I bit my nails until after college and then finally I grew them. For years I maintained them myself, alternating between a bright pink (Revlon Pinkish) in summer months, and a color somewhere between red and maroon (Wine with Everything, also Revlon) in the colder months when I didn’t have a tan to pull off the pink. Eventually I changed over to French manicures (Sally Hansen) and have never looked back. Doing my own French manicures, even adding another step to the painting process, was therapeutic. I would paint the tips white without using the guides that came in the box, and would think Damn, I may not have become a doctor, but I have a surgeon’s steady hand. And I have nice nail beds.
When I started teaching, the blackboards and chalk (now obsolete) and air quality in general did a number on my nails (and my respiratory system--but that's another post). They became dry and brittle, and the nail polish would crack like a windshield that followed too close behind a sand truck. So I did what any woman who has grown fond of her nails would do and got gel overlays.
If you’re thinking thick, Jersey Shore acrylics, I ask you to go wash your eyes before continuing to read. Mine don’t look like that at all. My nail technician, Jenny, gets them nice and thin, and I get compliments on them all the time. If they all weren’t the same exact length and they weren’t impeccably perfect (yeah, I know that’s redundant), you might think they are my own. Anyway, like them or not, think they are natural or not, they are mine, and I love them and I won’t get rid of them, especially since they saved my life.
There I was chopping away, doing my rotisserie chicken six ways, when, whoa. My knife slipped while I was slicing, what?...well I don’t even remember that detail, and—had my gel nail not been there—there would have gone my thumb. Seriously. I know I should be more careful, but let's be honest: you have a better chance of seeing Jesus than seeing me stop sipping wine while I cook. So any remote, tiny inklings I may ever have had to get rid of the gels have vanished for good.
Who knew nails could look nice and protect against dismemberment by Santoku?