This is my collection of fingernail polish so far:I maintain a strict regimen of clipping my fingernails at least twice a week and painting them every Sunday.

I even bought a small bottle of fingernail polish remover while I was in New York so that I could keep up my routine without bringing more liquid on the airplane. I remember explaining it to Jared on the subway as I was planning my purchase.
"So when did this start?"
"mmm...I guess...when I got divorced."
"Ha. There's one to take to a therapist."

He was right. As I thought about it more carefully I realized how much my ritual really meant.

To better describe my reasoning, I've first got to explain my attitude toward fingernails: I think they're disgusting. I see them as as carriers of germs and dirt that can be uncomfortably snagged across almost any surface in their most unkempt state. I see long nails as a frivolous obstacle. Long nails suggest that one never engages in dirty work. In my opinion, the shorter, the better.

Then I've got to describe my attitude toward hands: hands are direct representations of who we are and what we do. Some of my oldest friends might remember that I had a crush on David Blake in Jr. High based almost entirely on the beauty of his hands.
Conversely, I've always felt that my hands were ugly: mannish, stubby, unrefined. When I was younger I couldn't stand nail polish on my own fingers because it only accentuated their lack of elegance.

When my nails are clean and short and painted, I feel in control of my life. They suggest that I've taken the time to groom myself properly; that I've taken a moment to breathe. Painting them in brazen colors indicates that I have conquered my insecurity about their ugliness. But above all, making something this frivolous a priority helps me take the time to assert and evaluate my needs.

I think it makes complete sense that I started this after my divorce.


MiriamR said...

I am sure your hands are beautiful! You should take a picture. I never thought of nails being that gross but after reading your post I realize they are. Now I want to go cut some nails!

mim said...

Yea for OPI! Bring your collection to Washington and I'll bring mine. I want to try out the green. You can try my blue and yellow.

Amanda Jane said...

It's funny last time I saw you I noticed your nails. I have that some coral color, I love it. Might I also suggest plum?

heidikins said...

I agree with you on the nails, and the post-divorce ritual. (And Dave Blake's hands, actually.)


laura said...

plums sounds great, amanda! and soo funny heidi! just lol-ed in the computer lab.

David Blake said...

I am flattered, I think... always thought it was the band geek image I threw off that won your attentions

Hope life is good, Dave

laura said...

this just killed me!

mim said...

Ulta has OPI now!!!!!!

maryjane said...

i really really like this. you're cool laura. really.