3/52 The Proof is in the Polish

For most women my age, getting a manicure would not be considered an adventure. A typical Saturday afternoon or pre-event ritual might more accurately describe the act. For me, the manicure I got today was unique. My first.

There are a couple reasons why getting a manicure today was a big deal. To begin, I’m really squirmy about being touched by strangers. I just get all uncomfortable and weird.

Secondly, even though I love to rock an “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me” attitude, I’m often really uncomfortable in my own skin. About my body—not just the shape, or my weight, but all of it. I feel like so many routine beauty processes involve too much of a microscopic look at my physical features – I am scared that I’ll be judged for my eyebrows, my pores, my teeth, my waistline and yes, even my hands and nails. I prefer to looked at from far away—I’m just lamely more self conscious that I like to admit.

The final reason why getting a manicure was a big deal is because of its close proximity to the “definition” of femininity. I like paining my nails and wearing make up and all that, but sometimes I get nervous admitting to enjoying things that are traditionally feminine because I think other people don’t really see me that way. I would worry that if I wanted to get my nails done someone would respond with, “Really? You? Do you even paint your nails? Hm. That just doesn’t seem like you.” It is like me, but maybe just not the way everyone always sees me.

For these reasons I have managed to avoid getting my nails done for all of my life. Even though I’ve often looked at them and thought about how I know they would look nicer if I would just suck it up and get them done.

So, today, I did.

Two friends, one fellow adventurer (TheGirlWhoLikesToEat) and one soon to be adventurer, picked me up at noon for lunch and a manicure. It was like Sex and The City accept we went to Panera Bread for lunch, and not a Raw Food bar on the Upper West side and our nails cost 12 dollars instead of 112 dollars.

I picked a purple polish (another guilty feminine pleasure of mine), and took a seat.

I was a little nervous and made plenty of weird faces as my manicurist clipped, buffed and polished a lifetime of boyishness off of my nails. Thee three of us sat in a row, enjoying the pampering and gossiping like we were getting paid to do it.

My nails look rad. I didn’t feel judged by the gal doing the polishing or by my excellent friends.  It was still a little awk being massaged by a stranger, but I got over it when my friends laughed at my ridiculousness.

Of course, I did manage to mess up one nail before I even left the chair,
when in my nervousness I slammed a freshly painted purple
nail into the tiny fan used for drying the color.

It was quickly repaired and I was on my way.

Mission accomplished!