left with two additional pairs of sandals, one in black, and one in off-white, to coordinate with most any outfit I might wear. 

OK girlfriend, now bring on those acrylics!   At least I'm prepared....sort of.  Though I don't plan to confess that little fact to her...she can simply surprise me the day it happens. It's actually better to not know in advance - I'd spend more time worrying about it than it's worth.  I might even try to chicken out, though there isn't the slightest chance she'll let that happen.

When she decides the time is right, I'll be walking out of the salon with gorgeous, long-nailed, feminine hands and feet, that any woman would love.  And the day she chooses to apply my new nails will probably be just prior to an event where sporting 20 gorgeous long hot pink nails and having no choice but to wear sandals will be somewhat inconvenient. 

Once my new acrylics are on, they're on. Nail polish remover won't remove the color, and there's no way to hide ten long and brightly colored toe nails leading my way with every step. My only practical option will be to deal with it, most likely precipitating my transition into skirts and dresses, makeup and girly hairdo's.  But then, that's been her goal (and the goal of the girls at the hair salon and - before I retired, work)  for me, anyway!

After all, pretty nails are a girl thing...  "Relax, sweetie, after a few weeks to adapt to the length and bright color, you won't even give your new long talons a second thought, or even a glance...that is, until guys (and girls) comment on your lovely nails!  It will happen, you can count on it."

As of the summer of 2012, this is my reality for my conventional pedicures...and my summer shoes.

The nice things about having the same style of feminine buckle-on sandals in 3 different colors (black, tan, white) are:  they will coordinate with many outfits; they minimize the number of different tan lines visible on the feet, allowing for a more concentrated tan; and they work perfectly with or without pantyhose. 

The last one is particularly important for me, since the doctor says I must wear pantyhose (and give up wearing panties and socks due to the heavy elastic) for assisting the circulation in my legs.  The day after the doctor's order, my better half immediately cleaned out my underwear and sock drawer - all socks and all but two pair of panties (one black, one white) went to charity,  She holds them, and only gives them to me on days when I get my pedicures, or when it is very hot.  Car show days definitely qualify as "very hot."  At least lately....

My sandals are so comfortable that in the almost 2 months I've owned them, I've only had occasion to wear closed shoes four times.  And I suspect I'll be spending the rest of my summer in them - for our upcoming trip it's sandals full time with Capri's and sleeveless tops, except for one day when we have to be in a meeting...for that it will be white Keds and dressier stirrup pants with top!

As of the summer of 2012, this is my everyday fingernail treatment. They're shorter than usual, the tech decided to make them shorter this time.  But they're more noticeable than usual, because to compensate she added a bit more white.   Not a bad thing...certainly it leads to lots of discussions about nails with female clerks!

Today, a nurse at my mother's nursing home actually stopped me in the hall, grabbed both hands and brought them up to eye level, to look at my nails...then looked down at my pedicured feet (in sandals, of course) and commented that my nails were gorgeous enough for me to "start wearing sundresses and sandals with heels, and show them off as a pretty woman!" I blushed, and she said, "No really, I mean it!  You should be in dresses!" 

Another supporter....

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