One of the things in this world that I love is a good manicure and a great pedicure. However, I hate feet and I hate people touching my feet so it’s rare that I let people actually touch my feet in order to get a pedicure. I love having pretty toes, but people fondling my toes sicks me straight out. I get my toes done maybe once or twice a year and I’m very specific about how it has to happen. I’m even pickier about getting manicures and as a result get them a lot less than I get my toes done.
The last time I got a manicure was over two years ago when a friend got me a mani/pedi/massage package for my birthday. This manicure was pure Heaven, much like they usually are when they’re done right. Not only did I get pretty cuticles and shiny nails, but I got a hand massage that absolutely blew my mind. To top it all off my hands actually looked girly, cute and I loved the shade of purple polish the lady used. Normally my hands are dried, look at least 10 years older than I really am and I have really large palms that are topped off with short and chubby fingers. Not only that but I damaged my fingers so much in high school and my first couple years of university that they are permanently twisted and gnarled like an old, time ravaged tree.
Plus I have this huge fixation with sticking my fingers in my mouth. Not only am I a nail biter, but I’m a thumb sucker as well. I bite my nails out of boredom, nervousness, annoyance and just because they’re there to bite and chew on. My thumb sucking habit is a comfort/security thing. I also suck on my knuckles if I get really frustrated, scared or run out of nails to chew off. The funny part is that I’ve sucked my thumb so long (since I was a baby) that my right thumb is noticeably longer than my left.
So it sucks when I go to get my nails done and a few days later I’ve either scrubbed the paint off my thumb so I can stick it in my mouth without getting a yucky taste in my mouth or have scraped the colour of my other nails with a knife so I could chew my nails without getting paint chips stuck in my teeth.
As a result: when I get my nails done I usually tell the ladies just to make my cuticles pretty, give me a good hand massage and let me go on my way without putting anything extra on my nails. Now I’m not sure how it works in other cities, but the best nail people are usually Middle Eastern or Russian. They have all the best techniques and are the most efficient about their craft.
Mostly they don’t talk a lot which makes the experience more tolerable for me. They’re also the most honest and will call me out on the horrible care that I have for my hands and/or feet as they work on my extremities. I happen to think it’s hilarious when a lady asks me about the horrible state of my feet and I comment that I tend to go everywhere barefooted…even to the point where I’ve walked down the street to get a slurpee in my bare feet on nice days.
I also like them because they’re so cute when they’re confused. The language barrier is a hard one to cross so when I explain my rules to them (No polish on my fingernails, no excessive fondling, minimal eye contact, etc.), something always goes wrong. Like they stick something gross tasting on my nails and when I stick a finger in my mouth I get this disgusting taste stuck on my tongue that rivals beer after its “Best Before” date. Or when they insist on rubbing my feet and I almost kick them in the face because I’m that ticklish and that freaked out by this deep fondling they are insisting should happen between my toes.
My only other choices are: White women who over charge, Asian women who I don’t trust because I’ve been in a few Asian run spa’s whose health standards were sub par, snotty middle aged woman who judge me based on my callouses and myself. Ok, they’re not real choices because that leaves me with just me, but I happen to like the illusion I have that I might actually let these women charge me to rip me off for a mani/pedi because they’re going to do what they want and not listen to me when I insist they not look up at me during the process (I’m obviously kidding about this one) and that I don’t want them to rub my feet.
I never paint my own toes because it often turns out looking like a drunk five year old attacked my toes with a paint brush, but sometimes I do paint my own nails. Well usually I paint my ring fingers on each of my hands because I’m too lazy to do the rest. Sometimes I’ll paint my pinkies for good luck, but I seriously don’t remember the last time I painted all of my own nails.
I happen to value sticking my fingers into my mouth whenever it happens to happen (I don’t notice I’m doing it most of the time) over having pretty nails. These days it just looks funny because my fingers are so gimped that putting a shiny new colour on them is like putting make-up on an ugly person. They’re still ugly, but at least there’s some artwork to admire right?
But I happen to love seeing all the pretty things that nail artists can do! I wish that I could do that with my nails or pay someone to do one nail on each hand, but I’ve yet to meet someone who’ll let me get a discount because I don’t want them to do all of my nails. I also love all the pretty colours, but since I don’t paint my nails that often, I can’t justify spending more than $5 on a bottle of polish that I’ll use maybe once or twice a year.
Thusly, every time I have a Sharpie in my hand, I draw something pretty on my nails (except for my right thumb) and try to be content with that. It’s certainly the cheapest option and means I never have to worry about randomly shoving a part of my hand in my mouth and getting a funny taste stuck there.
No, I leave those moments for when I when I kiss someone and realize I should have made them brush their teeth first.