Cutting Back

I can – and will – admit it.

I’m vain.

Oh – wait – add to that – I’m lazy!

Since I was 16 years of age I have scrimped, schemed, strategized – all toward one end.

To get my nails done.

Why, pray tell, you may ask.

Well… ’cause they’re pretty… and they’re strong… and they don’t break… and they’re pretty… and I don’t have to do the work myself!

Honestly – there are all sorts of amazing things you can do when you’ve got super reinforced amazingly strong nails!

You can open all sorts of packages.

They’re great for… okay, maybe not all sorts of things. Maybe just the packages thing! LOL!

In the nearly 30 years since I was 16 – there have been brief periods of time when I did not have my nails done professionally – usually when I was poorer than poor. You know, when I worked in full time ministry – and made something like $2000 a year and lived on carrots, bagels, and baked potatoes.

Shortly after John and I got married I let them grow out – there was a snafu in scheduling with my nail tech just days before the wedding – and they weren’t able to give me a fill. Technically – my nails were a mess on my wedding day. I, of course, was the only one (well, and my nail tech) to really be aware of it. Life went on. Anyway – let them grow out… I managed to live life successfully without them (see! It can be done!) and eventually decided to have them put back on again – I think under the auspices of needing to appear more professional for work.

Did you know that some women have more meaningful relationships with their nail tech than they do with their own family members? It’s true! I’ve seen it frequently in the salon – it’s a little frightening. But, suffice it to say, that Tina – my nail tech, who has been doing my nails for EIGHT years – and I have lived through some life together. After eight years, she may as well be honorary family!

I mean – she’d just immigrated from Viet Nam months before I met her. I was still more than a year before my DS surgery – so a super, super morbidly obese woman who was barely able to ambulate at all – at yet she treated me like a queen. She met a guy, developed a meaningful relationship with him, got engaged – and married. She’s had three babies – I was the first one to know she’d just taken the pregnancy test – and it was positive, much to her surprise – for the baby just born in April! I’ve helped her with her homework. She’s opened her own salon. She loved it when Grammy, Mom, Jessica, and I – on occasion – would all come in for a fun spa experience.  She lovingly did my Mom’s manicures and pedicures – even knee deep into Mom’s dementia.  And she every now and then will look up and quietly say, “I still miss her, do you still miss your Mom?”  Yes, I do.

It’s always so funny when I call, she’ll answer, “Tips ‘n Toes, how may I help you?” I’ll say, “Tina, this is Dina!” And she’ll laugh and say, “Can you come in now?” She knows that I never plan ahead and always desperately need a fill – about a week before my call!

BUT – it ain’t cheap…

And with the economy being what it is…

And we’ve decidedly felt the pinch…

We realized we were going to have to find some things to do without…

It was then that I realized a pivotal truth:

I can live without getting my nails done professionally.

I can’t believe I typed that and didn’t even flinch! So it must be true!

So tonight – I made a step toward cutting back – literally.


(Boy am I overdue for a fill!)

I dug through my nail kit – cause I’ve got all sorts of nail type tools and stuff – I used to go and do Mom’s nails when it was no longer safe nor advisable to take her out to get them done professionally. My first question was: which tool? I mean, I’ve got some honking nails on there!

I tried the one on the left first – it looked pretty heavy duty. I wasn’t strong enough.

So I tried the one on the right next – still, too wimpy!

I decided to give the nail clippers a go – and you know what? They actually worked – pretty easily! See?

Okay – they do look pretty awful, but I’ve decided I’m just going to let the acrylic grow out and keep trying to file it down as it grows out.

I should confide in you the fact that I am perhaps the world’s worst nail painter. But being that I happen to actually have some nail polish in my stash of stuff, I may break down and try doing that in the coming weeks – all by myself.

We’ll see.

In the hour or so since I cut my nails down I’ve realized something kind of interesting.

It’s WAY easier to type! It’s been so long since I’ve had nails this short that I’d kind of forgotten this might be a factor!

Now it’s got me wondering if I’ll be able to pick up the communion wafer without embarrassing incident this coming Sunday… hmmm… there may well be some benefit here beyond financial!

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5 thoughts on “Cutting Back

  1. You know, I had gels for *years* …all the way up to the point where I quit my job and we moved out here. I thought it would be really hard to let them go, but my life had changed so radically and the use of my hands had increased so significantly, that I never even looked back. I actually appreciated the return of 90 minutes of my time every two weeks. Funny, though, for months afterward, every time I’d hit my hand hard or catch a nail on something, I’d startle for a minute and worry that I’d broken a nail. Old habits die hard, I guess 🙂

    • Isn’t it funny how “comfortable” something that’s really so foreign becomes? I guess decades of experience play into it, huh?

      My biggest fear? I have REALLY great, REALLY sharp knives – it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine to not have GREAT knives in the kitchen. I *regularly* slip and take a little nick out of my acrylic on my nails. EGAD! Needless to say, I’m being VERY careful now! LOL!

    • Want the hilarious inside scoop on the ring? I wear it as a wedding ring because my actual engagement, wedding, and anniversary rings are just too big and I’ve nearly lost them too many times. They are tucked away safely for the time being.

      For months we looked for a replacement ring. Didn’t want anything too fussy – but something that *I* would enjoy, you know?

      Just happened to be at Macy’s one day and something on the clearance table caught my eye – wasn’t sure. Moved closer, and lo and behold – the ring. THIS ring that I wear. Very me. Has little baby real diamond chips in it – not too fussy, I love that. The kicker? Originally over a hundred bucks. Marked down on the clearance table to $4 – yes – FOUR dollars. I asked the clerk to check about ten times for me. She confirmed and yes, I have a $4 wedding ring.

      I absolutely love it! 🙂

  2. Aw…love the ring story. My husband wears a $15 silver ring we bought in a teensy store on Robson Street in Vancouver Canada when we spontaneously decided to get married. Mine was a whopping $75 white and yellow gold number. 🙂

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