Where it begins:
It’s time to get naked about our bad habits. Why does it seem that just as soon as we solve one problem, another crops up? Where do they come from, the bad habits? In the everlasting search for perfection, we inevitably get down-trodden and blue, resorting to old bad habits. I’ve been a nail biter from way back, probably before I could talk in full sentences. I can’t remember which it was, the gift of a kitten, or a new doll, but remember the bribe itself my Mother laid before me, when I was two or three, if I’d only stop biting my nails…or was it wetting my pants? Not sure which it was, or the order, but ultimately got both the kitten and a new doll.
Now, I did stop biting my nails, for a time. Heh, I wasn’t stupid after all. Bribes like these don’t come along every day. But nail biting was just something I did. It was a part of me. A way to release tension in a family that had its issues, not least of which was somehow the implicit expectation that the baby, that is me, would be perfect and never let anyone down.
Paradise Found and Lost:
Admittedly, sometimes my nails do look close to perfect, especially when I get them done at the salon. Not wanting to throw good money down the drain, I protect them with lotion and gloves. At such times, I feel very put together and cool in my adulting. But, then there are the busy times, when it seems the demands placed on me are too many, or so I think, and my rituals of self-care silently slip away. So, my 50-something nails are, at present, super embarrassing. A bit of blood bath, they. I blame it on the stress of Christmas. But, fear not, the new year is coming. Resolution time. Time to get back up on the horse.
But, maybe, it’s just that the pressure of the Fall-Winter holidays are over. Stores filled with holiday merchandise nauseatingly in advance. The To Do List getting longer and longer. Winter concerts at school to go to, dance performances, end of semester projects requiring late night runs to Target for some forgotten supply. As every Mom knows, whether you work out of the home, or not, whether you go at the holidays like a panzer tank, or a drowsy bunny, your workload is gonna increase, and, along with it, your stress, a.k.a. your search for motherhood perfection/sainthood. Even the grumpiest of bah humbug girlfriends I know pull out their little miracles in the end, delivering to their kids, their version of the perfect Christmas, or Hanukkah.
Naked Nails, Don’t Care: Marilyn Monroe
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Women who chose to go naked:
- Martha Stewart, a.k.a. Mrs. Perfect herself doesn’t paint her nails. She’s too busy hot gluing holiday wreaths and harvesting vegetables from her garden and eggs from her chicken coops.
- My Grandmother Margaret, may she rest in peace. She was too busy cleaning, cooking, washing, painting, gardening her immaculately clean house and yard.
- French Women are known the world over for their style, but they generally don’t get their nails painted. See: https://www.ouiinfrance.com/french-women-dont-get-their-nails-done/
- Marilyn Monroe (http://divinemarilyn.canalblog.com/archives/2008/01/26/7711286.html) and Audrey Hepburn frequently went without painting their nails. It takes time to apply that winged eyeliner and red lipstick. Any more decoration was, simply, unnecessary.
Maybe these chicks didn’t paint their nails because they held the rest of themselves or their lives to a higher standard. Perfection is still the goal. Ugh! So, maybe at the end of the day, my nail bitten unpainted nails are a protest against the pressure to be perfect we put on ourselves, or have foisted on us. Heh, maybe my three year old self knew something I didn’t know until now. Maybe I can take her meaning and make it my own dang thing.
Resolution #1 for 2019?
Let’s just go naked-nailed in 2019, including our less than perfect toes. Get rid of the burden of those storehouse of polishes that are going dry as we speak. The pressure of those little colored bottles and brushes is maddening: “Use me soon, or else you just wasted money on me.” The constant chemicals applied make everything worse. They beg our nails to be picked at and bitten, as they crack, split and peel under the weight of the paint, the stripping of polish remover. Instead, let’s love our naked nails and ourselves in 2019. Go easy on ourselves and all our imperfections. Kindly apply moisturizer to those tired hands and feet that work so hard for the families we have and homes we inhabit. We are perfect, bunions and all!
Viva naked nails!
Mrs. Sassy Pants