I hate being naked.Â I’m a very modest person, so I rarely let my bare-self show. (UnlessÂ I’m inÂ the dressing room at Loehmann’s and I’m scoring a great deal.)Â Same way with my nails.Â I hate having bare nails.
I take that back. I LOATHE having bare nails.Â I’m a staunchÂ advocate of the polished nail.Â Mademoiselle is my middle name, dontcha know?
So for theÂ last
fewÂ many years, I’ve indulged myself with weekly manicures.Â I rememberÂ lookingÂ forward to Friday, my self-proclaimed manicure day, where I could sit at the nail salon, gossip with the nail tech and read trashy magazines.Â The US Weekly mag I read always had the most oil stains on it, but I didn’t care.Â I was content perusing the “Just Like Us” section in aÂ vibrating spa chair,Â even if Jennifer Garner was smudged out.
And my nails used to get compliments.Â Who knew I have “long nail beds”?Â Or nice white tips?Â I took pleasure in knowing that a little bit of dough got me a long way with that cashier at Starbucks or a colleague in a meeting where I was taking notes.Â I could be Wicked without anyone knowing just how innocent I really was.Â That’s the beauty of a nice manicure.Â It provides a good cover. My nails would shine even when I didn’t.Â And people notice.
Then I had a child.Â I know it sounds so cliche, but I think those folks are right. Having a baby changes everything.Â I swore up and down that when I had my son I would let nothing get in the way of my nail upkeep. But something’s happened over the past few months.Â I’m going naked.Â It’s impossible to stay properly clothed as the mother of a 16-month-old.
At one point, IÂ pretended that I could keep up my polished exterior.Â When my son was a bit younger,Â I tried haplessly to wear trendy dark colors.Â This resulted in numerous expletives flowing from my mouth every time I saw a chip.Â There’s one thing I hate more than bare nails.Â Feeling like you’ve thrown $15 down the drainÂ because you’ve smudged your nail giving your son a bath.
I’ve found that going around bare does have its benefits.Â You can wash the dishes without gloves on, garden freely, and pull apart sippy cup parts like a bat out of hell.Â You can open up toys without pretending to your child that those twisty tie thingy-s are really a part of the toy.Â (I mean, those twisty tie thingy-s are KILLER on a fresh manicure.) You can type on your keyboard recklessly. You can open up cans and bottles. You can pry open the seal of that fresh tube of Aquaphor.Â It’s quite liberating, really.
Then again, there are disadvantages to aÂ non-manicured nail.Â There’s the hanging cuticle problem, which typically requires the unsanitary, but necessary extracting of, which draws blood in the office, which results inÂ you running screaming to your group assistant to find you some freakingÂ Band-Aids (!!) so you don’t have to try to type on your keyboard with paper towel over your finger.
Needing to get nailed.
Also, unmanicured nails give off this terrible impression that you actually care about housework. I think there’s a direct correlation between how dirty your house isÂ with how bad your nails look. Meaning, if you care about keeping your nails polished, you’ll let the dust build up a little.Â I hate dusting too.
The good news is that for the next week, I’ll be away from reality, “working from home” (more on that later) with no business people to see and no in-person meetings to be had.Â I can let myself go for a little.Â But believe you me, as soon as I get back I’ll be calling up the nail salon.Â I can only walk around naked for so long.